Reading at Thornton

Reading at Thornton

Thornton Primary has a fantastic array of reading materials, both fiction and non- fiction. In the lower phase of our school, we use the ‘Bug Club’ which is a reading programme that hooks children into a lifelong love of reading through stunning books and an incredible online reading world, that are filled to the brim with kid- favourite characters. This scheme is supplemented with books from the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme which includes the much-loved characters of Biff and Chip.

Teaching of Phonics and Reading

At Thornton Primary School we aim to develop a lifelong love of reading in our children.   We also aim to provide opportunities for pupils to establish good habits in reading, appreciate it as a subject in its own right and use skills taught to access the wider curriculum.  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. Systematic synthetic phonics teaching is based on Letters and Sounds and children progress through the phases to learn more complex phonics which is also linked to the teaching of 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 is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across KS2 for any children who still require support.The Letters and Sound programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by resources from Rapid Phonics, Read Write Inc Phonics, Phonics Bug, Floppy Phonics, Phonics Play Website, Espresso and other ICT games. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, 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 Letters and Sounds.

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 letters and sounds develop they begin to phonetically decode words.  Our reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands. Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book 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.