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Reading including Phonics

Our Reading (including Phonics) Curriculum




Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty, it should be offered as a gift.

 - Margaret Fuller



Where and when are children reading?


Children read a wide range of texts in all year groups. There are opportunities to enjoy reading and encounter new writing in:

  • Daily guided reading lessons
  • Daily phonics lessons – with a focus on decoding, recoding and blending
  • Individual reading – with an adult, with a peer or independently
  • Daily English Lessons – writing is inspired by carefully chosen texts
  • Class readers – the teacher reads a book to the class
  • Reading clubs – at lunchtime or after school
  • Reading tuition – in groups before or after school
  • Use of non-fiction resources across the curriculum for information and learning
  • Use of the class reading corner
  • Home reading of decodable books in EYFS/KS1 – reading a book matched to the child’s reading skills to an adult and talking about it
  • Home reading of a book on the Accelerated Reader programme in KS2
  • Home reading of Sharing Books – listening to an adult read the story or reading together


What are children reading?


These texts are taught in Guided Reading and English lessons.



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


Chicken Licken

Chloe the Chameleon

Field of Gold

The Little Red Hen

The Enormous Turnip

Billy Dogs Gruff

The Whale in the Well


Halibut Jackson

Funny Bones

A Squash and a Squeeze

The Frog Prince

Room on the Broom

The Runaway Iceberg

The Magic Paintbrush

Aliens Love Underpants

My No, No, No Day!


Marcus Rashford

Sleeping Beauty

Paddington Bear

The Girl and the Dinosaur

No Friends

Pizza for Pirates

The Worst Zoo in the world

No-Bot the Robot with no Bottom

Princess Smartypants

Winnie the Witch

Lost and Found

The Jolly Postman

Stanley’s Stick, by John Hegley and Neil Layton

The Owl who was afraid of the dark

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Mr Big by Ed Vere

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell


Jack and the Beanstalk

Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne

Here Comes Mr Postmouse by Marianne Dubac


The Three Billygoats Gruff

The Monster of Mirror Mountain

Friends are forever

After the Storm



The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Three Little Pigs

Hair Love


Little Red Riding Hood

The Hare and the Tortoise

Dragons and Giants

Traction Man

The Hodgeheg

Dick King Smith

The Hodgeheg

Dick King Smith

Scaredy Squirrel makes a Friend by Melanie Watt

The Frog and the Stranger

Augustus and his Smile by Catherine Rayner

Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin


Traction Man


The Day the Crayons Quit

Find out: Shark by Sarah Fowler

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena


The Proudest Blue


The Iron Man

The Iron Man

Race to the Frozen North

Race to the Frozen North

Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence

Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence

The Paper Bag Princess


Fables by Aesop

Dr Xargle’s Book of Earth hounds by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross


How to wash a mammoth

Mini Rabbit not lost by John Bond

Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland

The True Story of the three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka


Roman Myths

The Finger Eater by Dick King Smith


Bill’s New Frock by Anne Fine

Beowulf – Robert Lloyd Jones version

Short stories from around the world:

“The Enchanted Tea Kettle”

Short stories from around the world:

“The Monkey and the honey”

Agent Zaina Investigates

Kensuke’s Kingdom

Arthur And The Golden Rope by Joe Todd-Stanton


Settings in Dracula and Harry Potter

The King Who Banned the Dark by Emily Haworth-Booth

Biscuit Bear by Mini Grey

Ancient Myths by Geraldine McCoughrean

The Day I Swapped my Dad for a Goldfish by Neil Gaiman

Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister and Grahame Smith


The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross



The London Eye Mystery

The Midnight Fox by Betsy Byers

Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman

The Monsterology Handbook by ‘Ernest Drake’


MacBeth by William Shakespeare (Tony Ross)

Cloud tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

Stone Girl, Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt

The Lion Hunt

The Promise by Nicola Davies


Pig Heart Boy

By Marion


The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

I am David

By Anne Holm

The Boy at the Back of the Class

By Onjali Rauf

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia




Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

Wisp by Zana Fraillon & Grahame Baker-Smith


Pandora’s box

Children of the King by Sonja Hartnett


Golden Skies

Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting


Biography of Alan Turing

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror by Chris Priestly


The Hand by George Leyton

Planetarium by Chris Wormall and Ramen Prinja

Hermelin by Mini Grey


Every class also focuses on a newspaper article and a non-fiction text relating to relevant curriculum areas each term.


Whole school texts, which are read by all classes at once, are rotated over a period of years and have included: Journey, Tuesday and And Tango Makes Three.


These school texts are supported by books children can take home to read or share. All books in school are chosen carefully so that every child can find a book that they have the skills to enjoy. We would recommend that parents read the books (especially in Year 5 and 6) as these books lead them into secondary school and have more grown-up themes and content designed to extend their knowledge and ideas of the world.  


