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Phonics & Early Reading


At High View we want every child to be successful, fluent readers with a love of reading.


Reading helps children to do well in school and beyond. It feeds their imaginations and gives children exposure to language and stories to enrich their lives. Reading also supports children in understanding themselves and the world in addition to empathising with characters.


In order to lay strong foundations for reading, High View follows the systematic approach laid out across the six phases of Letters and Sounds across Early Years and Key Stage One.  Phonics is taught daily from Nursery to Year 2 following the Letters and Sounds framework, supplemented by Phonics Play. We regularly assess children's progress in order to ensure that they are keeping up with the whole class teaching and provide interventions for those that need support to embed the learning. Fun Phonics Club is run after school for selected children who would benefit from extra phonics teaching.  We ensure that the learning environment is phonics rich with sound buttons on displays and labels alongside a Working Wall of the phonics teaching. We prepare our children for the statutory Phonics Screening at the end of Year 1. Those who do not pass receive extra teaching for Year 2 to ensure that they meet the required standard before entering Key Stage 2. 


Early Reading focuses on a combination of oral language, which is built through ‘back and forth’ conversations, turn-taking, exposure to a wide range of words to build vocabulary,  and exposure to songs, rhymes, books and stories, including establishing regular reading routines. Oral skills work in combination with engaging, high quality, whole class phonics teaching and regular, daily opportunities for developing reading and writing skills across the curriculum.


It is really important that your child is given the opportunity to practice the letters and sounds that they are learning in class at home. High View’s book banding system links directly to the order of sounds that are taught by your child’s class teacher and aims to minimise children reading words that are currently beyond their current level of understanding.  For further guidance on book banding please read our Book Band Guide.




Success in reading is a huge priority at High View as research has shown that children who read at home regularly and read for enjoyment do better in school, with reading for pleasure being more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. We encourage reading for pleasure through our Author of the Term collections in each class, the Reading Passport in Key Stage 2 alongside self selection of books from their current book band.


In Nursery and Reception children have a daily engaging story time in order to develop their love for reading. From Year 1 to Year 6, daily reading takes place in the form of whole class reading lessons in which children read a whole text over time, engaging with it through class discussions and showing their understanding through a range of independent activities.


In order to ensure that all children make progress in reading, we formally assess termly using day-to-day marking and hearing children read. We place particular emphasis on those struggling to make progress through weekly teacher led interventions, the Reading Buddy system in Year 2 and Year 3 and sponsored readers led by staff across the school in Year 2.


In Key Stage 2, children read for information weekly in order to inform their knowledge around their unit of work. We encourage curiosity and knowledge about unfamiliar vocabulary through 'debugging' vocabulary in reading lessons. Please see the Reading Assessment Grid for your child's year group. 



At High View we use a range of stimuli to engage children in the writing process including links to our wider curriculum, drama, videos, visits and texts. Each half term children will focus on a different genre of writing, developing their independence and deepening their understanding of the features of the genre. We ensure that writing has a clear audience and purpose, with the whole process of writing being followed from planning to editing. All writing is marked by the teacher with clear feedback about what has been done well and what the next steps are. Children are given sufficient time to respond to their marking comments. we formally assess children's writing at least termly in order to closely monitor their progress. Please see the Writing Assessment Grid for your child's year group.



"Reading is good at High View because you get to learn more vocabulary to use in your writing so that it is more interesting. I like Whole Class Reading because it helps me to improve my comprehension, inference and skimming and scanning."  Year 5



"Phonics is really good because we get to learn lots of words to sound them out and spell them. My teacher makes phonics really fun." Year 2



"I like how my teacher explains what to do and how to do it when we write. We write lost of exciting things like letters and recounts." Year 3