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Kids who read succeed!

At GHF, in terms of academic learning, reading is our key priority. We ensure there is a balanced approach to teaching the two dimensions of reading: word reading and comprehension.

To support the pupils in the complex skill of learning to decode words we use phonics systems for developing knowledge and understanding of how words are built. This is our first strategy for decoding but we also teach other strategies (such as ‘sight’ and ‘tricky’ words) alongside this. In the EYFS and KS1, pupils have a daily discrete phonics lesson but in Key Stage 2, children will continue to do Phonics as an intervention if they are not able decoders.

All our pupils have a unique homepage which they can access at Please note that this works best in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers. Details of how to login have been sent home for each pupil and parents should contact us if they need help logging on.

We hope parents find this resource helpful in supporting their child’s reading and that pupils enjoy the reading the eBooks.

We find that whole class reading, where all pupils are reading the same text together with the guidance of the teacher, is the most effective approach to teaching reading and this happens everyday in every class. Infant classes and pupils who need further support in KS2, also have group guided reading, where a group of pupils have a copy of the same text which the read with the guidance of an adult. 

In both these approaches to reading, we teach reading comprehension skills. At Key Stage 1 our planning is based on the DERIC strategy (see image below) and at Key Stage 2 it is based on ERIC. Through this strategy the children are explicitly taught the skills of becoming an analytical reader so they can respond both orally and with written outcomes to in depth comprehension questions.

We use a range of schemes, which incorporate a range of text types and genres, including Oxford Reading Tree, Phonics Club, On-Line Bug Club (accessible by pupils from home as well as school), Big Cat, Project X and First News to support the acquisition of reading skills as well as promote an enjoyment of reading. All pupils’ reading books are colour book banded to appropriately match materials to the needs and abilities of the pupils.  The ‘Home Reading Library’ is located on the main corridor and books may be borrowed and changed as frequently as pupils wish. In addition, pupils may also borrow books from the school library. Pupils are encouraged to choose their own reading book and take it home daily to enable parents and carers to share the experience of learning to read along with their child. Pupils have a Home Learning Journal which offers suggestions on how to do this, as well as providing an opportunity for dialogue with the pupil’s teacher.

By Y5/6 pupils should be moving out of the core banded reading scheme to an expanse of novels. These are available on Active Learn and pupils will loan them via the school Library. They will be expected to complete reviews and other activities online (via the Junior Librarian system) and in their home learning book as requested by the teacher. Novels may also be used as a group text focus for guided reading sessions and pupils will be expected to decide as a group how much is to be read and by when in order to complete a selection of appropriate reading comprehension and commentary tasks.

Pupils practise reading in a variety of ways. They regularly read from their reading book, participate in shared and guided reading and are also invited to read from their environment such as labels, displays and from the board during other lessons throughout the curriculum. The use of computers, iPads and Tablets provide opportunities to reinforce reading skills in an enjoyable way but also to encourage reading in real life.

Reading incentives are used in Key Stage 1 and Reception: the current incentive strategy is ‘READ FOR A STAR’ (where 4 reads = star and 4 stars = a gold star). In Key Stage 2 there are agreed incentives between teams.

All reading resources available in school are carefully selected to ensure equal opportunity for all pupils in consideration of gender, ethnic origin and special educational needs. Pupils with identified special needs will have relevant provision of support to ensure access.


We provide the pupils with many books to get them reading – here is a summary of books pupils read:

  • All pupils select a book banded book for home reading. The colour bands are help us to organise books roughly into the level of a child’s ability at that time and in terms of age appropriateness. However, while younger children are learning phonics to ‘decode’ words, it is possible that they will not know all the words in these texts and an adult will need to read with them. Pupils make their own selection their colour band and can change these books each day.
  • All pupils have access to books online using Active Learn – log in details are in their learning journals. They are allocated books in their colour book band (as above) and younger pupils will need some adult help when reading. Active Learn does have a facility that reads the book to a child if they are stuck.
  • As part of our phonics teaching in Reception and Year 1 and 2, pupils will practice with phonetically decodable books. These books only include words where pupils will have been introduced to all the sounds (phonemes) and generally, pupils should be able to read these independently. These ‘Phonics Bug’ books are also allocated to pupils on Active Learn and teachers will notify parents on ClassDojo when this is the case.
  • We are very lucky to have a school library packed full of interesting books. All pupils have a library membership (a card is in their learning journal) which allows them to take up to two books at once. Older pupils may read these independently but, depending on their choices, an adult will need to read these books with or to younger pupils.
  • Pupils read class ‘shared texts’ everyday in school. This is where the whole class reads the same text – either they have their own copy or it is on the whiteboard. These texts are usually too tricky for the children to read without the support of the teacher.
  • In the infant classes and sometimes in Key Stage 2, a group of pupils will read the same ‘guided reading book’. As with shared texts, these are read with adult support and are too tricky to be read independently.


Reading at Home - Here are our 6 top tips for parents:

1. Make the time for daily reading - just 15-20 minutes a day can make a huge difference.

2. Read different types of books – enjoy stories together but also read books to find out information on topics of interest.

3. Take turns to read – children partly learn to read when they follow a text that an adult is reading. 

4. Talk about the book – encourage your child to give opinions and make predictions.

5. Explain/discuss the meaning of new words – experimenting using the word helps your child to add it to their vocabulary.

6. Enjoy reading! If your child is getting distressed, end the session and talk to your child’s teacher.