Reading Stamina


We aim to build reading stamina so that children can read independently for increasing periods of time whilst maintaining comprehension and enjoyment of the text. This is important preparation for KS3 and 4. By Key Stage 2 this is communicated with children so they know they should try to read at home regularly for at least:

Year 3: 10 minutes

Year 4: 15 minutes

Year 5: 20-25 minutes

Year 6: 30 minutes.

Clubs like ‘Book and Biscuit’ support children to develop reading stamina.


Skills development


All reading opportunities develop skills. However, reading skills are taught specifically and explicitly in guided reading lessons. Learning objectives are drawn from the Planning Platforms toolkit (HfL) and ensure progression across year groups so that children leave Chambersbury with all the skills of fluent, analytical readers.


Guided reading lessons (daily in Y2 to Y6, 3x week in Y1) and phonics lessons (Nursery to Year 2) follow a teaching sequence each week to cover all skills appropriate to their year group and ensure a good pace of learning.



Guided Reading Plan Y2-6











Vocabulary building

Phonological awareness



Reading the text – building motivation to read through successful experiences

Interrogating the text



Skills development activities:



Preparation to read the text

Learning new words in context

Vocab Builder activity sheet


Echo reading

Shared reading

Independent reading







Group reading

Independent reading

Close reading

Prove it

Oral questioning and discussion

Find and retrieve


Authorial intent

Sentence analysis

Understanding of character



Mind maps

Emotion tracking

Identify messages and themes

Develop motivation to read through links with other media

Links may be made to other subjects relevant to the text

Adjustments and support

Scaffolded activity sheet

Adult support

Recap on Tuesday


Adult support to engage and follow

Post teaching

1:1 reading with adult

Small group reading

Scaffolded support for activities

Paired work


Additional time

1:1 support




Phonics plan



Phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger pupils to master the basics of reading

 - The Education Endowment Foundation (July 2021)


We follow the National Curriculum using a systemic synthetic phonics programme called Essential Letter and Sounds.

Over their 4 years in EYFS/KS1, children will learn the six phases of phonics, alongside the National Curriculum requirements for spelling and grammar.





What do children learn?


All Year

Phase 1

Phonological awareness – noticing syllables, words, sentence structure, onset, rhymes and finally phonemic awareness: recognising individual sounds



Phase 2

Grapheme phoneme correspondence (GPC): the first 29 phonemes/sounds that make up the English language and the letter groups/graphemes we use to write them


Oral blending – making sounds/phonemes into whole words


Decoding – ‘sounding out’ words: making phonemes from graphemes

Encoding – writing words: making graphemes from phonemes


The first 12 words that are ‘tricky’ : harder to read and spell (HRS)



Phase 3

The remaining 29 sounds/phonemes used in English.


Oral blending


32 HRS ‘tricky words’ that can’t easily be sounded out accurately – recognising these words without decoding helps children get fluent quicker


In total, first 50 high frequency words – the words they will see/hear most often in English



(continue to Year 1 Autumn if consolidation is needed)

Phase 4

Oral blending: especially blending two consonants together (No new GPCs or HRS words here)


To recognise and read more tricky words

Learning to decode and encode different combinations of consonants and vowels: CVC, CVCC and CCVC words


By the end of Reception: to write all the letters of the alphabet and write words and sentences

Year 1

All year – including consolidation time

Phase 5

That phonemes/sounds can be written in different ways – alternative spellings


71 new GPCs


Oral blending of all GPCs


Recognising, reading and spelling words that they can’t decode – 29 HRS words


In total, the first 100 high frequency words


Decoding and encoding skills to build on what they’ve already learned


Consolidation of Phase 2-4



Year 2

All year

Phase 6

National Curriculum spelling and grammar

Consolidation of all the decoding, encoding, blending and GPC learning from earlier years – some children may need additional support with Phases 2-5.


To use these skills to read many more words


To develop a larger ‘at a glance’ vocabulary that enables a good reading speed. This speed developed from accurate decoding which reinforces learning.


HRS words are taught carefully and the tricky bits unpicked to support readers to learn them and develop fluency when reading them


Begin to learn associated grammar and punctuation, including apostrophes for contraction


Begin to learn spelling rules, including prefixes and suffixes. This prepares them for spelling learning throughout KS2

KS2 and beyond

Key Stage

Spelling rules and grammar from National Curriculum

Continue to use and apply phonics skills and knowledge when reading for the rest of their lives, including adulthood.

(Are you an adult? Try this. How many syllables in supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? How would you use your phonics skills to spell it/encode it?)


