Aldbury C of E Primary and Nursery School


‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’

(OECD 2002)


The books that children encounter during teaching and learning or through reading for pleasure have been carefully audited and chosen to reflect cultural diversity, individual experiences and to include high quality stories, poems and information books.


The Teaching of Early Reading

In KS1 reading is taught using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Individual reading books are read 3x through the week in small adult led groups with a book closely matched to children's phonic ability. Reading books go home on a Thursday with a reading log book and come back into school Monday. Half termly Little Wandle phonics assessments and book matching grids are used to provide the correct level book. Reception have adult led reading sessions in the morning and KS1 have their reading sessions in the afternoon. Teacher and support staff swap groups regularly and have a Little Wandle guidance sheet created by the reading leader (Emma Vardy), to make sure all reading sessions are consistent and follow the same routine. 


Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:


Decoding: The skill of reading an unfamiliar word, tricky word or exploring vocabulary.


Prosody: Teaching children to read with understanding and expression


Comprehension: Teaching children to understand the text.


Each of the 3 sessions begins with the children reading flashcards of words, tricky words and new vocabulary in the book. An adult taps in to listen to children's independent reading each session. Children are aware that by the time the book goes home with them, it shouldn't be difficult and most words they can lend in their heads or read fluently. 


In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read book


At Aldbury we believe that consistency in the teaching and learning of phonics is key. All staff use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load. The Reading Leader and SLT use the Audit and Prompt cards to monitor and observe teaching once a term. 


Reading Books for Children who have completed Little Wandle 

Once children are secure with their phonic knowledge, children have an independent coloured coded book from the the Big Cat Collins book bands. The progressive reading scheme goes up to Year 6 and ensures children have a reading book which is matched to their reading ability. Children are assessed using running records before they move on to the next colour book in the scheme. Each child has a reading log that they take home.


Reading Sessions for KS2

Children in Class 3 have a whole class text that is linked to the terms topic. Children have daily reading sessions with a targeted learning outcome to learn different decoding and comprehension skills. Activities are differentiated and targeted towards children's next steps in learning. 


Reading for Pleasure Books

All children can pick a reading for pleasure book to go home for parents to share and read to children. This can be from the class libraries or from the Reading Road Map book collection.

Please see below for more about the Reading Road Map


Support for Parents and Carers

A curriculum evening is held at the start of each academic year for each class to discuss the reading and writing expectations for each year group. In Reception and KS1 this includes a parent introduction to Little Wandle and daily reading sessions. 


A Little Wandle parent presentation is given by the Reading Leader (Miss Vardy) in the Spring term to explain how phonics and early reading is taught in the school. The workshop also enables parents to support their children at home. 


Inspiring a Love of Reading

We believe that the ability to read with confidence, fluency, understanding and enjoyment is of paramount importance for all. Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading and stories are shared daily in each class. Throughout the year children across the school have opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits, World Book Day, writing competitions). In Class 1 (N and Rec), children are encouraged to borrow a reading pet to read to or vote weekly for the new class text. 


Little Wandle reading sessions for Reception/ Year 1 

From Reception, children will take part in Reading sessions, where children are taught reading skills and strategies. Teachers plan and teach lessons everyday using the Aldbury comprehension skills and vocabulary. In Class 1 reading is guided and whole class, Class 2 this is done using a whole class text and echo reading. Class 3 and 4 use a whole class book linked to the class topic to engage the children and promote a love of reading. Some sessions include independent  and differentiated activities. The focus will be on consolidating their phonic skills, understanding the application of grammar and punctuation and developing their interpretation of text structure, organisation, plot, character, use of language etc. This session takes place outside of the main English lesson.


Support for the Lowest 20% of Readers

The lowest 20% of readers are carefully monitored in each class.

Little Wandle Heat Maps allow for adaptive teaching and support the teacher in planning.

In KS1 plans are annotated and review words added into lessons for extra practice. Provision maps are completed for each class to monitor keep up and interventions.

Children are re assessed every 3 weeks to check progress and that children are on the correct reading book. Daily reading for individuals and precision teaching is used to support readers.

In KS2 echo reading and pre-teaching is used to support readers. Extracts for reading sessions are sent home before a lesson for a small group of children and a teacher led group occurs during reading sessions.