Reading and Phonics

Reading for Pleasure

At Langton Green, we strongly encourage reading for pleasure across the school. Reading is a vital skill that will support children’s learning across the whole curriculum. Reading has multiple purposes, allowing children to: learn something new, be entertained, be informed, understand themselves and others and be inspired. We cultivate readers with a passion for a wide range of materials and ensure that their love of reading allows them to build on their skills independently and in a wide range of subjects. With a strong emphasis on early reading, children can confidently access the entirety of the rich curriculum on offer at Langton Green.


“Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success.”

 – OECD, 2002.

Reading and Phonics

Learning to read is a fundamental skill for life. In Reception, children are taught the sounds made by individual, pairs and clusters of letters. They read graded books with strongly patterned language and picture cues. In Reception, Year 1 and the beginning of Year 2, children have regular phonics sessions that assist them to recognise letters, understand the sound they make and blend these sounds together to create words. Letter-sound correspondence is taught through a highly structured synthetic phonic approach. Alongside this they learn to instantly recognise by sight the most common words in the English language. Many of these words are not phonically regular and learning them by heart is vital as they appear so regularly in all the texts they encounter.

Word Recognition

To teach beginning readers about letter-sound correspondence we use a government publication called ‘Letters and Sounds’. The aim of this scheme is to equip children with the phonic knowledge and skills they need to become fluent readers by the age of seven. It is a six phased scheme which is taught in Reception through to Year Two.

Reception – Revising Phase 1, learning Phases 2 and 3, starting Phase 4

Year 1 – Phase 4 and Phase 5

Year 2 – Phase 6

Jolly phonics mnemonics are used when introducing the children to individual letter sounds.

Year 1 Phonics Screener Results

2019 2018 2017
93% 85% 90%

Our colour banded reading scheme incorporates a range of books from different highly evaluated series and introduces children to new words gradually.  We use a selection of schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Big Cat Phonics, Rigby Star and Project X. These books are levelled into colour bands so that children can progress through the books in levels of difficulty. Reading deliberately patterned, simple, repetitive grammatical structures helps children to achieve early success.

Phonics is also used consistently within Key Stage 2. The children are encouraged to draw on their existing phonetic knowledge when learning to spell and read more complex words. Any children who did not pass the Phonics Screening in Key Stage 1 continue to receive support in Key Stage 2 if their ability to decode impacts upon them as a reader.

Learning to decode text accurately is just the start of the reading journey.  Reading is also about comprehension and being able to discuss and interpret meaning from the text. We use an assessment system called Nelson Benchmarking. This system enables us to accurately assess levels of comprehension and reading ability so that children are reading on the correct book band colour.

We consider the Simple View of Reading when teaching children to read:


Guided Reading (Language Comprehension) – VIPERS

As a school, we use VIPERS as a structure during our Guided Reading lessons. This ensures that all children are working towards the same learning objective at the same time. Children who find reading tricky are able to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’, as the texts used are modelled by the class teacher before completing the related task.

High quality texts are used consistently and teachers are encouraged to use texts which vary in genre, including picture books, non-fiction, poems and visual representations. 

Please see below for a brief outline of how VIPERS is used across the school:

KS1 and KS2 Reading Results

2019 2018
KS1 (Year 2) 80% 82%
KS2 (Year 6) 93% 89%