Reading at Thornton


Reading at Thornton

At Thornton Primary, we aim to ensure that ALL children become successful readers with a life long love for reading. We priorities the teaching of reading: word reading and reading comprehension. Reading comprehension develops through pupil’s experiences of high-quality discussion around a range of reading material including: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, comics, picture books, newspapers, e-books and more. We encourage children to read widely both at school and at home to help build their knowledge across the curriculum. Our children also have access to the Reading plus programme which is supplementary to the teaching of Reading in school and can be accessed at home. 

Teaching of Phonics

Children are taught using a variety of reading strategies including phonic skills, comprehension and word recognition. Children are encouraged to learn keywords so that they can recognise a large number of words by sight which makes their reading more fluent. Here at Thornton, we are following the FFT Success for All Phonics programme. This is a detailed and systematic synthetic programme for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of children becoming fluent readers. It has been validated by the DFE.

  • A complete Phonics teaching programme
  • Based on the Letters and Sounds progression sequence
  • Validated by DfE
  • Clear structure of six phases which include reading, writing and spelling

The development of these skills leads to the enjoyment of all kinds of books, the appreciation of different genres and the ability to access information independently.

Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across lower KS2 and for any children who still require phonic support in upper KS2. The FFT Success for All Phonics sessions provides opportunity for children to revisit their previous phonics learning, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned. The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases of the programme.

Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book with no words with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually, as the children's knowledge of phonics develops they begin to phonetically decode words. Children then move on to accessing reading books from their class libraries to read for pleasure and a guided reading text matched to their reading ability. Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next reading band when their fluency and understanding during guided reading sessions and on-going assessments show that they are ready. Children have regular opportunities to choose an appropriate book to read from our well-stocked class libraries, as well as our school library.