Reading & Phonics


At Charnock Hall, we aim to provide pupils with a continuous experience of reading throughout school, which is understood and supported by families. As reading is a fundamental aspect of many lessons, this document provides an overview.

Everyone at Charnock Hall Primary Academy takes the learning and enjoyment of reading very seriously! Books have pride of place in every classroom. Our libraries are well stocked and regularly used by happy readers.

Thanks for taking the time to read these procedures; co-operation between home and school really does provide pupils with the best learning experiences.

Mrs Leversidge – English Lead.


Phonics is a way of teaching pupils to read and write quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Pupils can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Pupils also learn to represent sounds using the correct graphemes (letters or combination of letters) and write these down to encode speech into the written word.

The Department For Education’s guide for parents, Learning To Read Through Phonics, includes information about the Phonics Screening Test that every child has to take in year one.

At Charnock Hall Academy, phonics is taught daily throughout Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) and Key Stage 1, using ‘Letters and Sounds’ in differentiated ability groups. We also use Phonics Play to support these lessons.

In 2018, 81% of Year 1 pupils passed the phonic screening check. Phonic interventions are used in Key Stage 2 year groups where necessary.

This link will take you to a website where phonics games can help learning at home – some free activities, some with individual subscription £12 per annum - Phonics Play.  Further phonics support is available through EducationCity UK. School pay for each child to have access to the content of this website and log-in details are available from your child’s class teacher.



All pupils have access to books in school to take home and read regularly. Teachers and teaching assistants are responsible for making sure that pupils are choosing books of the right level (known in school as Book Bands), but where possible pupils should select their own books. Book banded shelves are in the Reception area, in the corridors of Year 1 and 2, and in the junior library on the Key Stage 2 corridor. School constantly strives to keep an updated selection of reading scheme books along-side other books of similar levels available for pupils to choose.

Pupils who have reached the end of the book banded levels are described as “free readers” but still need guidance to choose age-appropriate books that provide sufficient challenge.

Reading books are provided for reading at home; teachers generally don’t use these books to hear pupils read. Reading in school is done in a variety of other ways, such as Guided Reading, Book Study and English lessons.


Every day pupils read with the teacher in a lesson called Book Study. This lesson equips pupils with the skills to read with fluency, make predictions, visualise the text and to expand their vocabulary. Additional individual reading is implemented when necessary.

In Key Stage 1, Guided Reading is taught alongside Book Study. This will ensure that pupils who are still learning the skills to read will be guided by the teacher in a smaller group.


Every half-term, pupils on book bands are assessed to check that they are making suitable progress. A note of this is made in the Home-School Reading Journal for parents to see. Teachers also use reading tests to check whether pupils are meeting age related expectations.

Teachers continuously assess pupils reading development and submit half-termly updates to the Headteacher, for every pupil. This information to support these assessments, is collected by teachers during Book Study and Guided Reading sessions. It is also supported by the book banding process and more formal tests, as appropriate. It is used to ensure that pupils are making expected progress or reaching targeted outcomes. Parents are informed of outcomes through the yearly reports and parent consultation events.


There is a strong evidence to prove that reading at home has a positive impact on achievement. However, this continues way beyond primary school. Pupils who read for enjoyment from an early age are more successful in GCSEs and A levels!  There is a school expectation that home reading is completed a minimum of 4 times per week by all pupils, with records updated within pupil journals.


All pupils have been given a Home/School Journal. It has been designed to help families support pupil’s learning at home, keeping you informed about the reading pupils do in school. When it’s not being used, please remind your child to keep their Journal in their book folder, or school bag, so it is always available. It will be filled in by pupils when they read independently and by every adult who hears the child read.

Teachers will regularly check the Journal to ensure that pupils are consistently reading at home and are choosing appropriate books.

Journals move up through the year groups with the pupils and are replaced when they are full.

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