We are passionate about children learning to read at Worsthorne Primary.  As Ofsted said in October 2013,

Teachers share their enthusiasm for reading and pupils show a love and enjoyment of reading. [Pupils] read confidently, accurately blending sounds and understanding what they have read.

Over the seven years that your child is in our care we aim for them to develop a love of reading and books so that they move from learning to read to reading to learn – and reading purely for enjoyment too!

Watch the video below to see how much our children enjoy reading…

These are the main methods we use to teach children to read:

Story reading and telling

Staff read regularly to the children from stories, poems, nursery rhymes, and more.  From Year Two onwards, each class will listen to their teacher read regularly from a class novel.


This is where the children are taught about letter sounds and shapes, and which letters (or groups of letters) make which sounds.  Children are taught to say the sound, and recognise the letter (or group of letters) that makes that sound.  However, using phonics to help you read is not just about knowing the sounds that the letters make.  The children have to learn how to blend those individual sounds together to read words.  For example, c-a-t blended together says ‘cat’ and sh-o-p says ‘shop’.

The local authority has produced a booklet to support parents in their understanding of phonics teaching and learning.

Download the phonics booklet

In Reception Class, Year One and Year Two the children have a twenty minute phonics session every day.  The sessions are delivered by the teachers and teaching assistants in the Infants, under the guidance of Miss Bateson, our Literacy Leader.  The children are grouped for phonics according to what they know and can do.  This means that they are taught specific next steps in small groups.

We have produced an overview of the sequence of teaching in phonics.

Download the progression in phonics overview

Each term Miss Bateson meets with the class teachers to evaluate progress in phonics and the groups are adjusted to reflect the progress that the children are making.  If a child is struggling, specific intervention will be put in place to prevent them from falling behind.  For some children with Special Educational Needs, phonics targets will be included in their individual Education Plans.  This means that they will be taught phonics one-to-one with an adult.

For a very small number of children, learning to read through phonics may not be an appropriate method.  For example if a child is hearing impaired or has a specific learning difficulty.  Adjusted or alternative provision is made to meet the needs of such children.

We use a combination of different reading schemes to support our children develop their phonic skills:

Oxford Reading Tree:  Songbirds and Floppy’s Phonics

Oxford University Press:  Project X Phonics

Pearson:  Phonics Bug

High Frequency Words

Children are taught to read some common words on sight, through the use of flashcards and games.

Guided Reading

Guided Reading is when a group of about six children, all of a similar ability, work with the teacher on their next steps for learning in reading.  The children all have the same book and will be working on either applying their phonic knowledge or developing their comprehension.  This is where a lot of teaching of reading takes place as the teachers work very closely with the children on their reading targets.  The children are grouped within their classes according to their reading ability and will take part in a guided reading session with their teacher once a week.

Home Reading

Each child will have a home reading book which they have chosen themselves from a selection either in the main corridor or in their classroom.  Our home reading books are banded by colour and the colours are linked to the children’s reading levels, meaning that they should be choosing a book from a selection that is well-matched to their reading ability.  Home reading books are a little easier that the ones they read in the Guided Reading sessions. This is because Guided Reading is for learning new skills and home reading is for practising them.

© 2016 Worsthorne Primary School, Brownside Road, Worsthorne, Burnley, BB10 3LR
Tel. 01282 425690 | Fax. 01282 471122 | E-mail.