Churchill CofE Primary School

Churchill CofE Primary School

Reading and Phonics


There is no ‘wrong’ way to teach a child to read, as such; but like nearly everything we learn, it is best approached in lots of ways at once if we want to create the ‘reading writer and the writing reader’ – which we want all our children to be.

Michael Rosen

Curriculum Intent

At Churchill Primary School, we value reading as a key life skill and strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers, through high quality teaching and learning ensuring that they achieve the skills, knowledge and understanding required and develop their confidence to engage in a love of literature. From the early stages of school life through the primary years, there is a clear progression, initially starting the reading learning journey with Unlocking Letters and Sounds, a systematic phonics approach to reading, with decodable books matched to the scheme. The fully decodable texts then open up a new world and give our pupils the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures. Reading and quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our pupils to different genres and authors. At the end of the primary phase, we aim to ensure that all our pupils leave Churchill as confident, fluent and accurate readers, whilst making links and continually building on their existing knowledge of reading. Through a commitment to develop resilience and responsibility, our pupils also strive to become successful speakers and writers, feeling safe to make marvellous mistakes. Therefore, we know that they are academically prepared for life beyond primary school in the twenty first century.



Enjoyment- reading for pleasure

From the very youngest to the oldest pupils, Churchill creates a culture where books are valued, treasured and loved. By explicitly creating an environment where reading for pleasure is prioritised, we aim to develop a generation who have the independence, stamina and desire to devour books and be excited about literature.



In order to love books, all pupils need the skills to access text automatically and fluently. At Churchill, we provide a systematic and rigorous approach to teaching decoding and word recognition skills from the start of the reading journey in reception. The teaching of fluency skills goes well beyond phonics and word recognition as adults continue to explicitly teach children to become fluent readers through 1-1 individual teaching and structured small group and class guided reading sessions.



To be fluent readers, pupils are explicitly taught to comprehend their reading and so need to be secure in all the elements. Through using a wide range of quality texts and teacher modelling, adults at Churchill are skilful in teaching these elements and providing pupil practise of reading skills.


Our intent focuses on equipping all pupils with the reading skills they need to master the curriculum. The following tables show the key skills for the end of Year 2 and end of Year 6.



draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts.


identify / explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information.


identify and explain the sequence of events in texts.


make inferences from the text.


predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.




Word meanings- Give / explain the meaning of words in context.


Fact retrieval- Retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction.


Summarising- Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph.


Inferences- Make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text.


Predictions- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.


Structure- Identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole.


Language- Identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases.


Comparisons- Make comparisons within the text.


Curriculum Implementation


  • Pupils follow Unlocking Letters and sounds, a systematic, synthetic phonics programme. They develop their phonics skills through daily phonics lessons, starting with phase 2 (alongside phase 1 activities for the first term). At Churchill, the aim is for most pupils to securely represent the 42 phonemes by a grapheme and to use and apply them confidently and independently in their reading and writing. By the end of their first year in school, children will have completed phase 4 phonics and will have been introduced to polysyllabic words and further common exception words. 


  • In Year 1, the daily teaching of the ULS systematic, synthetic phonics continues with the aim of all pupils being secure in Phase 5 phonics by the end of the year. Children will learn new and alternative graphemes for reading, be taught alternative pronunciations of known graphemes and alternative spellings of phonemes.
  • During the summer term in Year 1, pupils undertake the Phonics Screening Check which assesses their ability to apply what they have learnt. Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Check are then identified for intervention on a 1-1 or small group, to support the acquisition of these key skills of phonics. These pupils will then undertake the Phonics Screening Check again, the following year in Year 2.
  • In Year 2, children revise phase 5 phonics, which reinforces much of the learning from Year 1; they also begin to explore spelling rules and conventions. By now, children should know most of the common grapheme phoneme correspondences and should by this point be able to read lots of words, doing so in 3 ways.
  • Reading words automatically, if they are very familiar words.
  • Decoding them quickly and silently (as their sounding and blending routine is well established)
  • Decoding words aloud.
  • It is during this time that many of our children become fluent readers and will start to read longer and less familiar texts independently. Children are aiming to be reading White (Book band 10) or Lime (Book band 11) by the end of Year 2. Confident readers are given opportunities to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding through extended answers, targeted questioning requiring more reasoned answers and making greater links across and between texts.


  • Books levelled in coloured book bands continue throughout KS 2.

To provide high quality texts for more able years 5 and 6 readers, a collection of ‘Challenging Reads’ are available. These books are linked to Accelerated Reader.


  • Weekly small group guided reading sessions take place in years 1 – 6. Texts are selected, using the school’s guided reading sets of books (phonetically decodable and linked to phonics phases) or for example Deepening Understanding texts from the online website.
  • Targeted KS1 and KS2 pupils who need extra support for phonics and/or reading engage in extra sessions on a 1-1 or in a small group with an adult. This is to ensure that they secure both word reading and comprehension skills.
  • Whole class shared reading sessions are delivered and pupils may engage with texts from The Literary Tree.


