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Angel Road Junior School

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Phonics and Reading

How we teach phonics at Angel Road Junior School

Information for parents to support with reading at home


Our Reading statement

Reading is a very high priority in our schools.


In order to have an effective and aspirational curriculum in reading, both reading for pleasure and highly effective reading skills are central to the learning culture at the Angel Road schools. This is because we recognise the long term benefits of being a good reader, and conversely the significant detrimental impact on life chances of being a poor or non-reader.


Our 6 guiding principles

Balance Rigour Relevance Coherence Big ideas Engagement


Why should we teach Reading? – Our Intent

  • We are determined that every child will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
  • To quickly build on and enhance children’s early reading experiences.
  • To provide a rich reading curriculum which both challenges and develops a love of books.
  • To build on phonological awareness, to learn to read and gain knowledge for themselves and access information in the next stages of their learning across the curriculum.
  • To provide children with the confidence and knowledge of literature and books to help them access their world and learning.


The big ideas in Reading

  • Phonological awareness and phonics
  • Fluency – efficient pace, intonation, expression, control
  • Comprehension – to make meaning from a text
  • Confidence – to express personal views, to read aloud and independently
  • Pleasure, curiosity and inspiration
  • Vocabulary
  • Life- long value
  • Unlocks other learning- Matthew effect


How is the teaching of Reading organised? – Our Implementation

  • Reading is prioritised to allow children to access the full curriculum and develop skills for future learning.
  • A rigorous approach to the teaching of reading focusses on fluency, confidence and reading for pleasure.
  • Children read across the curriculum and have access to a wide range of high quality texts and authors.
  • Pie Corbett’s Talk for Reading book spine is used as a guide, to ensure that the pitch of books chosen are suitably challenging. This runs alongside the systematic teaching of phonics through Read Write Inc phonics and reading programme.
  • The schools have developed expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading that ensures consistency and high expectations.
  • Direct phonics is taught consistently every day in Year R to Year 2 and as needed in Years 3 to 6. In Nursery children develop phonological awareness. Children are supported to read books with sounds they know as these books are explicitly linked to the phonics taught. Children practice reading at home.
  • We encourage parents to share stories at home.
  • The lowest attaining readers have extra practise during the day and there is a focus on our disadvantaged readers having additional 1:1 reading sessions to allow them to rapidly close the gap with their peers.
  • Independent reading is encouraged to help children develop fluency and to become self-reliant readers. This is modelled by teachers regularly reading aloud.
  • Children are encouraged to share and discuss their understanding of books through a dialogic approach where all children’s ideas and opinions are valued.
  • Children are read to regularly by an adult. Adults read aloud stories, poems and non-fiction that develop children’s vocabulary, language comprehension and a love of reading. These are tracked by the subject leader to ensure a broad and balanced range of texts are chosen (classics, new authors, historical, multi-cultural) and to challenge any bias or stereotypes.
  • Comprehension is taught through whole class guided reading with a focus on teaching vocabulary and background knowledge through appropriate pedagogy; supporting children to make links and increasing their schematas. This encourages children to connect knowledge and understanding across the curriculum.
  • Book talk and the explicit teaching of vocabulary raises the attainment of all children and is particularly important for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • In our environments, books are arranged and selected carefully in classes and around the school to give a high profile to the love of reading for pleasure and sharing stories.
  • Class readers are carefully chosen to engage and stimulate a love of literature.
  • World Book Day, book events and author visits support these aims.
  • Opportunities to read across the curriculum are carefully planned so children link reading with wider learning.


What difference will this make? – Our Impact

  • All children, including the weakest readers, make good progress from their starting points to meet or exceed age-related expectations.
  • Children are familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
  • Children’s reading skills are developed through focussed guided reading sessions with the teacher, whole class discussion and further complimented through read-aloud curriculum with each year group having a specific selection of books to read to them therefore closing the vocabulary gap for our most disadvantaged children.