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Chalfont St Peter

Infant School

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Reading Statement of Intent

Reading at Chalfont St Peter Infant School



At Chalfont St Peter Infant School reading is seen as a life skill and the key to academic success. We want pupils to gain a life-long enjoyment of reading, apply their knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words, read with confidence, accuracy, fluency and expression, to comprehend and respond to a wide range of texts.


We aim for our pupils to acquire the knowledge and understanding for reading as set out by the EYFS 2021 Handbook and the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 in the following areas:

  • Word reading
  • Comprehension (both reading and listening)


We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.



Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure consistent, progressive and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics. Synthetic phonics is the first method for the teaching of reading in Reception and Year 1 as it provides the foundations required to become a fluent reader. We understand that once children are able to decode fluently, the teaching of comprehension is quicker and more effective as they are able to focus all of their attention to understanding what they read. Daily, fast paced, interactive and challenging 20 -25 minute lessons through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP ensures effective learning and progress of reading. In Year 2, children continue to build their phonic knowledge through daily phonics practice; revising Phase 5, teaching Phase 6 and the additional requirements of the NC such as homophones, possessive apostrophes and contractions. Discreet comprehension lessons focus on developing pupils’ level of understanding of the text, through discussion, written and oral tasks; and the exploration of new vocabulary. Pupils will be taught important comprehension reading skills in a memorable and accessible way using ‘Totally Pawsome’ dog characters. V,I,P,R,S stands for each of the reading dog characters: Victor Vocabulary, Iggy Inference, Predicting Pip, Rex Retriever and Sequencing Suki.


Reading books in Reception and Year 1 match our phonics programme.  Children are taught specific phonemes/graphemes and then have access to the equivalent books that reinforce the phonics that have been explicitly taught.  They also have access to a specific Book Band ‘Sharing’ books that they can choose from to take home.  Pupils have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, and are encouraged to read at home with an adult.  Our expectation is that children read at home at least five times per week.  Reading records are used by parents to show a log of reading and also a way of communicating with staff about reading. Teachers and teaching assistants also record within the reading record to communicate reading within school.  The teacher/teaching assistant monitors these reading records in order to ensure children are reading at home and also to gain information about other books that children may have access to at home. 


We provide a text rich environment, in order to encourage a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promote pupils’ enjoyment of reading. Children hear, share and discuss a range of high-quality texts through our whole class English teaching, both in terms of fiction and nonfiction. Each class has an inspiring reading corner and weekly access to the school library. Children are encouraged to share their favourite stories with their class and assemblies are held to inspire a love of reading.


By the end of Reception children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary
  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play
  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

By the end of Key Stage 1 we expect our children to be skilled at word reading to ensure pupils can: 

  • Read accurately most words of two or three syllables
  • Read most words containing common suffixes
  • Read most common exception words
  • Read most words accurately without overt sounding and blending and sufficiently fluently to allow them to focus on their understanding rather than decoding individual words (age appropriate books)
  • Sound out most unfamiliar words accurately without undue hesitation (age appropriate books) In a book that they can already read fluently, the pupil can:
  • Check it makes sense to them correcting any inaccurate reading
  • Answer questions and make some inferences
  • Explain what has happened so far in what they have read

If children are not reaching these expectations and keeping up with the pace of our phonics programme we intervene quickly by giving extra support.  We give catch up support provided by staff through 1:1 regular reading opportunities specifically focusing on phonemes that require more understanding and application.  The content of these sessions is determined by ongoing gap analysis and our in-depth knowledge of each child.  These sessions are additional to our daily phonics sessions.


Reading interventions can also focus on reading comprehension for those children who can decode appropriately but do not understand what they are reading.  These may be 1:1 or a small focus group.  All interventions are rigorous and systematic with the intention that these children catch up rapidly with their peers based on good knowledge of the children’s understanding and a clear personalised approach to ‘closing the gap.’



Through the teaching of systematic phonics, as our prime approach then with a focus on comprehension, our aim is for children to become confident, fluent readers with a good understanding of what they have read by the end of Key Stage 1. All pupils will make at least good progress from their staring points and they will develop a lifelong enjoyment of reading and books.

Half termly Little Wandle assessments ensure all children are monitored and are making good progress.  They also identity those children who require additional support. The Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1 also identifies children who need extra phonics help. Children’s progress in reading is shared with parents three times a year; through parents’ evenings in the Autumn and Spring terms and written reports in the Summer term.