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Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading at Duke of Bedford

At The Duke of Bedford Primary School our intent is that every child becomes a fluent reader by the age of 7 (end of ks1) to enable them to access life long learning across the curriculum.
We aspire for all of our children to have access to a rich, diverse and varied reading diet that fosters a love of books and reading. In turn this will create independent readers and thinkers that can make independent, informed choices about their books and what they enjoy most. 

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Phonics and early reading

At our school we are following the Little Wandle letters and sounds programme for teaching early reading. There is a substantial body of evidence which demonstrates that systematic synthetic phonics is the most effective method for teaching all children to read. Phonics teaches children how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make, and blend these sounds together to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to decode new words that they see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

All of our pupils from Pre-School, EYFS and Year 1 take part in daily whole class phonics lessons. Pupils who are identified as needing further support with early reading take part in small group catch up sessions in order to bring them closer to the age related expectations for reading. Pupils in classes beyond Year 1 who still require phonics sessions to develop their decoding and fluency skills take part in small group catch up sessions as part of their weekly timetable. 

Alongside daily phonics lessons, our pupils in EYFS and Key Stage One take part in Reading practise sessions three times per week with adults in the class. These sessions encourage development of reading fluency as well as reading comprehension skills. 

Please click here to be redirected to the parent support area of the Little Wandle website. The resources on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so that you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home. Below is a link to a useful document for parents and other adults who are involved in supporting pupils with learning to read, it explains a lot of the terminology used within our phonics lessons in school so that this can be reinforced at home.




All of our pupils in EYFS and Year 1, as well as invited pupils from Year 2 and beyond, have access to the 'Collins ebook library.' This is a valuable resource where pupils can access phonetically decodable books that are assigned by your child's teacher which match their current phonic ability. Your child will be given their own unique login information to access the ebook library. Please click here to access the website, login and start your online reading experience. 

 If you would like more information about how to help your child with their reading at home, please speak to your child's class teacher in the first instance. 

Fostering a life long love of reading

Across our school we endeavour to expose our pupils to a wide range of high quality, engaging and inspirational texts. Our class teachers have worked hard to develop year group reading spines so that children have access to age related texts from a range of genres including classic and up and coming authors. 

In Key Stage Two pupils take part in daily whole class guided reading sessions which revolve around the use of the Reading Vipers. Pupils engage with class texts and extracts using the comprehension skills of understanding vocabulary, inference, making predictions, explaining, retrieval sequencing and summarising.



Below are links to supporting documents that we use in school and that can be used at home to help support discussions and understanding of the books that children are reading for pleasure. 



 Reading for Pleasure

 Below are some links to texts that have been recommended for primary aged children.





 We would also like to direct you to this website which is updated regularly with recommended texts for each year group.