Reading and Phonics


At Berwick Hills, we believe that reading is at the core of successful learners. We place a huge emphasis on children learning to read fluently, applying skills to explain and explore books and developing a love of books. Books are at the heart of our curriculum and are the stimulus for all of English work which links to ours topics.

Reading for pleasure:

We have a beautiful library that is central to our school building. Complete with sofas and cushions, children can visit the library at lunchtime and each class has a designated weekly slot. The library is filled with a range of fiction and non-fiction books to appeal to a range of audiences. Children are able to check out one book at a time from the library and enjoy reading it in school and at home.

Developing confident readers:


To help our children learn to read, we use the Department for Education’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ document for the teaching and learning of phonics from entry to Nursery.

Reading Skills Sessions

In Key Stage Two, children enjoy a daily reading skills session. This is a short, faced paced slot which teaches and allows children to practise skills including inference, retrieval, prediction and summary using text analysis, drama and drawing.

Reciprocal Reading

We use Reciprocal Reading to structure our guided reading sessions. Once a week, a child will work in a small group to explore and analyse texts. The emphasis of Reciprocal Reading is to encourage the child to ask questions about the text with support from the adult to discuss and explain unfamiliar vocabulary and summarise sections of text. This small group work, allows teaches to assess children’s understanding and plan progressively to support and challenge.

Reading at home

We rely on the help of parents to hear their child read at home. Research shows that this hugely increases the progress children make.  Class teachers will record the books children are reading at home and give every child the opportunity to change their ‘Home Reading Book’ regularly when teachers are happy that they have completed it/ understood it and a short informal assessment of the reading material has been made.

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