Reading and Phonics at JHG


We believe that ‘reading for pleasure’ is not an ‘add-on’ – it is the context in which all reading takes place. We take into account children’s interests when choosing material that has the capacity to appeal to them, while also considering the quality of language and illustration and the variety of authors and genres.

A reading spine identifies the quality core books that will be enjoyed and studied in each year group. Texts are chosen for the potential they offer and are influenced by a number of aspects such as subject; perspective; purpose; historical, social and cultural context; visual features; language features; making links to background knowledge. Classes share a class book daily and will learn about the author and other books they have written.

Alongside this are lists of ‘essential’ reads for each year group which we will encourage children to read to ensure they read books at the correct age relation. 

We give all pupils access to books from reading schemes including Rising Stars and Oxford Reading Tree. Our Learning Hub has a library available for research, e-reading and lending. All children can access and take home 'banded books'  which will support children in reading widely and helping to build stamina through reading different types of books for their ability. Look for a golden ticket to get a prize!

Children should be reading at home at least 5x a week. 

Teaching Reading:

At J H Godwin, we take a text based approach to teaching writing, linking reading and writing. Children will study their class book, along with other linked texts, in reading sessions, building on and inspiring writing. 

Vocabulary plays an incredibly important part in learning to read. Beginning readers must use the words they hear orally to make sense of the words they see in print. The link between vocabulary and the goal of reading comprehension is profound: if you do not know the meaning of a decoded word then you will not be able to make sense of what you read. All reading sessions will begin with vocabulary exploration to unlock meaning.  


KS1 classes explore books and develop reading skills through a guided reading, small group carousel. There will be a particular reading skill or two as a focus for each week. Throughout the week, children will have a guided reading session with their teacher; 1:1 reading with their TA; complete a phonics activity; respond to their reading through an independent task; and read for pleasure. 

In addition to this, children will have further opportunity to enjoy and share books. This may be through shared reading; answering mixed VIPERS reading skills questions; listening to audio books; visiting the library; or exploring topic books. 


KS2 explore books and develop reading skills through whole class teaching. This allows all KS2 children to read more regularly and for all to have exposure to high quality texts and responses. A particular reading skill or two (VIPERS) will be explicitly taught and modelled before the children apply their understanding. Every other week, children will take part in a 'Reading for Pleasure' carousel. They will have the opportunity to read 1:1 to their teacher or TA; relax and chill in their reading area or in the library; explore newspapers and magazines; or apply summarising skills through research opportunities based on topic. In addition to this, children will have the opportunity to apply their reading skills through mixed questioning.

Children are supported through:

  • pre-reading the text
  • pre-teaching key vocabularyy
  • provided structure for taks e..g cloxe, prompts, sentence starters, matching
  • guided groups during tasks
  • mixed ability pairings and peer-tutoring
  • intervention around a certain skill
  • de-coding taught in addition to whole class session
  • occasionally a different text but same focus

Children are stretched through:

  • less scaffold e.g. rather than multi-choice, children have to find the answer themselves
  • 'being the teacher' - choosing a fictional child's answer out of 3 and explaining why it's the best answer
  • higher order questioning 
  • texts chosen for challenge and breadth


Along with ongoing teacher assessment, we also use the PM benchmarking system to aid in the assessment of reading.



A secure understanding of synthetic phonics is fundamental in the development of reading. We believe that the teaching of phonics should be adapted to the needs of the learners and encompass physical, musical and game-based learning as well as opportunities to practise and apply. We use strategies from various schemes such as Letters and Sounds and Read Write Inc that are tailored to the needs of classes, groups and individuals.

All Year One children undertake a statutory phonics screening test each year in June. For more information or assistance on this please visit Team 1's page or click here.


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Contact the School

J H Godwin Primary School

Melbourne Road

Main Contact: If you would like to contact someone at school for help with anything please ring and speak to Mrs S Jefferson or Mrs K Bickerton in the office

Tel: 01244 259 666

SEN Contact: Mrs E Cornish SENDCO - via

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