Spelling rules of increasing complexity, according to the National Curriculum word lists for Y3/4 and Year 5/6


Grammar requirements of the National Curriculum for each Year group


Lessons from Essential Letters and Sounds, and all phonics teaching, have a standard structure:

  • Review
  • Teach
  • Practice
  • Apply
  • Review


They follow a weekly teaching sequence.




The aims of assessment are ensure that children are making progress at a good pace, to inform planning and to identify early any children with specific difficulties or at risk of reading challenges.


Teachers keep daily assessment notes for all guided reading and phonics lessons to enable them to target support, address misconceptions and ensure all children are keeping up.


In EYFS/KS1, weekly assessment of learning in phonics sessions, and teacher assessment of how children are using and applying these skills, informs book matching for home reading and planning to help children keep up.

Children in EYFS/Y1/Y2 are also assessed in phonics using ELS's phonics tracking every half term as a minimum until all they are secure up to Phase 6. This is combined with teacher assessments of applied reading skills (eg in writing).

Reading is assessed using Accelerated Reader “Star Reader” tests every half term in KS2, and will be introduced for children moving securely beyond Phase 6 in Y2.

Children in Year 1-6 are assessed for school’s two data collection points using SATs style tests. If a child is not a fluent reader at any of these assessment points, alternative assessments may be used and adjustments made.


Adjustments and support


All teachers make reasonable adjustments for children with SEND in all teaching and learning as part of their high quality teaching practice. Phonics and early reading skills are taught beyond Y2 for children who need additional time on these skills.


In addition, children may take part in interventions to prevent them falling behind their peers or to address specific difficulties. Chambersbury only uses evidence based interventions. All interventions are short and focused to minimise time out of class.


Phonics interventions follow Essential Letters and Sounds. There are 3 programmes:

  • GPC
  • Oral Blending
  • Blending for writing


In addition children may be supported by:

  • Daily 1:1 reading with an adult in school
  • Cued Spelling
  • Precision teaching of HRS/HFW/GPC
  • Precision teaching of spelling rules and patterns


Some children with higher support needs or specific difficulties or disabilities that make acquiring the phonological route to reading more challenging will have individualised curricula. These are co-ordinated by the SENCo with support of external professionals.


Speaking and Listening


Speaking and listening skills are essential to reading, as they are for all learning. They are developed throughout EYFS through their curriculum and daily opportunities for high quality talk with adults. This is especially important for beginning readers who do not yet have the fluency to broaden their vocabulary through reading and need an oral language focus or for children with a language gap (DfE Reading Framework Jan 22), and including learners with EAL.


We focus on building vocabulary in guided reading throughout the school, recognising the dynamic relationship between reading and language learning.


In language development we help children learn:

Tier 1 words: in daily high quality talk and general chat

Tier 2 words: initially through talk, but by KS2 children will need to be reading a wide range of books to encounter Tier 2 words at their level. They are unlikely to develop this vocabulary through everyday talk alone.

Tier 3 words: through reading ambitious high quality texts and ensuring that there is a focus on vocabulary building in all subject areas.


As children progress through the school they increase their oracy skills through discussion, debate and drama, as well as ongoing modelling of good dialogue by adults.


If children continue to find developing these skills difficult, adjustments will be made and children may take part in evidence based interventions. Some children with more extensive needs may work on programmes from Speech and Language Therapists.


And most importantly…

Love of reading


Love of reading is our aim for all children. The teaching of reading at Chambersbury is lovingly planned to bring our children the very best reading experiences combined with the skills they need to get the most out of those experiences. Children have regular opportunities to read for pleasure in school, hear stories read and celebrate reading through Book Week and other events. Class story time, where a teacher reads aloud with complete focus on the class, is an important part of children’s lives at Chambersbury. We provide opportunities to re-read books children have heard or shared: this increases emotional attachment to stories and greater engagement.


Class book corners are warm, inviting places to read where the books are the stars. They are designed to help children find the right book for them. We also want children to see themselves in our books, and so our books are increasingly chosen so children of all cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, families and lived experiences are included.


We know that reading fiction increases important qualities like empathy (Bal & Vetkamp, 2013) and tolerance (Capozze & Giovanni, 2014) and that reading widely and deeply is therefore key to ensuring our children grow up to be change-makers and assets to their community. Children who are able to ‘lose themselves’ in books will experience many different lives and perspectives beyond their own and we encourage, model and want this for our young people.


As children become more independent in their reading, we consider Pennac’s 10 Rights of the Reader and this is shared with children. Pennac says “You can't make someone read. Just as you can't make them fall in love, or dream”. We believe that our teaching of reading should help all children choose to read and that, with our guidance, children will discover a whole world of books to love, to laugh with or cry with, share their triumphs and challenges with and see those very human experiences reflected back at them.



"Pupils at Chambersbury Primary School receive a good quality of education. They know staff want them to do well." OFSTED, November 2022