Reading & Phonics

At Bishop Bridgeman, we believe that reading is an improtant and vital life skill and we strive for all children to enjoy and value it. We recognize that enjoyment in reading arises from deriving meaning from text. It is our aim to develop and create passionate readers for life.

Guided reading takes place daily. Children are grouped according to ability; each group has at least one guided session per week with either the teacher or teaching assistant. Each child takes home a scheme book every day with a reading record. The children share their books with an appropriate adult in school at least once a week. The adult asks questions relevent to the interest of the child and encourages predictions. The children are encouraged to decode unknown words using appropriate strategies. A 'Class Reader' is also used to encourage children's enjoyment of literature, which is read as a class novel regularly.

At Bishop Bridgeman Church of England Primary School, reading is delivered through books and resources from a wide range of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Collins and Rigby Star. These stories are carefully written using simple, natural-sounding language as well as subject matter children can be excited about and relate to. Key words are repeated throughout the storybooks so that children can gradually increase the number of words they can recognize and read. All texts are banded into a colour and children progress through the bands until they are recognized as a free reader and will have access to books from our challenging reading materials.


We begin the process of learning to read in the Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1, where we believe that the systematic teaching of phonics is the fastest and most effective way of enabling young children to start reading. Phonics is planned using "Letters and Sounds," which provides the basis for our systamatic, clear teaching of sounds and spelling patterns. To enhance the teaching of Phonics, other resources are used to build a varied, fun and systematic approach to all teaching. Makaton signs are also incorporated, where appropriate, for the teaching of graphemes as well as key words.

Our programme is structured in such a way as to ensure the teaching of phonics is systematic and that progress is built on from year to year. By the end of Year 2, it is our expectation that the vast majority of children will be fluent readers and will no longer need explicit phonics teaching for reading. For those children who are not at the expected level by the end of Year 2, they will continue to receive phonics teaching in Key Stage 2. Once children have surpassed the final phase of "Letters and Sounds," they begin the "Support For Spelling" programme, which is continued until children leave at the end of Upper Key Stage 2.

Phonics is taught every day in the Early Years and Key Stage 1. This will either be by a phonics-trained teaching assisstant or the child's class teacher. All children work in groups according to the phase of phonics they are currently working on. Children are placed in a suitable group across their own key stage. This allows children to develop and build on previous knowledge.