At Tatham Fells CE Primary School, we encourage and provide pupils with opportunities to develop a love for reading from day 1! We take a whole school approach to the teaching of reading and assessment of pupil progress.

We aim to:

  • Develop an interest in and a love of books, encouraging children to become attentive listeners, independent and reflective readers.
  • Develop reading strategies and skills, accuracy, fluency, understanding and response to texts.
  • Develop the ability to use and manipulate a variety of texts, both fiction and nonfiction.
  • Develop children’s experiences through a variety of text including the use of libraries, ICT and other available media.

We follow the DFE Letters and Sounds document for the teaching of synthetic phonics and use additional resources from Read, write inc.. From Reception, all children are taught phonics through Letters and Sounds. This takes place through dedicated phonics sessions each morning. This group teaching continues until pupils are in Year 2 and if appropriate Year 3 and 4.

Children are grouped for these sessions depending on the phase of phonics at which they are working. Once the children are secure within Phase 5 of Letters and Sounds they will progress to the Spelling programme delivered for Key Stage 1 pupils. This supports pupils to develop their knowledge of sounds and words so they can become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

What is synthetic phonics?
Synthetic phonics teaches the phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters) at the rate of about six sounds per week. The sounds are taught in isolation then blended together (i.e. synthesised), all-through-the-word.

For example, children might be taught a short vowel sound (e.g. /a/) in addition to some consonant sounds (e.g. /s/, /t/, /p/). Then the children are taught words with these sounds (e.g. sat, pat, tap, at). They are taught to pronounce each phoneme in a word, then to blend the phonemes together to form the word (e.g. /s/ - /a/ - /t/; "sat"). Sounds are taught in all positions of the words, but the emphasis is on all-through-the-word segmenting and blending from week one.

Synthetic phonics involves the children rehearsing the writing of letter shapes alongside learning the letter/s-sound correspondences preferably with the tripod pencil grip. Dictation is a frequent teaching technique from letter level to word spelling, including nonsense words (e.g. choy and feep) and eventually extending to text level. We introduce letter names by singing the alphabet song and reinforce letter names alongside their phoneme.



All children will have an Individual Reading Book from the schools banded reading resources. We aim to hear children read individually each day until they acheive fluency.

We have a wealth of resources and books to support pupils in continuing their reading journey in Key Stage 2.  We use an online resource called Accelerated Reader. Children read their choice of book and take part in online quizzes to check their understanding. The system also assesses their progress and teachers monitor their continued development. Where appropriate, pupils have access to age appropriate banded books to support their next steps. Children who are free readers may also bring a book of their own choice from home with the agreement of their teacher.

Parents are asked to listen to their child read and ask questions about the book to check comprehension, making comments in the reading record book.

Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception)

Children are heard read by an adult in school at least 3 times a week. This can take the form of key words, sounds or individual reading books. Each of these is recorded in the child’s Reading Record Book which is used as a liaison between parents and teachers. Children may be heard read by other adults such as parent helpers. Parents are asked to listen to their child read and ask questions about the book to check comprehension, making comments in the reading record book.

Reading Aloud

Opportunities are planned for children to read aloud to a variety of audiences. These could be through English lessons, Guided Reading, performances and assemblies to audiences including whole school and parents. Higher order reading skills and reading comprehension are explicitly taught through planned English and guided reading sessions.


The School Library contains Non-Fiction books. All children are encouraged to borrow Library Books and are given the opportunity to change library books each week. All pupils are also provided with the opportunity to borrow books from the Lancashire Library Service mobile van. This visits school every three weeks.

Tatham Fells CE Primary School, Lowgill, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA2 8RA