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English & Reading (including Phonics)

Over the past 2 years we have developed the Lion Library, which has become a fantastic creative space, not only for reading, but for lots of reading related activities too such as Storycafes. All classes, including Nursery, have a weekly library slot and all classrooms have a reading corner too.

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English & Reading




In Nursery the children focus on the pre-phonic skills needed to support phonological development. We concentrate on developing children's speaking and listening skills, rhythm and rhyme and alliteration. The emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. 'Fred talk' is used daily to support oral blending and segmenting development.

When appropriate we introduce children to the first set of sounds following the Read, Write Inc programme


Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across Reception/Y1 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Read Write Inc programme is followed. This allows the children to develop their phonetic awareness and apply these skills to their reading. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.


In Year 2 (autumn term) whole class phonics is delivered on a daily basis, during these sessions pupils revisit previous learning and apply skills learnt.

Additional phonics intervention is delivered to pupils who did not pass the phonics screening test at the end of year 1.


Phonics Assessment

Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. Children are formally assessed at the end of each half term to ensure that they are in the correct groups.

The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional support.


Phonics is taught in Key stage 2 as an intervention strategy when required.


Reading in school

At Northfield St Nicolas Primary Academy, children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading. Children read in school independently and in daily shared reading sessions, where they have the opportunity to read aloud to other, listen to adults and listen to other children read. During the shared reading sessions the children use Reading VIPERS (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Sequence/Summarise) to focus their learning.


Our Reading aims are:


  • To develop a love of reading
  • To develop accurate and fluent readers
  • To develop the children’s vocabulary so that they can easily access a range of texts
  • To develop excellent comprehension skills, through the use of Reading VIPERS, so children can demonstrate a good understanding of what they have read
  • To support children who require additional help with their reading


Reading at home

  1. at home is one of the most important ways in which you can help your child. As you share books, you are helping improve your child’s reading skills and showing your child that reading is an enjoyable activity to take part in. We are incredibly lucky at Northfield St Nicholas Primary Academy to have an extensive and well stocked library, where children can access a wide range of reading materials that they can borrow and share with you at home.


Assessment of Reading

Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system. The children are regularly assessed using Pira and Pixl tests to ensure that we have a clear picture of where the children are, and the areas that the children need to work on, this then informs planning. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.