Subject Leader: Mrs Louise White  

Mrs White

English Link Governor: Mrs Samantha Keay

Reading policy currently being updated


At The Arches Primary, we value reading as a key life skill, so are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We aim for all children to become confident, fluent readers who have the skills to access a range of texts.  Our philosophy is driven by the determination that every child in this school will learn to read regardless of social and economic circumstances, ethnicity, the language spoken at home and most special educational needs or disabilities. It is therefore our mission that every pupil receives the five essential components of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. We aspire for all our pupils to read for pleasure as research shows that children who do are more confident and academically successful.

We intend that all children will:

  • Develop their phonemic awareness.
  • Have access to quality teaching of our chosen systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme which is taught with fidelity, consistency and continuity from Reception to Y2.
  • Initially, read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words.
  • Re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading.
  • Have their phonics progress frequently assessed to quickly identify pupils who are falling behind and targeted support will be given immediately.
  • Regularly listen to stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction which is carefully chosen to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading.
  • Be familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction.
  • Develop a love for reading.


FS2 Children begin their reading journey at The Arches by learning synthetic phonics through Letters and Sounds which all staff have been trained to use. Children have daily Letters and Sounds lessons in which they learn to recognise the graphemes and the corresponding phonemes; orally blend and segment words and blend to read words and sentences containing the sounds they know. As we believe overlearning is key to the reading of tricky words, which can’t yet be sounded out and blended, we also include daily tricky word flashcard practise.

As children move into year 1, they continue to learn grapheme phoneme correspondences in daily Letters and Sounds lessons. They then move on to learning alternative pronunciations of certain graphemes, alternative spellings of some phonemes and spelling rules. They experience blending to read and segmenting to spell a range of real and psuedo words, including compound and pollysylabic words.

Children in FS2 and year 1 will bring home at least two fully decodable reading books per week which are closely matched to their current phonic knowledge. These will be supplemented with a book from our class libraries for children to share with an adult or older sibling. This book will probably not be fully decodable for your child yet so the expectation is not for the child to read this book themselves. We believe strongly that children will develop a love of reading through experiencing success when reading at home and having quality story time with a wide range of books.

From year 2 onwards, as we aim for children to by now be fluent readers, the focus switches from phonics to comprehension whilst ensuring that children who still need it have phonics interventions as appropriate. Pupils in year 2, 3 and 3/4, have at least four guided reading sessions of approximately 30 minutes. In years 4/5, 5 and 6, daily reading lessons are taught in a carosel where children either have a guided read with a member of staff or independently access Reading Plus on the ipads.

Across the school, classes also have daily shared reading lessons where staff share high quality texts which may be at a level above which the child can independently read. In these sessions, we aim to instill a love of reading, teach comprehension and explore new vocabulary.

To help to inspire and motivate children to read, throughout school, we ensure children have access to high quality books and other reading resources in classrooms, along with special events such as author visits.


The best way to help your child achieve well in reading, and indeed across the curriculum, is to hear them read and share and discuss a variety of reading materials as often as you can. This is to develop and embed those good reading habits that will help them to be successful in school and beyond. Also, keep an eye ot  throughout the year for class appropriate reading workshops.

Subject Development

We are currently working with Childer Thornton English Hub to develop early reading and phonics in FS2 and KS1. Children across school follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme and also engage with Reading Plus and Bug Club. They are supporting through funding for additional resources, training, peer support and monitoring visits. Reading continues to be a whole school focus as outlined in our SSDP and staff look forward to discussing and measuring the impact of high quality teaching and learning and interventions. 

Files to Download

The Arches Community Primary School

Saughall Road, Blacon, Chester CH1 5EZ

Nicky Johnson or Sue Wilkins: SEN Contact

Michelle Ashfield: Headteacher

01244 667660

Student Login