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Reading is a fundamental part of education and essential for pupils’ success across the curriculum at school and beyond.  Becoming a fluent, engaged and skilful reader begins at the earliest stages. Through conversation and sharing stories, children begin their exposure to new vocabulary and language as well as opening their imaginations.

We intend to equip our children with a strong phonics knowledge giving them the skills to be able to decode and read texts, discovering the joy of reading for themselves.  We place great emphasis on ensuring daily, high quality, systematic, discrete phonics teaching is delivered consistently across our school.  We aim that all children will leave our Infant School with the reading skills they need to access the Junior curriculum with confidence.

Our curriculum also uses a variety of stories and different text types to inspire and enthuse children to read for themselves.

Our intentions for reading are for children to:

  • be able to apply their phonics skills to decode unknown and unfamiliar words
  • read with increasing levels of fluency and accuracy
  • develop their reading comprehension
  • develop a love of reading and books through reading them a wide variety of quality texts above which they can read themselves


At Fairisle, we follow our own systematic synthetic phonics programme adapted from Letters and Sounds.  We teach daily phonics:

Year R – 1 x 25 min direct teaching phonics session and 1 x 10 min revisit session

Year 1 – 1 x 25 min direct teaching phonics session and 1 x 30 min read and apply session

Year 2 – 1 x 25 min direct teaching phonics/spelling session and 1x 30 min read and apply session  

Our phonics curriculum is mapped out in a series of Phonics Milestones which enables teachers to know what sounds to teach when and in which order, making the curriculum progressive. On the day formative and regular summative assessment means teachers can assess children’s progress and make sure planning meets the needs of their current classes. We aim for children to keep up, not catch up and use on the day interventions in Year R to support this.

In school, whilst children learn their phonics, they will be given a phonetically decodable book that is pitched at an instructional level linked with the phonics stage they are currently learning.  They will be encouraged to use their sounds to segment, blend and read known and unknown words.  These books increase in difficulty as the children move up through the colours.  We also use the same decodable books for home readers however children will take home a book which contains the sounds they are secure on.  This allows the children the opportunity to focus on applying these sounds, rapidly blending to read and comprehend rather than learning the new sound.  Children change their book regularly and are encouraged to read and reread their book, gaining familiarity and improving comprehension. Re-reading a book allows children to gain confidence with their fluency when reading and a deeper understanding of the text. Quite often children will pick up something new every time they re-read.


Once children reach a set level of proficiency in reading, they move onto age appropriate texts.  These texts are carefully selected to challenge the children and ensure they can read a mix of unknown and longer words including those containing common suffixes.  These texts ensure we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum whilst also providing enjoyment and enthusiasm to learning. The texts chosen often link to the term’s topic.

Therefore we:

  • ensure phonics is taught in a systematic, progressive way building upon children’s prior learning and skills.
  • provide fully decodable books that the children can access and apply their phonics knowledge to read
  • send home fully decodable books that the children can read by themselves
  • expose children to a variety of high quality texts through a daily story time
  • read a wide variety of text types from a range of different authors, developing children’s comprehension skills


All readers are encouraged to read for pleasure and given the opportunity to choose texts from the book area containing both age appropriate rich texts and decodable book throughout the week.  Quality texts are shared with the children through a daily story time to encourage children to talk about stories and learn the language of comprehension.