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The teaching of Reading at Oakwood Avenue


Reading is a fundamental skill which continues to develop as a child journeys through our school. At Oakwood Avenue, we believe that being able to read is essential to developing our children to be life-long learners; reading is the key to unlocking children’s futures and one of our core purposes is to make every child a reader.

Sharing books and stories is a daily activity at Oakwood Avenue from our Little Oakies class to Y6 through class novel time where teachers read stories aloud to children. As well as novel time, our reading curriculum also includes phonics lessons where children are taught to sound letters out to read words and individual, guided group and shared whole class reading. Children will read for interest, information and enjoyment when accessing all areas of the curriculum.

Each class has its own reading corner where children can relax with a book alone or with friends. From Little Oakies to Y6 children are also encouraged to borrow books to take home and enjoy from our library areas. Oakwood Avenue staff will encourage you as a parent to support you child by reading with them daily as we believe this is the best way that parents can support their children’s learning; through sharing stories and talking about pictures. This helps to develop the language skills children need to be good readers and creating a love of reading is one of the most powerful ways of improving children’s chances of achieving in school.


Children bring home reading books to practise, share and show off their reading skills at home. These texts may appear easy for your child but this is intentional. We do the hard work of teaching reading with challenging texts at school and at home we want children to practise the skills taught and be successful readers with easier books. We use a range of reading schemes within the school as we believe that breadth of reading is important. Some of the reading schemes we use are Oxford Reading Tree Phonics and Songbird books, Rigby, Collins Big Cat, Project X and Bug Club. Our schemes also include a variety of text types such as fiction, non-fiction, rhyming books and comic style books.

Home reading is an integral part of children’s homework throughout school at Oakwood. Awards and certificates play a role in encouraging and rewarding children for their commitment to reading in the form of stepping stones to great reading in Reception and Reading Karate in years 1-6 (please click on the Reading Karate Booklet for more information).

The reading and phonic knowledge of all children in school is tracked and where necessary support via reading interventions such as Reading Recovery is put in place in by our ECAR teacher or one of our highly skilled and trained Teaching Assistants.

This is how reading develops through our school year group by year group.


Year 1

As children progress through Year 1 they continue to build up their phonic knowledge until they recognise the combinations of letters that make different sounds. Children are assessed frequently, movement between groups is flexible and children are targeted to ensure each individual makes progress. Weekly phonics homework is set to support children’s learning.  All children in Year 1 in England must sit a Phonics Screening Check to assess their knowledge. A workshop for the parents of children in Year 1 is held each year so that parents can find out more about the teaching of phonics and the screening check.

Year 2 and Key Stage 2

Once children are fluent and confident readers, the focus of the teaching of reading shifts to comprehension and the understanding of texts. This begins in Key Stage 1, particularly Year 2, and continues to develop throughout Key Stage 2 where reciprocal reading and sometimes whole class reading is taught. We plan units of reading which include fiction, poetry and non-fiction of the same theme; we believe that as well as teaching reading, this approach develops the vocabulary and general knowledge of our children. These teacher led sessions are based around the skills of prediction, understanding words in context, asking questions as a reader to understand the text more deeply and summarising what they have read. Children are taught how to infer, deduce and justify their thoughts and opinions about characters’ feelings or motives and why certain events in the text have taken place.

Our aim is to ensure every child develops these life-long reading skills and enjoys getting captivated in a book.



Our Nursery children develop early reading skills by learning to handle books, talking about pictures and beginning to recognise that print conveys meaning. Early phonics is introduced as children learn letters and sounds linked to stories, songs and actions through ‘Jolly Phonics’. Listening skills are developed as children begin to hear letter sounds and sounds in words.


In Reception, phonics continues to develop into reading by sounding out words. Although phonics is our primary approach to teaching reading, tricky word lists help children to learn to read words which cannot be sounded out. We always ensure there are lots of opportunities to talk about stories and pictures at this stage as this supports the development of reading comprehension further up the school.



Here are some useful website links for developing reading with your children at home.

Julia Donaldson’s (author of The Gruffalo) top tips for reading with your child.


For Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children

Links to phonics





Pirate Phonics 1, 2 and 3

ICT games – phonics and reading

For Year 2 and Key Stage 2 children

Become a member of this site to download extracts from age appropriate texts



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