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Harthill Primary School

‘A school at the heart of its village’



'The teaching of phonics is a strength and, in 2017, all pupils in Year 1 met the expectations of the phonics screening check. this provides a strong platform for pupils to be able to read more fluently and to develop an understanding of what they read.'  (OFSTED July 2018)


The development of reading skills is of fundamental importance throughout the school. Great emphasis is placed upon motivating children towards reading as a source of great pleasure and enjoyment. The development of fluent reading skills depends very much upon practising, and curriculum pressures on time mean that this practice must continue to take place out of school.


Children, nowadays, have many pressures on their leisure time and will only read if they are motivated to do so. Parents play a vital role in helping to motivate their children towards reading throughout the children's primary school career. Sharing books with your child, talking about books, using the public library service, reading to your children are all vital in a child's reading journey - please do not let these activities stop just because your child has reached the age of 7 (or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11!). We actively encourage parents, grandparents and members of the local community to come into school to hear children read. If you would like to help, please let us know. 


We use all of the above strategies (and more) to teach our children to read. We are very well-resourced for books and, as children develop in competence, they are introduced to a wide range of reading material. At first, the emphasis is on pre-reading skills and the learning of a basic sight vocabulary. The children progress to the learning of letter sounds and blends (phonic skills) and the development of a 'word attack' strategy i.e. the ability to use phonic and other skills. The early development of reading skills must not be rushed or treated as a race - either by children or parents.


We host reading meetings/workshops where we introduce to parents how we teach reading through school: the resources we use to support this and ways that parents can help their children at home. Alongside the workshops, we produce letters and documents which give parents guidance on how to support their child's reading at home. Please see the links below.


Phonics is taught daily at KS1 and we use the Letters and Sounds scheme as well as Phonics Bugs resources to support teaching and learning.


A whole class reading approach is used for reading in KS1 and KS2 where children develop their inference skills. The skills involved in reading for information are also emphasised, particularly during the child's junior years. The importance of comprehension - including fiction, non-fiction and poetry - is stressed, and is one of the aspects included in the careful monitoring of individual reading progress which is undertaken by all teachers. 

Reading support for your child: comprehension questions and the language of inference

Reading Slides used in the KS1 and KS2 Reading Meetings September 2019