Reading and Phonics Provision at Laygate Community School

Reading in School



  • At Laygate Community School, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. 
  • We appreciate the need for robust teaching of early reading and phonics so children can fully access the curriculum as early as possible. 
  • We are dedicated to ensure that all children can read fluently by the time they leave Year 6.
  • We aim to provide a rich reading environment alongside the development of talk and vocabulary so that our pupils can develop their comprehension skills and will be able to use and apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
  • We aim to secure progress for all readers. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. 
  • We aim to develop reading across the curriculum.
  • We believe that as they become enthusiastic and critical readers, this will instil a love of reading and a lifelong enjoyment of reading. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles. 
  • We aim to make effective use of assessment information to inform the teaching of and provision of reading.
  • We ensure there is sufficient support for those pupils who are new to the school and who are learning English as an additional language.



Early Reading and Phonics Programme

  • In Reception and KS1 a dedicated daily, discrete phonics session is delivered following the Read Write Inc scheme.
  • The children are grouped in homogenous groups to support rapid progress through the RWInc phonics programme. 
  • In KS1, extra sessions to revisit phonics learning are provided during afternoons and make use of the RWInc phonics online films.
  • Teachers complete regular Read Write Inc. assessments and plot children onto a tracking grid, which ensures children are grouped appropriately.  
  • In KS2 those pupils who have not passed their Year 2 re-sit of the Phonics Screen or those newly arrived pupils who do not have basic decoding skills, receive small group interventions to close the gaps using the RWInc Phonics Scheme, Lexia and 1:1 reading.
  • Both teachers and support staff lead RWInc sessions.
  • The English Lead monitors the phonics provision through learning walks/observations and meets regularly with staff to revisit teaching strategies and to ensure a consistent approach.
  • The school’s subscription to Oxford Owl and the Ruth Miskin Portal provides a wide range of quality training and teaching resources including online films.
  • These films also provide a chance for teaching and support staff to revisit and discuss teaching strategies.


Quality First Teaching

  • Teaching follows the Literacy Spine which provides a sequence of quality texts from Foundation Stage through to Year 6. The texts have been chosen so our pupils regularly listen to, read and discuss a wide range of texts within their English lessons. These include different forms of poetry; rhymes; non-fiction; fairy stories; myths and legends; folk tales; modern fiction; fiction from literary heritage; plays; books from other cultures and traditions; whole books; reference books or textbooks; use of dictionaries.
  • Shared reading sessions allow the class texts from the Literacy Spine (EYFS to Y6) to be read and discussed alongside a range of planned reading activities e.g., DERIC (Decode, Explain, Retrieve, Interpret, Choice), word of the day, theatre of reading, & book talk. In EYFS, a range of books, poems, rhymes and songs are also shared based on the children’s interests and the learning across the environment.
  • Through the Talk 4 Writing process, the children are immersed in the texts using drama and role-play, music and film.
  • Opportunities to read are planned for and built into the wider curriculum.
  • Reading Plus is used from Y3 onwards to target word-reading speed and to practise fluency, vocabulary acquisition and comprehension. Some more able Year 2 pupils may access Reading Plus if they have completed the phonics programme.


Developing Reading for Pleasure

  • Throughout the year there are events and activities to further enhance and promote reading such as World Book Day, book fairs, competitions with our local library and performances from theatre groups.
  • The children are assigned home-school reading books (one closely matched to phonic ability or reading age and one as a free choice).
  • The English Lead monitors home/school readers using running records which ensure readers have books well-matched to their reading ability.
  • To develop reading for pleasure, each class has a daily read aloud or story-time session so children listen to a wide range of texts (Reading for Pleasure Spine).
  • Our school library is located in the KS2 building where classes, groups or individuals can visit to browse and borrow books. Also, classes can use this space for story-time or research for the wider curriculum. A smaller reading area with centrally stocked reading books is located in KS1.
  • Books are made available for the outside area in EYFS and for playtimes on the KS1 and KS2 yards.
  • Each classroom has an attractive and welcoming reading area and selected books are displayed and made available with links to the wider curriculum.


Guided Reading

  • In KS1 and KS2 daily discrete guided reading sessions are delivered supported by schemes such as Rigby Star, Rigby Navigator, Scholastic Connectors and resources by John Murray.
  • KS1 pupils receive guided reading once a week working in small ability groups of 6-8 pupils. KS1 staff focus on decoding, developing fluency, and basic retrieval skills alongside vocabulary acquisition. When pupils are reading fluently this is followed by basic deduction and inference skills.
  • KS2 pupils work in larger groups of up to 20 or more pupils following an agreed cycle of guided reading skills. This is based on a layered approach to develop and embed core reading skills. Teachers model reading aloud, using retrieval skills, developing the higher order reading skills of inference and deduction and authorial intent. There is a strong focus on vocabulary acquisition within the guided reading cycle. Each cycle involves a supported comprehension followed by an opportunity to complete a comprehension independently which is used to monitor progress.
  • Opportunities to use other reading resources/strategies can be used e.g., the FFT Reciprocal Reading Programme which is targeted at Y5/6 pupils.


Assessment and Monitoring of Reading

  • Once a term, a Reading Age Test (Hodder Group Reading Test) is used to show if pupils are on track to meet age-related expectations. This also helps staff to match reading books to ability.
  • Pupils are assessed during termly assessment weeks using Optional SATs style reading tests (in Years 1-6) and through learning checkpoints in EYFS.
  • Formative and summative assessments are used by teachers to measure attainment and progress.
  • Reading Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the National Curriculum statements for reading are used to support judgements and inform next steps.
  • Newly arrived EAL pupils are assessed for phonics/early reading skills and support is given through a range of resources e.g., Lexia, RWInc, Racing to English.
  • The English Lead monitors reading through regular learning walks, book scrutinies and lesson observations.
  • Assessments inform planning and teaching and actions are planned to support individuals and groups through the termly pupil progress meetings.



  • In EYFS the children experience a wide range of activities in Communication and Language and Literacy which gives them the foundations needed to transition into Year 1 whilst also becoming fluent and confident readers in KS1 and KS2. 
  • The curriculum planning ensures skills progression and opportunities to revisit different reading skills within English units.
  • The pupils make progress due to texts which are well-matched to their ability and interests.
  • The curriculum allows our children to develop an enthusiasm for reading which helps them to communicate effectively.
  • The children become fluent and able readers who can use their reading skills to access the wider curriculum.
  • The children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. 
  • The children show an enthusiasm and interest in reading and develop habits for lifelong reading.
  • Our pupils leave the school ready for their transition into Year 7 and are better able to access the KS3 English curriculum.
  • The impact of our English curriculum is also measured through statutory tests and the Year 1 Phonics Screen
  • Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. 
  • Results/assessments are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. 


See the English Policy for more detail.