Reading and Phonics

At Hob Hill Primary School we aim to create a stimulating literacy environment in which children are actively encouraged to enjoy books, and are motivated to want to read independently from an early age. We believe that pupils should be taught to read effectively for different purposes, acquire key phonics skills and understand the rules governing the structure of language.

Reading is initially taught alongside ‘Letters and Sounds’. This promotes the teaching of synthetic phonics to aid the teaching and learning of reading. As part of this scheme the children will be taught to:

      • discriminate between different sounds in words;
      • learn the letters and letter combinations most commonly used to spell sounds;
      • read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts;
      • study written representatives of a sound and how it looks;
      • recognise on sight vocabulary identified as ‘ tricky words’

Foundation Stage

Children are taught to read in the Foundation stage using letters and sounds. They are introduced to 'Letters and Sounds' (Phases 1-3) throughout their time in Foundation Stage, which will give them good foundations for learning to read. The Reception high frequency words are introduced alongside reading books for children to develop a good sight vocabulary. We aim to provide continuous opportunities to apply new phonic knowledge and integrate phonics in to our play on a daily basis. From the Spring term onwards, Reception children participate in guided reading sessions once a week, building up to twice a week in the Summer term.

Key Stage One

Teachers continue to build on the children’s reading skills by modelling good reading and teaching the remaining phases from Letters and Sounds. The children have the weekly guided reading lessons where teachers can target ability groups and teach specific skills. Children are introduced to a range of text types including multicultural stories, poems, rhymes, fairy tales, traditional tales, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, non fiction texts, picture books and stories by significant authors. Children are taught how to read for meaning and answer questions about texts looking at characterisation and plot.

Key Stage Two

Teachers are responsible for continuing the phonics programme with the children who need extra support in reading. Children then follow a spelling scheme aligned to the National Curriculum which teaches spelling families and rules. Children are given opportunities to read for pleasure and participate in guided reading. A range of genres are introduced to older children including autobiographies, letters, diaries, short stories, poems and play scripts. Through shared reading and weekly guided reading sessions, children are taught how to analyse texts and comment on the author's use of language.

Reading at Home

There are over 200 free e-books on the Oxford Owl website, along with guidance for parents on helping their child to read.  Click the image to visit the website.

Reading Schemes

The core reading scheme is Big Cat Literacy. This is supplemented by other schemes to develop children’s reading skills. Such schemes include provision to support reluctant readers, higher achieving readers and engaging boys in reading. Books are chosen at the appropriate level for the children. Children read their home reading book once a week to an adult. Comments on the children’s progress are noted in a home school diary. Along side their home reading (banded) book children are encouraged to chose and take home a library book as well. Children are encouraged to complete tasks linked to their library book which can be found in their reading task book.


At Hob Hill our children have access to a lovely library! They are given a set day to choose reading books from the library and we see this as a very important way in which to develop independent reading. The library is also used across the curriculum for research.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Identified children are withdrawn to receive extra phonics support using Nessy and other intervention programmes. Progress of groups is monitored on a regular basis and targets are identified for individual Student Support Plans (SSPs) where necessary.