Reading at home

  • There is an expectation at Churchill, that pupils read at least 5 times a week at home. All pupils have a reading record book which they are encouraged to take home daily. Parents and carers are asked to add comments to this reading record book to indicate how often pupils have read. Adults in school closely monitor these reading record books and check weekly the number of reads that pupils have achieved. At the end of each term, certificates are awarded to the 3 pupils in each class with the greatest number of ‘reads at home’.


Parents receive a laminated bookmark at the beginning of every academic year, which provides them with a list of questions that can be asked to support pupils with their reading. Other useful reading resources for parents are signposted on the school website.



  • At Churchill, we regularly invite local authors, illustrators and librarians to visit the school and deliver exciting and inspiring workshops. Pupils take part in special events during the year which enhance and develop a love of reading eg Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day, House events linked to reading.


  • In support of our priority areas of healthy eating and reading, we encourage our children to swap giving out sweets to celebrate their birthday and instead donate a birthday book to the class.  Children are encouraged to choose an age appropriate book to donate to the school on the occasion of their birthday. The book is given to their class in our weekly celebration service and is kept in the class reading area. Each book contains a special book plate.


Moving forward

  • At Churchill, we strive to be the best that we can be and continually look to develop and refine our practice. As a learning school, we are exploring Accelerated Reader, a computer-based program that closely monitors reading practice and progress, encouraging pupils to read independently, at their own level and pace. The Accelerated Reader books, chosen by the pupils will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed through guided reading and whole class texts. Our vision is to implement Accelerated Reader, providing high quality literature, so accelerating the growth of reading ability for all pupils, while fostering a lifelong love of reading.

  • The library will play a central role in building a school wide culture of literacy. It will support reading practice, provide easy access to books but librarians will also assess the collection and respond to changing needs. Time will be invested in relabelling and organising books in school to facilitate the Accelerated Reader program.                        

Impact of high quality teaching and learning

  • Through the teaching of systematic phonics, pupils will become fluent readers by the end of Year 2.
  • Pupils of all abilities will develop a love of reading across a range of genres and will succeed in reading lessons.
  • A range of strategies will be used for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics. 
  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors, genres and text types. 
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home and contribute regularly to home-school records.
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with the national average.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national average.
  • There will be no significant gaps in the reading progress of different groups of pupils.

Learning Environment

It is important that both the whole school and classroom environments support the teaching and learning of reading. We strive to give pupils a stimulating environment, where reading materials and displays are presented in an attractive and inviting way. Books are used to enhance displays and to provide reference points for deeper learning.

  • Each classroom has a dedicated reading area to encourage and motivate pupils to read.
  • Reading areas are stocked with a variety of books, allowing pupils to have access to a significant 'library' collection of various genres.
  • Topic books are displayed and available in class to support cross curricular learning.
  • Story time is implemented into the daily timetable to promote the love of reading. Adults read daily to pupils, modelling the use of intonation and expression to bring characters to life and to expose them to a wide range of literature such as stories, poetry and information texts. Every year group has a current ‘class read’.  
  • Independent reading time (ERIC- Everyone Reading In Class) is timetabled across the week, where pupils are encouraged to enjoy texts and have the opportunity to change their own school reading book.



Curriculum Planning

Teachers use the long-term planning based on the requirements of the National Curriculum The objectives for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions, word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading) To view the National Curriculum reading objectives for years 1 – 6, please click

Reading | Churchill CofE Primary School (

At Churchill, online resources are used to support the delivery of reading eg. Deepening Understanding, TWINKL, Oxford Owl, ebooks, Nessy.


Assessment takes place at three connected levels: short-term, medium-term and long-term. These assessments are used to inform teaching in a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessment. (For further details on assessment, recording and reporting, please see Assessment policy)


Day-to-day assessments

As part of the ongoing teaching and learning process, teachers assess pupil’s understanding through a range of Assessment for Learning strategies. Daily annotations may be recorded, which inform the teaching and learning of reading. These are based on observation, questioning, informal testing and the marking and evaluation of work. Appropriate written and verbal feedback given to pupils will inform future planning and teaching. Pupils are taught to assess and evaluate their own understanding by recognising successes, learning from their mistakes and identifying areas for improvement. (See Feedback and Marking policy for further details.)

Summative assessments

For the academic year 2020-21, at the end of term 1, pupils in Years 1 - 6 will complete a PIRA paper to assess understanding and knowledge of the previous year’s reading objectives. Results are plotted on a graph identifying individual key strengths and weaknesses in comprehension, inference, language structure and punctuation. This information helps to inform teacher planning and the organisation and implementation of individual or group support so that children can ‘catch up’ on specific reading areas. At the end of the term 2, 4 and 6, pupils complete PIRA Assessments for their current year. This information is used to track attainment and progress.

Pupil Progress Meetings

The amount of progress made and percentages of those children on track to reach end of year targets is analysed and discussed at termly data meetings. Progress from Key Stage 1 will also be closely monitored in Key Stage 2 classes and compared with Fischer Family Trust (FFT) targets.

Please also see our school policies on

Equal Opportunities



National Curriculum Reading Objectives

Reading curriculum statement