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Between the ages of four and nine, your child will have to master some one hundred phonics rules, learn to recognise three thousand words with just a glance, and develop a comfortable reading speed approaching one hundred words a minute. He must learn to combine words on the page with a half-dozen squiggles called punctuation into something – a voice or image in his mind that gives back meaning. (Paul Kropp, 1996)


Nothing is more important in education than ensuring that every child can read well. Research shows that children who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school and achieve good qualifications. The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension. It is essential that teaching focuses on developing children’s competence in both dimensions.


At Stokenchuch, our children learn phonics and spelling from nursery onwards whilst being immersed in an extensive range of situations that involve reading for meaning. We use Jolly Phonics, Phonics Bug and Phonics Play in order to fully support the teaching of Letters and Sounds.


Children enjoy English lessons based round fiction or non-fiction texts, which they use to explore a wide range of issues. SEN pupils are supported in accessing the same texts as their peers, developing a sophisticated vocabulary and internalizing the rhythmic patterns of written language. Pupils develop tenacity and perseverance through reading challenging books. The children enjoy regular read aloud sessions and choose books to read themselves from a wide range in the class collections or the extensive school library. We completely endorse and encourage buddy reading across phases to promote our love of reading and engage our children on all levels.


At Stokenchurch, children's reading at home is supported through access to our reading scheme, Oxford Reading Tree (ORT). In order to provide the widest choice and the best opportunities to explore well-matched, leveled reading books for individual children, our central ORT scheme is supplemented with books from other schemes (such as Collin's Big Cat and Rigby Star). The inclusion of book bands (colour-banded books) ensures that children always have access to a book suited to their individual reading needs regardless of which scheme it is from. 


Once children have completed the phonics matched reading books, they join the main scheme at Level 6 and will progress at their own pace through the levels (up to Level 20).  Throughout each of the levels, they will focus on the READ skills (retrieve; explore; analyse; deduce and infer).