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​​​Reading At Greystones


We believe, that  as a school, the greatest gift that we can give a child is the ability to read. More than that we want children to develop a real love of reading and books.

Reading is an absolute priority in our school, to this end we have spent almost £10,000 on books in the last two years.

Approach to Phonics: In Foundation 2 and Key Stage 1 we teach letters and sounds, a systematic, synthetic phonics approach using the Phonics Bug scheme as a basis for learning.  Click on the logo below to access their website:

​We expect children to be 'masters' of Phase 3 by the end of Foundation 2, 'masters' of Phase 4 by the end of Year 1 and 'masters' of Phase 5 by the end of Year 2 and working with confidence and alacrity withPhase 6.

1:1 reading in FS2/KS1

Our policy in school is that every child gets read with every week as part of a Guided Read or 1:1 with a teacher or TA. In FS2, Y1, Y2 and through in to Key Stage 2 we record these reading sessions in their reading diaries every week. All children in school have a reading diary.

In addition to this (not instead of it) the children may have a Reading Buddy or read with the fantastic volunteers who commit so much of their time to school (and we are eternally grateful for this!).

The children who struggle to learn to read in their first three years at school are our highest priority. For children who are making slow progress, Guided Reading once a week is useful but it isn't enough to help them make the progress they need to so they can reach the end of KS1 reading attainment we would expect children at Greystones to have.

1:1 reading with a teacher in FS2, Y1 and Y2 for those children whose progress is a cause for concern (i.e. they are unlikely to meet age-related expectations by the end of the year):

  • They will read with a teacher and a TA twice a week 1:1.
  • As well as reading with their teacher, these children may spend additional time reading with a TA 1:1, who are also highly skilled in the teaching of reading.

Learning to Read at Greystones


Teaching Reading Skills
The National Curriculum defines reading as a combination of word-reading skills and comprehension. At Greystones we teach these skills explicitly in a number of ways:

  • Guided Reading sessions (all year groups)
  • Book Study lessons (whole-class reading lessons in Y2 – Y6) these sessions specifically teach reading comprehension skills involving, recall, retrieval of facts, understanding of vocabulary, inference and deduction skills and an analysis of authorial intent.
  • Discrete daily synthetic phonics lessons (FS2, KS1 and also, where necessary, in KS2)
  • 1:1 reading teaching with a Teacher or Teaching Assistant (in FS2, KS, KS2)
  • English lessons
  • Additional individual and small group reading interventions (for those children whose attainment in any aspect of reading is a cause for concern in all year groups).

Children also apply their reading skills in all areas of the curriculum. They use independent and supported reading to further their learning.

Reading For Pleasure
As teachers we understand how important it is that children have positive reading experiences they enjoy and learn from so they are motivated to read independently.  Children in each class have opportunities every day to choose and read from a wide selection of texts (stories, picture books, information texts, reference books, comics, poetry, joke books, song lyrics etc). Children in all classes are regularly read to, e.g. during story-time at the end of the day and they take part in frequent discussions about stories, poetry and information texts. Across school, Guided Reading and Book Study texts have been carefully selected so children participate with interest and enthusiasm.

Guided Reading and Book Study
Guided Reading involves a group of children with similar reading attainment reading with their class teacher for 20 – 30 minutes. Meanwhile the other children in the class participate in independent, reading-focussed activities. This lesson is repeated daily. Word-reading and comprehension skills are taught during Guided Reading.
Book Study focuses on teaching comprehension skills and involves the whole class reading the same text. The teacher reads aloud while the children follow in their own texts. Each lesson has a specific learning objective and the children are taught to discuss and answer focussed questions about the text.

In Year 2 to Year 6 we teach alternate Guided Reading and Book Study lessons each half-term.

Aut Term 1                          Guided Reading
Aut Term 2                          Book Study
Spring Term 1                     Guided Reading
Spring Term 2                     Book Study
Summer Term 1                  Guided Reading
Summer Term 1                  Book Study

During half-terms when the class reading focus is Book Study, those children whose word-reading is unlikely to match National Curriculum age-expectations by the end of the year continue to have Guided Reading/Individual Reading sessions in addition to Book Study.


Reading Interventions:

Improving the reading skills of children who are attaining below their year group expectations is every teacher's highest priority. Teachers work to provide quality first teaching for all children in their class. Children whose word-reading or comprehension skills are giving cause for concern (i.e. they are unlikely to meet the national expectations for their year group by the end of the year) are given regular 1:1 and small group reading support within their class. In addition to this, their learning is supported in the following ways:
Reading Buddies (trained volunteers from the community who read 1:1 once or twice a week with the same KS1 child)
Project X Code (A synthetic phonics programme from Oxford Reading Tree, led by a Teaching Assistant working with a group of up to 4 children. 4 sessions per week. Currently running in Y2, Y3 , Y4)
Greystones Reading Project (A 10 week project to encourage regular home-reading practice and develop better links between home and school to support children's reading. Y2 – Y6).
Fischer Family Trust (1:1 reading support with a specially trained teaching assistant, tailored to child's specific gaps in reading skills. Three times per week for half an hour).
1:1 Reading (In Year 1 and Year 2, each Teaching Assistant is assigned 2 children for each term. The TA reads for 15 minutes daily with each child, tailoring the reading instruction to that child's reading needs).


Partnership with Home:

We encourage parents to read regularly to their children so children enjoy books and are motivated to read independently. We also run reading workshops to explain how we teach reading at school so parents feel confident about supporting their child's reading at home. Parents are strongly encouraged to practise reading  at home at least three times each week and we support parents with ideas of how to go about this. In addition we encourage parents to use and fill in the reading diaries.

Consistency and continuity

It is important that children's experiences of how reading is taught are consistent throughout school. This is especially important for those children who find learning to read difficult. We have worked to ensure that the phonics learning and resources the children encounter in FS2 continue to used and built on in KS1 and then in to Year 3.  We have developed the KS2 teachers' knowledge of phonics too so they understand the approaches to reading the children have used in KS1 and ensure continuity. ​