Reading and Phonics

Our Vision 

Through a caring, respectful, and successful environment, we provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential. 

Subject Intent, Implementation and Impact: How do we teach Reading?

Reading Intent

At Chigwell Row Infant School our aim is for every child to become a fluent reader. We want children to become fluent readers in order for them to reach age related expectations or make accelerated progress from their starting point. As well as this we want children to develop a love for reading and read for pleasure on a regular basis.

Our curriculum is designed around the needs of the pupils in our school and there are a variety of approaches to enable the pupils to make good progress.

The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:

  • show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
  • rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds (Super Sonic Phonic Friends) to make sustained progress;
  • read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
  • acquire a wider vocabulary;
  • develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
  • develop a love of reading;
  • read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
  • through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually;

• develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge.


The school teaches reading through shared reading, (whole class reading) independent reading and story reading.  Adults read with children on a 1:1 basis at least once a week. 

In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 the emphasis is on phonics teaching in order for children to recognise and use phoneme and grapheme correspondences by the end of KS1 so they are able to obtain competency in reading. At Chigwell Row, we use Super Sonic Phonic Friends to teach phonics. 


At Foundation Stage:

  • Teaching of letters and sounds (daily 10-20 minute phonic sessions)
  • Children have experience with fiction as well as non-fiction.
  • Big book sharing, audio books, story reading, film, guided reading, and independent reading are all part and parcel of their daily experience.
  • Teachers inform parents through the reading diaries of progress made.


At Key Stage 1:

  • Children engage in shared reading, independent reading and story time.
  • Teachers use texts that are stimulating and inspiring.
  • Film, taped stories, poetry, plays, reading games, word building and non-fiction books contribute to the development of reading ability and comprehension.
  • Daily 20 minute phonic sessions
  • Reading diaries are given to parents to record a child’s reading achievements.
  • Timetabled group intervention for those needing support with their development of phonics and early literacy skills.


We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Throughout the school day there are many opportunities for teachers and support staff to talk to children about their reading and to hear them read. Discussion helps pupils develop and extend their understanding and response. It is clear that pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment. Pupils discuss books with excitement and interest.
  • The quality of reading experiences is evaluated by learning walks, drop-ins, pupil progress meetings and book scrutiny. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.
  • Continuous formative assessment, supported by termly summative assessment, informs the Class Teacher’s professional judgement regarding each pupil’s attainment and progress. This information is recorded and closely monitored by the Subject Leaders. Assessment Reports are shared with the school’s Governing Body.
  • The annual Phonics Check for Year 1 pupils takes place in June. 
  • End of Key Stage statutory assessments take place for Year 2 and Year 6.
  • Attainment and progress is reported annually to parents.


Super Sonic Phonic Friends 





Promoting the Love of Reading 


At Chigwell Row Infant School, we believe that reading is the key to success. 

We prioritise reading and developing a love of reading for all children. 

We ensure that reading aloud to children is a priority and share a class book daily. 

We include a monthly reading challenge on our weekly newsletters and encourage families to actively participate. 

Children have access to our weekly book club where they read for pleasure,  share a book and discuss the text.  

We also visit our local library as a whole school and encourage parents to take their children on a regular basis. 

This September, we have introduced our reading tracker and recommended reading lists. Children will receive reading incentives when they have read and tracked 5, 10, 20 etc books. 




Advice from DFE Reading Framework July 2023

How to read a story to your child

If you can find the time beforehand, read the read-aloud book to yourself first, so you can think about how you’re going to read it to your child.

On the first reading:

• Make reading aloud feel like a treat. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so you can both see the book.

• Show curiosity about what you’re going to read: ‘This book looks interesting. It’s about an angry child. I wonder how angry he gets…’

• Read through the whole story the first time without stopping too much. Let the story weave its own magic.

• Read with enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it, your child won’t. Read favourite stories over and over again. On later readings:

• Let your child pause, think about and comment on the pictures.

• If you think your child did not understand something, try to explain: ‘Oh! I think what’s happening here is that…’

• Chat about the story and pictures: ‘I wonder why she did that?’; ‘Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…’; ‘I wouldn’t have done that, would you?’

• Link the stories to your own family experiences: ‘This reminds me of when …’

• Link stories to others that your child knows: ‘Ah! Do you remember the dragon in ….? Do you remember what happened to him?’

• Encourage your child to join in with the bits they know.

• Avoid asking questions to test what your child remembers.

• Avoid telling children that reading stories is good for them.