EYFS and KS1 – Phonics and Early Reading.


Phonics teaching at Valley aims to equip children with effective strategies to decode when reading, to support accuracy in spelling and also aid the development of precise letter formation. By combining elements of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Read, Write, Inc’, our staff tailor a relevant and effective learning sequence for the needs of Valley children.


Throughout EYFS and KS1, Phonics is taught daily through discrete lessons in groupings which enable each child to progress at a rate appropriate for them. Outside of these sessions, children are provided with a wealth of opportunities to independently apply their developing skills of segmenting and blending for both reading and writing.


In KS1, Years 1 and 2, children partake in weekly Guided Reading sessions with their class teacher, which aim to continue building on the decoding aspect of reading but also begin to develop greater comprehension skill. Within these sessions, children spend time discussing texts: summarizing key content, sharing likes and dislikes, drawing comparisons with own experiences or other known texts and understanding new vocabulary.


A range of book banded/leveled reading books are available for children to read both with their teacher and at home. We encourage children to experience a range of genres, even in the infant years, and therefore aim to provide a range of engaging texts both in class book corners and also in the shared resources throughout school.


KS2 – Big Reading.


In KS2, we use an approach called Big Reading which teaches 4 key skills of reading through the exploration of high quality texts. Retrieve, Explore, Analyze and Deduce and Infer are the concepts taught across the phase. From Years 3 to 6, children are immersed in a range of stimulating texts such as Alice in Wonderland, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Clockwork, The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket and Wonder. All of these provide an enriching context for the teaching of essential reading comprehension skills including inference and the development of a broader vocabulary.


In the Juniors, children are actively encouraged to select books from both their book corners and the library to enjoy in the classroom and at home. In lower KS2, Years 3 and 4, many children are still progressing through the higher levels of reading bands and can enjoy a selection of classics or other ‘real’ books that have been leveled for children’s reading pleasure.




As with anything, we all learn at different rates and in different ways. Throughout the school we have a variety of small group or 1:1 interventions being run to support children with reading and accelerate their progress. We aim to identify the area of difficulty - whether it is the technicality of decoding, a child’s breadth of vocabulary or their comprehension levels - and intervene with a suitable programme of support.

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