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Maundene Primary School

Phonics and Reading

Reading at Maundene

At Maundene we believe that reading is a lifelong skill underpins success across all aspects of the curriculum. We don’t just teach children to read, we create lifelong learners.  Children leave or school able to discuss with confidence a range of books and enjoy regularly reading for pleasure. 

Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary and material. They are able to recommend books to their peers and enjoy reading a wide range of genres, including non-fiction. Children enjoy participating in book talk, including evaluating an author’s use of language and how this can affect the reader. We ensure the books we read as part of our reading curriculum and in our book corners build on children’s cultural capital and reflect the diversity of our children’s lived experiences. 

Through developing oracy and book talk alongside the basic skills of decoding, children’s language acquisition effectively develops alongside their reading attainment. Through accessing carefully selected, rich texts that are both read and read aloud; our children have multiple exposures to vocabulary and second tier words.

Fluency, comprehension and pleasure are the core values in our approach to developing successful readers.


Every child at Maundene will have...     

  • A daily lesson dedicated to the teaching of reading through strategies such as inference, making connections and retrieval.

  • Daily scaffolded book talk, modelling the application of reading strategies.

  • A close up of new vocabulary to build children’s language and schemas.

  • Access to an inviting, purposeful book corner stocked with exciting recommended reads from the CLPE.

  • Weekly opportunities to capture ideas in a written comprehension task.

  • Opportunities to read a wide range of texts that build on cultural capital and compliment themes in our global curriculum. 

  • Opportunities each week to read for pleasure.

  • If needed, some children receive regular phonics interventions to keep up not catch up.

  • A book to read that is matched to their ability.

  • Story time at least three times a week, with relevant texts carefully chosen from our reading canon. 


How we teach early reading 

  • Reading is taught in tandem with phonics. After a phonics input children across Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable book. 

  • These daily sessions are 25 minutes long. 

  • There are approximately 6 children in a group and the teacher reads with one group daily. This is called conferencing.

  • Children have extra support where appropriate with a trained adult and reading volunteers. The focus is on ‘keep up not catch up’

  • The focus in Reception is on reading strategies of fluency, decoding and blending.[MOU3] 

  • Books selected by the teacher show cumulative progress according to the sounds the child has been taught that half term.

  • Books are closely matched to a child’s ability. Children read books which contain sounds they have learnt so they can practise the skills of segmenting and blending We are moving to using the Big Cat Phonics readers explicitly from Jan 2022, which are aligned to the government validated Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Synthetic Systematic Phonics Programme. 

  • In reception, reading sessions start almost immediately. For children who are not decoding, blending remains a focus

  • Children take home books matched to their ability from the same reading scheme used in class. Children are able to self-select books and can speak well about which books they choose and why.


How we teach phonics

  • In Reception and Y1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught for 25 minutes every day. 

  • By the end of Reception, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 3. If they are ready, children may start Phase 4.

  • By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 5.

  • In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.

  • In Y2-Y6 there are planned catch-up sessions following a set model to address specific gaps. These are taking place at least three times a week, and are often used to target new arrival EAL children.

  • All staff including support staff have regular CPD and are confident to deliver a quality first phonics session. 


How we assess phonic knowledge

  • In Reception and Year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).

  • Children identified in Reception and Y1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

  • In Reception and Year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.

  • Children from Reception to Yr 2 are monitored by book band level. This is especially helpful for transition to the next class, so rapid progress can continue. 

  • The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term.

  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.

  • Children who are currently in KS2 who didn’t leave KS1 at the expected level are monitored by phonics knowledge and reading progress termly. 

  • Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments.


Reading at Home

Developing readers will bring home levelled/colour-banded books (according to their stage of development) and a picture book each week. Independent readers will bring home a self-selected book, which should challenge them, from their class reading corner.  Please encourage your child to change their book regularly so they can read each evening at home and speak to the class teacher about your child's reading books if you have any questions.

Your child should be reading at home for 15 minutes or more each day.  Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding.  Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.

Reading for pleasure at Maundene

Every child at Maundene will have...·        


  • Access to a global curriculum based on a core text approach, where topics are taught through high quality books with relatable themes and protagonists that excite and motivate them.

  • Dedicated time each day where an adult will read aloud to them from a carefully selected Reading Canon, aimed to build on their cultural capital. 

  • Daily opportunities to read to an adult and other children in the classroom. T 

  • Daily opportunities to engage in quality book talk.

  • An engaging, clearly labelled, tidy book corner in their classroom with a range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts.

