Our Approach to Reading

At St Crispin’s we promote a love of books and reading from the children’s first days with us. We foster a reading culture that starts with sharing books for sheer pleasure – we really want children to enjoy reading!

Reading is a very important part of our everyday school life. It is central to everything we do and children are exposed to different types of text as soon as they begin in Reception. Reading books are placed in coloured bands that get gradually harder as the children progress. They start with books which have no words to develop good reading behaviours and progress to complex fiction and non-fiction texts. Children are usually heard read at least once a week, individually and in guided reading. We use a variety of different reading schemes including Phonics Bug and Oxford Reading Tree.

We have specialist teaching assistants who run intervention programmes in reading for children who are not at the same level as their peers, to ensure that all children have the ability to read well by the time they leave us.

We celebrate World Book Day each year and love dressing up for all sorts of topics to promote reading. We also carry out promotional book sales with assisting companies, which are well supported by our fantastic parents who play such a big part in teaching their children to read.



Letters and Sounds

We have a strong phonics programme (Letters and Sounds) running throughout the school to teach early reading skills and support the children as they progress. We frequently spend time looking at illustrations and encourage ‘book talk’ from all of the children. We read to the whole class and in groups looking at a range of stories from traditional tales to well established authors. We love to read together and through this we develop the children’s concepts about print.

In the Foundation stage the earliest work is carried out by looking at sounds in our environment and listening to different sounds that we can make with instruments, our bodies and a range of other items. Listening to rhymes also plays an important part in this development process - this is phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds Programme.

We move onto looking at phonics to break down words into individual sounds. We teach the children how to segment and blend so that they can read on their own (decode the words). These skills then develop as the children move through the school with daily phonics teaching in all classes. In years 1 and 2 children are set for phonics across the year groups, which allows for focused teaching at the child’s level for each phase of Letters and Sounds.

More detailed information on how we teach phonics at St Crispin’s can be found on our Phonics’ page.



Ways you can support your children at home:




Guided Reading

Guided reading is where a small group of children of a similar reading ability all read the same book together. They look through a book at a suitable level and then teachers ‘walk through a text’ with the children before they begin to read, to explore the text type and discuss difficult language. Through this process the children are taught the skills of reading. Children remind each other of what to do if they encounter a difficult word and then have some time to enjoy the text. Following the reading, teachers and children discuss the text and teachers question the children on what they have read. This is how the true meaning of reading is explored.

How can parents and carers support reading at home:

Children are able to change their home reading book up to three times a week. However we would encourage you to make sure you child reads a book a couple of times. This ensures that your child can read for meaning as well as decoding the text. When you are hearing your child read, question him/her about what has been read every couple of pages to ensure your child can refer to the text and find information.

We ask that you make a note of the page number they have read to and any comments you may have about your child’s reading in their reading record book. These comments are useful for us.

We strongly encourage you to also make use of our online reading scheme called Bug Club

If you would like further access to some fantastic eBooks, why not visit www.oxfordowl.co.uk. There are over 260 free books for parents to read with their child at home with lots of ideas on how to support your child with reading.