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Sunny Bank Primary School

Halfway HousesPrimary School

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Reading and Phonics


At Halfway Houses Primary School we aim to create a stimulating literacy environment in which children are actively encouraged to enjoy books, and are motivated to want to read independently from an early age. We believe that pupils should be taught to read effectively for different purposes, acquire key phonics skills and understand the rules governing the structure of language. We also believe that reading for pleasure is imperative if a lifelong love of reading is to be gained.


Early reading is initially taught through the Monster Phonics programme. This promotes the teaching of synthetic phonics to aid the teaching and learning of reading. As part of this scheme the children will be taught to:
• discriminate between different sounds using colour coded representations
• learn the letters and letter combinations most commonly used to spell sounds;
• read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts;
• study written representatives of a sound and how it looks;
• recognise on sight vocabulary identified as ‘ tricky words’

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Children are taught to read in the Foundation stage using the Monster Phonics scheme. They are introduced to this throughout their time in the EYFS, which will give them good foundations for learning to read. The Reception high frequency words are introduced alongside reading books for children to develop a good sight vocabulary. Reading books can be accessed via Monster Phonics logins  from the start of the year and guided reading sessions are introduced as soon as is appropriate for the children. We provide continuous opportunities to apply new phonic knowledge and integrate phonics in to our play on a daily basis.

Key Stage One (KS1)
Teachers continue to build on the children’s reading skills by modelling good reading and teaching through the Monster Phonics programme Phonics is taught for 30 minutes per day as a class and the children are then tested on their phonic knowledge at the end of Year 1.  As they progress through the programme, there is an increased focus on spelling, punctuation  and grammar alongside their developing phonics knowledge.. Guided Reading is taught for 30 minutes per day.  Objectives for reading sessions are selected by the teacher and this guides the children’s learning with activities and questioning being set at appropriately differentiated levels.  Each child will read with a teacher or TA at least once per week as part of a guided group.


Children who are not making the expected progress in reading will be identified as part of progress reviews and suitable interventions will be put in place to help them from the Monster Phonics programme.
Children are introduced to a range of text types including multicultural stories, poems, rhymes, fairy tales, traditional tales, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, non- fiction texts, picture books and stories by significant authors through their class reader and the literacy texts.. Children are taught how to read for meaning and answer questions about texts looking at characterisation and plot.

As their reading progresses they will be moved on to the Accelerated Reader programme where they will be scaffolded to read at the appropriate level of challenge and develop their comprehension skills as they move up through the school. 

Key Stage Two (KS2)
Teachers are responsible for continuing the Monster Phonics programme with the children who need extra support in reading. For children who are working beyond this, teachers will teach spelling strategies in line with the National Curriculum and give weekly quizzes during GPS sessions. Children are given opportunities for silent reading of their accelerated reader book and guided reading is taught using two different methods. The children work in ability groups to read an appropriate text and develop their understanding of retrieval, inference, deduction etc, the second method is a whole class approach where the children read an abstract and have differentiated questions.  A range of genres are introduced to older children including autobiographies, letters, diaries, short stories, poems and play scripts. Through shared reading and weekly guided reading sessions, children are taught how to analyse texts and comment on authors’ techniques.

Reading Schemes
Accelerated Reader has been introduced to the children and weekly high scores are announced in assembly as well as displayed in the library. Children choose their own reading books and any AR book they read they will complete an online quiz and be given a % out of 100% depending on the answers they give to the question, all their quizzes are listed in their own 'library' and parents can log in to 'Home Connect' to see the scores and which books their child has read.

At Halfway Houses Primary School our children have access to a large stock of library books. The Library system enables all the children to be able to access information on our library stock from home. The pupils have a timetabled sessions as well as being able to visit anytime during the school day where they can choose reading books and levelled Accelerated Reader books. The library is also used across the curriculum for research. The children are encouraged to choose AR books set around their level of reading and are able to log books in and out on our child friendly system, we see this as a very important way in which to develop and promote independent addition to our physical library, we use MyON which is an online library with predominantly non fiction text to supplement the range of books that our children can access.


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Get in Touch

  • Halfway Houses Primary SchoolDanley Road, Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey,Kent, ME12 3AP

  • 01795 662875