At Speldhurst, we intend to help broaden children’s minds and strengthen their knowledge through high quality teaching of reading and writing, differentiated for individual pupils.  We aim for all children to love books, both narrative and non-narrative, and engage happily in what they read and what is read to them.  There can be few better ways to improve pupils’ chances in school, or beyond, than to enable them to become enthused, independent readers.



Reading in Key Stage 1

In KS1, reading is taught predominantly through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics. This is supplemented with guided reading, reading for drama and music, independent reading, class stories, library time, buddy reading and weekly 1:1 reading time. Reading is embedded across the curriculum, including using fiction and non-fiction texts for topic-based learning.

Systematic synthetic phonics is an ordered way of teaching children to recognise letters and combine sounds to make a full word. Letter-sound correspondence is taught through a highly structured synthetic phonic approach. We use a highly structured approach with the scheme Supersonic Phonics Friends.  In KS1 children learn 44 different sounds and up to 144 alternative spellings of those sounds, made by individual letters, pairs and clusters of letters. Some words cannot be sounded out by using phonics and simply need to be learnt by sight – these are called common exception words.

Children will also take reading books home to share with their parents and caregivers. These books are banded and have strongly patterned language and picture cues, as well as supporting material for parents. In Reception, children will take two books home each week and in years 1 and 2 children can change their book daily or as often as needed.

High quality texts are used consistently; these vary in genre, including picture books, non-fiction and poetry.

Reading in Key Stage 2


In KS2, we explicitly teach the 8 reading domains:


  • Word meanings
  • Fact retrieval
  • Summarising
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Text meanings
  • Use of language
  • Comparisons


Children engage in discussions about writing techniques used and participate in a wide variety of activities for each reading domain; this enables them to fully comprehend text and apply these techniques to their own writing.

We use engaging core texts, chosen carefully to link with the current topic, which inspire, motivate and develop the teaching of English.  Each day, teachers read aloud from inspiring texts.  Independently, children read books within their ZPD (zone of proximal development) which is set termly through the Accelerated Reader assessment. 

Classes are well-stocked with quality and engaging books and our school library provides both a place of excitement to enjoy choosing even more books and a calm, comfortable environment to read in.  Children are encouraged to read at home for a recommended amount of time according to their year group.


The learning environment is used to support and enhance learning with working walls that act as a reference point and displays that share work the children are proud of.  Teachers make well-informed recommendations of books and authors to match the interests of pupils and children are encouraged to recommend books to each other.