Reading, early reading and Phonics at Clifford All Saints Primary School 

At Clifford All Saints we are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities All pupils in our school, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age related expectations. (This is in agreement with the Ofsted inspection framework 2019).

In school we evaluate our reading provision based on the following criteria:

·        Is reading a priority in school?

·        How are we developing a love of reading?

·        Is our Phonics programme progressive and supportive and are children regularly assessed?

·        Do the books that we use match the sounds the children are reading?

·        Is phonics taught from the beginning of the year for our reception children?

·        Are children supported through intervention and able to catch up quickly?

·        Does the training provided by school enable staff to become early reading experts?


What is it like to be a reader in our school?

At our school we value every opportunity to encourage children to develop a love of reading. We do this through:

  • Having a warm, engaging library space on both sites 
  • Offering a diverse range of reading materials and working to ensure our reading books reflect our diverse school community offering a range of representations of race, disability and family structure. 
  • Planning for quality reading lessons and opportunities throughout the day for children to read for pleasure
  • Sharing quality texts with parents and developing our reading scheme across school
  • Ensuring all children on the phonics scheme have access to a phonetically decodable book at their correct level following ongoing assessment. 

 Phonics at Clifford All Saints Primary School

 We teach phonics through the Letters and Sounds program. Our phonetically decodable book scheme is the Collins Big Cat Letters and Sounds Scheme. Appendix 1 shares the teaching order of the different phonemes through phonic phases and how these are shared in our phonics reading scheme. 

There is a clear, systematic approach to phonics and the children are assessed using a Letters and Sounds assessment. This is consistent across EYFS and KS1. Appendix 2

Structure for the teaching of phonics- Lesson Structure for 20 minute phonics lessons 




2-3 minutes

Revise recently taught graphemes and tricky words and those that are insecure. Use sound flashcards to revisit sounds. Tricky words can also be revisited using flash cards. Make sure everyone can see and everyone is participating. Think about carefully placing individuals where you can fully focus on them (put your ‘spotlight’ children in your direct eyeline). Use your teaching assistants to support learning.



5 minutes

Deliver today’s new learning. 

Teach the new phoneme – grapheme correspondences; skills of blending and segmenting; tricky words. Children should hear and say phonemes prior to introducing GPCs. Check children’s articulation of phonemes and words. For tricky words use the word in context. Discuss what parts are known and what parts are tricky.



8-10 minutes

Support children to apply new learning to fully decodable words; include both blending for reading and segmenting for spelling using newly introduced GPC and others. This is an opportunity for a fun game or activity where all children are involved. Make sure the children are participating fully by including frequent opportunities for partner work.



5 minutes

Children independently apply their phonics skills in reading or writing so they can practise how to blend to read and segment to spell. Children read or write a caption (with the teacher). Think through the caption first as it needs to be decodable by the children. Use one or more high-frequency words and words containing the new sound. Don’t over emphasise the writing element at earlier phases, can be differentiated with different words and captions.
AssessTake opportunity throughout the session to note children with difficulty e.g. with hearing or saying phonemes, blending/segmenting all through the word or recalling graphemes. These children may need a short intervention session in the afternoon.


Whole Class Guided Reading at Clifford All Saints Primary School.


We use whole class guided reading as a structure across Clifford All Saints. It is introduced during Year 1 when the class teacher feels the class are ready. In year 1, the sessions might be in smaller groups at first. Assessment for younger childrenPM bench marking is used in KS1 to assess the children’s reading skills. 

Through Years 2-6, whole class guided reading is the approach used in reading lessons.

Where children are still on our phonically decodable book scheme, these children are read with at least 2-3 times a week.

Some older children who are not at age related expectations for reading are supported through our reading spines. In KS2 we have a selection of ‘high interest, low threshold’ books to engage more reluctant readers who are still working towards the expected standard in reading. 

Every day there is story time for at least 15-20 minutes.

Guided reading text

Each class will choose a quality text for their writing and reading topic. Wherever possible the children should have access to the text- either one each of shared if necessary. The text chosen should be high quality and have plenty of scope for reading activities.


Guided reading structure

This can change depending on the needs of the class and the text type that is being used. However, the main structure for whole class guided reading is as follows:

Vocabulary focusRead  and discuss the text/ extract of the text

Either recap text or read a specific section.

Summarise the main information

Retrieval and or inference questions

Either prediction activity or improvement of answers from previous day.

Read another section of the text


Reading assessment

Children are assessed against the national curriculum statements. These are on an excel spreadsheet so that staff can keep track of key objectives not covered or where there are individuals who need further support. The national curriculum underpins all of our assessment model. Appendix 3


Point In Time Assessment is the model used across school for assessment. 

We track the progress our children are making across our curriculum using PITA (Point In Time Assessment) judgements. They provide an ‘overview’ statement relating to an individual’s learning journey. 

Ongoing assessment measures what the children have been taught so far in line with curriculum expectations and coverage. Our ongoing aim is to increase the percentage of children who meet age related expectations. 

1Working significantly below age related expectation
  • Is large or wholly unable to access the age related National Curriculum content covered so far this year, even with heavy personalised support and scaffolding ( this may be due to EAL or significant barriers to learning) 
  • Will undertake different tasks related to the rest of the class 
2Working below age related expectation
  • Is able to access some of the age related National Curriculum content covered so far but only with personalised support and scaffolding
  • Has significant gaps in their learning
  • Struggles to embed concepts and working memory is poor
  • At times may undertake different tasks to the rest of the class
  • Struggles to apply their learning independently. 
  • May start to apply their learning independently but can find it difficult to do so. 
3Working at age related expectation
  • Is meeting the majority of, but not all, of the age related National Curriculum content covered so far this year.
  • Is successful at learning and remembering many new concepts.
  • Is starting to apply new skills independently but this may not always be consistent.
  • May make some errors but will usually be able to improve work following feedback and support
  • May have some gaps in learning
4Working above age related expectation
  • Is meeting all of the age related National Curriculum content covered so far this year.
  • Is able to make links in their learning to deepen their understanding
  • Is able to apply new skills independently and across a range of contexts- making very few errors
  • Can explain and justify their ideas
5Working significantly above age related expectation 
  • Has displayed an in-depth understanding of all the age related National Curriculum content covered so far this year.
  • Is able to independently make links in their learning to deepen their understanding
  • Is able to apply new skills independently and across a range of contexts- making no errors
  • Demonstrates significant skills and knowledge beyond the curriculum content covered 
  • Can analyse and evaluate their own and other’s performance effectively. 


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