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Pupils sharing books on World Book Day

A love of reading makes a big difference in children’s achievement both now and into the future. At our school we work to encourage a love of reading in all children.  Encouraging children to practise essential reading skills, including phonics, daily is important in developing their fluency, pace and resilience as well as increasing their understanding of language and enriching their vocabulary. 

We aim to cultivate this love of reading through providing positive reading experiences such as celebrating World Book or author days, sharing reading across the school, opportunities to meet authors, reading competitions as well as providing quality texts to stimulate and enguage readers of all ages.

  • How is phonics taught in our school?

    Phonics at Belton All Saints Church of England Primary School

    • It is very important that we teach phonics early, clearly and systematically to enable children to learn to read and spell.
    • The English written language is basically a kind of code.
    • Teaching phonics is just teaching children to crack that code.
    • Chldren learn the simple bits first and then progress to get the hang of the trickier bits.

    At Belton All Saints Primary School, we use a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics using the Letters and Sounds Handbook as a guide.

    Phonics in Nursery (Early Years Foundation Stage 1)

    This begins as soon as children enter our school in Nursery (Foundation Stage 1 / FS1) with Phase 1. Children are taught to isolate the sounds they hear around them including body percussion and environmental sounds, orally recognise rhyming strings and hear initial sounds in word then begin to orally segment and blend simple words          c-a-t    sh-ee-p   d-u-ck. This is taught in a fun, engaging way with lots of rhymes, songs and active games.

    Phonics in Reception (Early Years Foundation Stage 2)

    When children move into Reception (Foundation Stage 2 / FS2) they consolidate their learning and are introduced to Phase 2 when they learn the sounds that letters make. There are 44 sounds to learn! They are also introduced to some tricky words that can’t be segmented and blended. Children are taught to make the links between the sounds they hear and the graphemes (letters) they read and write. Children have lots of opportunities to practice these skills.


    By the end of the Autumn Term in FS2 children are beginning Phase 3. During Phase 3 children learn a further 25 new graphemes including consonant digraphs – sh  ch   th ng – and vowel digraphs – ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er. They have daily practice using them to read and write simple words. They are taught 24 more tricky words. 

    Towards the end of FS2 children begin Phase 4. hey will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them. At this phase children are not taught any new phonemes or graphemes. Instead, they are taught to further manipulate the phonemes and graphemes they have already learnt. Many of the words children explored in Phase 2 and 3 were monosyllabic (words of one syllable). In Phase 4 children explore more polysyllabic words (words containing more than one syllable). Phase 4 requires children to blend an increasing number of sounds together in order to read. Teaching and learning provides lots of opportunities to apply the skills taught when reading and writing.


    Phonics in Key Stage 1 (Year 1 & 2)

    Throughout Year 1 children will master Phase 5.  ‘Here, we start introducing alternative spellings for sounds, like 'igh'. Children master these in reading first, and as their fluency develops, they begin to use them correctly in spelling.

    Children learn new graphemes (different ways of spelling each sound) and alternative pronunciations for these: for example, learning that the grapheme ‘ow’ makes a different sound in ‘snow’ and ‘cow’. 

    They should become quicker at blending.

    They learn about split digraphs such as the a-e in ‘name.’

    They’ll start to choose the right graphemes when spelling, and will learn more tricky words, including ‘people,’ ‘water’ and ‘friend’.

    By the end of Year 1, children should be able to:

    ·         Say the sound for any grapheme they are shown

    ·         Write the common graphemes for any given sound (e.g. ‘e,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ie,’ ‘ea’)

    ·         Use their phonics knowledge to read and spell unfamiliar words of up to three syllables

    ·         Read all of the 100 high frequency words, and be able to spell most of them

    ·         Form letters correctly

    At the end of Year 1, all children are given a Phonics Screening Check to ensure they have mastered the appropriate knowledge.

    Children move into the final Phase 6 in Year 2, with the aim that they become fluent readers and accurate spellers.

    By Phase 6, children should be able to read hundreds of words using one of three strategies:

    ·         Reading them automatically

    ·         Decoding them quickly and silently

    ·         Decoding them aloud

    Although formal phonics teaching is usually complete by the end of Year 2, children continue to use their knowledge as they move up the school. ‘The whole aim of phonics teaching is not just to learn the sounds, but to use them as a tool for reading and spelling.

     Everything leads on to independent, fluent reading and writing.

  • How do we teach reading at Belton All Saints School?

    Children are initially taught reading skills through a daily programme of phonics, work to memorise key words and reading a range of high quality books to develop an interest in stories and non-fiction texts. During Foundation Stage 1, Foundation Stage 2 and Keystage 1, decodable books are used. This means that children will read books that are appropriate to the knowledge and understanding that they have of phonics, making sure that they have been taught relevant phonics that they come across in the book.

    These decodable books are available through to phase 6 of the phonics programme. Following this children can then move onto 'Free Readers'. This usually happens during year 2.  In addition to this all children have regular access to the school’s well stocked library where they can access a large range of books.

    As well as good decoding skills, good readers need to be able to ask questions to check their own understanding. From Reception (Foundation Stage 2) onwards, children are taught individually, in small groups (guided reading) and as a whole class to develop these comprehensions skills. 

