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Reading and Phonics

At The Holt Primary School we aim to develop all children as readers who share a passion for books and reading. Reading is a lifetime learning skill, provides enjoyment and excitement and an opportunity to gain information about the world around them. Class stories and regular story time are an important feature across the whole school to promote this.


Starting in Reception, picture books are often the first books sent home to share with parents so together they can begin to tell stories and enjoy sharing books. As a child’s phonological awareness develops, as well as the story they have been reading in school, book bag books from Read Write Inc are also sent home to develop their reading skills further as they apply their knowledge of sounds and decoding. These are based on the same level as those they are reading in school to match their phonics learning. Repetition, familiar sounds, words and familiar stories enable the children to progress as readers. Alongside this, bed time books are sent to enjoy with adults and develop new vocabulary. When they are ready, they continue their journey by accessing books banded by content and ability. Teachers and the support team regularly assess a child’s reading through guided reading to ensure they are able to access, engage with and be challenged by what they are reading.


Volunteers in school are used widely to listen to individual’s read, talk about the text or story and enjoy further quality time developing their enjoyment of sharing books.


In order to develop a child’s phonological skills, The Holt Primary School uses Read Write Inc as it’s main teaching strategy to support the progression through the key phases of learning letters and sounds. This is a highly acclaimed scheme which builds up a child’s awareness of the basic sounds, the letter shapes and the ability to blend and decode sounds; skills needed to become a reader. Daily sessions in small, ability based groups ensure that progression is rapid and the children quickly become readers with a toolkit to equip them to not only be able to read the text but gather meaning and develop their inference skills too.