  • An author focus display in their book corner – to develop a growing taste and preference for certain styles.

  • A Reading with your Child session at least 3 times per year to choose a book and read for pleasure with their carer/parent.

  • A library available with a dedicated weekly time slot so that children can access books. 



  • Participation in World Book Week dress up and enrichment events such as author visits and storytelling. 

  • A book fair at least yearly - children are timetabled in for browsing sessions. This is also a family participation event.

  • A visit to the school local library every fortnight.

  • Fortnightly Reading Buddy sessions with partner classes.

  • Yearly sponsored reading fund raising where children choose the books with the money that is raised  



  • Termly reading open afternoon where parents will join their child in reading for pleasure session

  • Reading records to celebrate home reading

Recommended Books 

Teachers from across the partnership have compiled a recommended reading list for all year groups from Reception to Year 6 so that you are aware of the fantastic books that are available both in school and in local libraries that will enhance your child’s vocabulary and widen their reading experiences.

Support Reading at Home

  • Try to listen to and read with your child regularly; 10 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week. It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine. 

  • Find a quiet place to share books where you can feel comfortable and relaxed. Learning to read needs to be a positive experience - build confidence by praising effort.

  • Encourage your child to have a go at unfamiliar words by using phonic skills and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.

  • Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language. 

  • Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs and leaflets etc.

  • Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.

  • Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding. 


Questions to Develop Understanding


  • Where/when does the story take place?

  • Who are the characters in the story?

  • What happens in this part of the story?

  • Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story.

  • Can you retell the story using your own words?

  • Tell me what this character was like.

  • Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story. Why?

  • What do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell?

  • What do you think would have happened if…?

  • What do you think is going to happen next?

  • Which part of this book did you like best/least?  Why?

  • How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?

  • Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?

  • Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.

  • Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.

  • What do you think this story is trying to tell us?

  • Has anything like this ever happened to you?

Non Fiction:

  • Tell me two things you found out that you didn’t know before.

  • What does this part of the text tell us about ….?

  • Which part of the text tells us about …? 

  • Why are some words in bold?

  • How does this text/layout help the reader?

  • How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this page?


Read with your Child Sessions

Parents are invited into school once a term to enjoy reading together with their child in class. These sessions run on a Friday at 3pm. Further details are sent out by teachers advising parents of the dates for the different year groups.


Reading Buddies

During reading buddies sessions, two or more children at Maundene read together. Older children are paired with a younger year group and read with them every three weeks. Reading buddies help model good reading and offer a chance for children to read with each other. As with any skill, reading needs to be practised on a regular basis and with this practise, as well as modeling, children can improve their skills.

Our Reading buddies sessions allow younger children to have the opportunity to develop fluency, as well as a sense of pride in their accomplishments. In addition, they come to see the value of reading and love the time spent with their paired class. The children can not only promote good practices but build self-esteem. For our older children, reading to younger year groups can help them develop a love of reading and is a greater motivation to read aloud.


School Library

At Maundene we inspire our children to become confident and independent learners. Our school library supports this core value, providing facilities and books which enrich the curriculum and encourage children to read for enjoyment. Children can choose from a wide range of books and take them home to enjoy alongside their school reading books.  Our library provides children with a valuable addition to their class book areas, whilst also reinforcing the values of respect and responsibility. 

Bug Club

We have recently invested in a new reading resource within school called ‘Bug Club’. Bug Club allows children to read a vast variety of eBooks. The books include fiction and non-fiction, and the book content features some well-known characters and brands such as Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the sheep, Star Wars, Lego, Doctor Who, Sarah Jane adventures, and many more.

Using the eBooks:

If you have internet access either on a computer, tablet or even phone, your child will be able to log on whenever they wish! They will be able to enjoy reading books on screen and complete fun quiz questions which will help them to practise their reading skills. The eBooks are also audio books, so children can enjoy hearing an expressive reading of the book.

How to log on to Bug Club:

Go to

Enter school ID: maun

Enter your username and password

Click Login and your homepage screen will now appear.

For further information on how to navigate around the website, please click here

Your child’s class teacher will allocate eBooks to them on a regular basis. To begin to read the book, click on the front cover. Then read the book and click on the bug icons to open the quiz questions. Your child does not have to finish all the quiz questions in one sitting. They can return to a book later. Once your child has finished an eBook it will move to ‘Books I have read’ where they can read it again, if they want to. Then they can choose a new eBook from ‘My Books’.