    Children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 take part in daily reading lessons (whole class reading) where they are taught comprehension skills using the VIPERS approach. A range of texts are used for whole class reading sessions, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and the class novel. Below the table outlines the VIPERS appraoch:


    Find and explain the meaning of words in context.


    Make and justify interpretations about characters and events using evidence from the text.


    Predict what might happen from the details given and implied in a text.


    Explain preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.

    Identify/explain how information/narrative content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole. Identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases. Make comparisons within the text.


    Retrieve and record key information/details from fiction and non-fiction texts.

    Sequence (KS1)

    Summarise (KS2)

    Order the key events of a story in the correct sequence.

    Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph

    From Reception (Foundation Stage 2) up to Year 6 the children take part in a variety of reading activities including whole class reading, guided reading, individual reading and sharing class novels. Throughout the year a variety of reading challenges are set using both paper and digital books eg Read for my School, Summer challenge through North Lincolnshire Libraries.

  • How can I help my child at home?

    Parents and carers play a key role in helping their child read. If children read at home, they are more likely to be successful learners at school. At Belton, we encourage children to read every day at home and expect reading journals to be checked and signed by a parent/carer.

     Early Years/Key Stage 1

     Ensure that you set aside a quiet time every night to spend time looking at your children’s books.

     Make reading a very positive and enjoyable experience through lots of praise.

     Children begin to read using their phonics knowledge which means that they will use sounds rather than say the letter name. 

    Talk about the books that you have read. Being a good reader is more about understanding what you have read than being able to just being able to read the words.

    Look at the pictures and discuss what is happening, do they like a character, what might happen next, what was their favourite part?

     The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.

    Key Stage 2

     Your child may now be a fluent reader and prefer to do some of their reading independently, however it is still important that they are encouraged to discuss what they have read.

     You can help keep your child’s comprehension skills up to speed by asking lots of where / how / what / when questions about facts in the book. Children also need to develop their inference and deduction skills - these can be developed through the use of questioning E.g. How do you think this character is feeling? What might happen next?

    Give your child plenty of praise for demonstrating dedication to reading and answering comprehension questions.



    Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. 10 to 15 minutes is usually long enough.


    Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is
    reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.


    If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Allow your child to self-correct
    Using their phonics skills. You can always discuss mispronounced words at the end of your reading time.


    Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling
    with a book with many unknown words is pointless because the flow is lost, the text cannot be
    understood, and children can easily become reluctant readers.


    Encourage your child to use the public library regularly. Remember our school library is open after school


    Try to read with your child every day. Little and often is best.


    Your child has a reading record book. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and
    any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value
    reading. We would love to hear the children’s opinions of the texts they read and their progress.


    There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Being able to
    understand what has been read is just as important. Always talk to your child about the book; about
    the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be
    able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension


    Remember that children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books,
    hardbacks, comics, magazines, poems, recipes, instructions and information books.

    Below please find some questions, in the VIPERS style we use in school, that you can use to question your child when reading together at home.


    • What do the words ...... and …… suggest about the character, setting and mood?
    • Which word tells you that….?
    • Which keyword tells you about the character/setting/mood?
    • Find one word in the text which means……
    • Find and highlight the word that is closest in meaning to…….
    • Find a word or phrase which shows/suggests that…….


    • Find and copy a group of words which show that…
    • How do these words make the reader feel? How does this paragraph suggest this?
    • How do the descriptions of …… show that they are ……..
    • How can you tell that……
    • What impression of …… do you get from these paragraphs?
    • What voice might these characters use?
    • What was …. thinking when…..
    • Who is telling the story?


    • From the cover what do you think this text is going to be about?
    • What is happening now? What happened before this? What will happen after?
    • What does this paragraph suggest will happen next? What makes you think this?
    • Do you think the choice of setting will influence how the plot develops?
    • Do you think… will happen? Yes, no or maybe? Explain your answer using evidence from the text.


    • Why is the text arranged in this way?
    • What structures has the author used?
    • What is the purpose of this text feature?
    • Is the use of ….. effective?
    • The mood of the character changes throughout the text. Find and copy the phrases which show this.
    • What is the author’s point of view?
    • What affect does ….. have on the audience?
    • How does the author engage the reader here?
    • Which words and phrases did ….. effectively?
    • Which section was the most interesting/exciting part?
    • How are these sections linked?


    • How would you describe this story/text? What genre is it? How do you know?
    • How did…? • How often…? • Who had…? Who is…? Who did….?
    • What happened to…?
    • What does…. do?
    • How ….. is ……..? • What can you learn from …… from this section?
    • Give one example of……
    • The story is told from whose perspective?

    Sequence (KS1)

    Summarise (KS2)

    • Can you number these events 1-5 in the order that they happened?
    • What happened after …….?
    • What was the first thing that happened in the story?
    • Can you summarise in a sentence the opening/middle/end of the story?
    • In what order do these chapter headings come in the story?


    There are many websites available for parents giving resources or ideas for helping your child read at home these include Oxford Owls

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