Early Reading and Phonics

Reading is a huge part of life at Old Bank Academy. We encourage children to read and enjoy a wide variety of books to nurture a lifelong love of reading. We put all our efforts into making sure that children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception classes using the systematic synthetic phonics programme: Little Wandle Phonics Letters and Sounds Revised. Children follow a detailed programme for teaching phonics with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by the end of Year 1.

Children who have difficulty in retaining what they have been taught are helped with intervention in small groups. During your child’s time in school you will be offered the opportunity to attend workshops which help you to understand the way we teach phonics in school and how the children are tested in Year 1.

There are many ways you can support your child with there phonics at home. See below for video guidance on this. if you would like any additional support with phonics or reading, please contact Mrs Cooper in the Parent Hub

Reading Scheme

Our school reading scheme contains a wide variety of books from many published schemes: Big Cat Phonics, Word Sparks, Project X, Code and Songbirds. We have books that can be decoded entirely using phonics but most require children to use a range of reading strategies.

The books have been carefully ranked and increase in difficulty until children are fluent at that level. The aim of our scheme is to develop fluent, confident readers who understand what they have read. The scheme contains books form different genres so that children get used to reading stories, poems, play scripts, fiction and non-fiction.

Organisers are sent home with reading books with a reading record on each page. We encourage parents to read with their child each night to foster a love of reading and to develop key reading skills. At the moment children will receive a book on a Monday to be read at home and then are encouraged to change their book daily/once read- depending on the size of the text. IN EYFS/KS1 daily reading is a priority and parents should encourage this at home in order to help to accelerate progress.

Guided & Shared Reading

Guided Reading begins in Reception and continues up to the end of Year 1. Children are grouped and share a text with a well-trained adult at least three times per week. Children enjoy these sessions and the books are chosen to offer a wide range of subjects and genres.

The aim of guided reading is to challenge children with texts in order to develop their decoding, and then later in the programme, comprehension skills. In Years 2-6, shared reading is taught through the Steps to Read programme and helps to develop children’s reading and comprehension skills.

Reading Across The Curriculum

Reading is a fundamental part of the school curriculum. Each class has a dedicated reading area and well stocked class libraries that have many genres of books appropriate to age. Every effort is made to encourage children to read for pleasure whether that be a story book, magazine, newspaper or other print.

In English lessons, children analyse texts and some of our topics are based around books and stories. Using the Read to Write English programme provides a link between the Steps to Read texts and further embeds the topic and vocabulary for children.

Please click the web links below to access reading links and resources for parents.


Primary Games Arena

Book Trust

Story Line

Reading Rockets

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