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At Waterhouses CE (VC) Primary School we use the phonics programme ‘Letters and Sounds’ from Nursery.

Children are taught 42 basic sounds and 27 complex/alternative spellings. They learn to blend and segment to enable them to read and write.

Our lessons include games and practical activities to help children learn and put their phonics skills into practise. Each lesson has 4 parts; children revise sounds they have previously been taught, are taught a new sound/word, practise what they have been taught and then apply their new phonics knowledge. We use a multisensory approach to support phonics using wide range of resources including: Phonics Bug, Phonics Play and Jolly Phonics.

Rigorous and systematic teaching of phonics with on-going assessment supports reading and writing and provides children with a firm foundation on which to build. Our aim is that all children will have a sound knowledge and understanding of phonics by the end of Key Stage 1. Some, however, will need continued support in Key Stage 2.


One of the most important skills a child can acquire is the ability to read independently and for meaning. Books are the stepping stones of imagination and our aim is to instil in your child a love of books and a passion for the written word.

We read a range of quality texts throughout the day in all curriculum areas, as well as teaching discrete phonics and reading sessions every day.  Please help us to support your child begin their reading journey by reading, talking about and enjoying books every day.

Class Reading

Foundation Stage:

Reading opportunities are given on a daily basis. A wide range of approaches are used to provide first hand experiences for the children. The children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print. There are focussed periods within the day when small groups of children share books with an adult.  The class teachers share big books with the class and reads stories and rhymes daily.

The children are given an individual reading book to take home when they are ready. The teacher reads with the child and encourages reading to take place at home. The classroom has an attractive reading area with comfortable seating and a quality selection of engaging and appropriate books available.

Key Stage One:

Children are given a reading book at an appropriate level to take home. Children’s individual reading will be monitored by staff and supported by TAs. In Year 2, children will join the Accelerated Reader scheme.  Each class has a class reader which is changed on a termly basis. Time is allocated during each day for the class reader to be shared. The Otters classroom has an attractive reading area with comfortable seating and a quality selection of engaging and appropriate books available.

Key Stage Two:

Children use the Accelerated Reader scheme (please read more about this below). Staff closely monitor the achievement in the quizzes to ensure the children are reading at an appropriate level. Where appropriate children are heard read by an adult in school.  Each class has a class novel which is shared on a daily basis and changed termly. Time is allocated during each day for the class reader to be shared.

Please refer to the document below for reading expectations within each year group:

Reading Expectations Reception to Year 6

For pupils who need to develop their phonetic awareness or are not yet ready to access the skills detailed in the document above, they will receive interventions appropriate to their reading needs.

Home Reading

Children’s individual reading will be monitored by staff and supported by TAs. Each time a child reads at home, a comment should be written by parents/carers in the Home-School Link books. It is expected that children read at home with an adult for at least 15 minutes every night.

Reading Scheme Books

By using a range of published schemes, we ensure that the reading opportunities are varied and rich for all of our pupils.

Class Reading Schemes

Ladybirds – Foundation Stage


Big Cat phonics books, Big Cat reading books, Bug Club phonics, Rigby Star books, Red Rocket Readers / Fiction and Non – Fiction text

Otters – Key Stage 1


Rapid readers, Heineman, Project X, Bug Club, PM Books, Red Rocket Readers = Fiction and Non – Fiction text, Heinemann Story Worlds, Discovery World ( Non – Fiction texts ) Rhyme World and Bridges books


Penguins and White Tigers  Key Stage 2


Accelerated Reader (banded fiction and non-fiction materials), Project X, Project X Origins, PM Books, Red Rocket Readers = Fiction and Non – Fiction text, Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford Reading Tree poetry, Oxford Reading Tree – Treetops, Oxford Reading Tree Fireflies

​In addition, we have guided reading books, which are also levelled to match children’s reading abilities. Whole Class reading also takes place each week where a text is explored collectively.

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is a national program used to assist in the improvement of pupil’s reading abilities and their comprehension of what they read.  It provides pupils with thousands of book choices (and quizzes) from published scheme books such as Oxford Reading Tree to books by significant authors in order to meet their individual reading needs.

The program uses a computer-based test called the STAR reader test that adjusts to the pupil’s individual reading level. They complete this initial testing early on in the school year to give them a reading level (known as a ZPD). Based on this information, each pupil has a points target which they must meet each half term. They earn points by passing quizzes which they must sit after reading each text. Every pupil is expected to score 85% or higher on the Reading Practice quiz in order to demonstrate sufficient understanding of the text. Reading progress is recorded on the online system which is easily monitored by the children themselves as well as class teachers and members of the Senior Leadership Team.

You can find out more information on the link below:

Parent Workshop

You can also access the link to the BookFinder website below to find reading material appropriate to your child’s ZPD:


Home Connect is a fun, easy-to-use web-based interface that allows parents to view their child’s progress in Accelerated Reader. Once you’ve signed on you can click Email Setup to sign up and receive emails showing your student’s quiz or test results.

  1. Log on to the following link-HomeConnect
  2. Type in your child’s User Name and Password. (See your teacher or child for user name and password information.)

If you have further questions about Accelerated Reader, please see your child’s class teacher.

 Suggested Reading Lists

The following suggestions are by no means exhaustive and indeed barely scratch the surface of the wealth of good literature available on the market. We hope, however, that they may prove a useful guide when deciding on a book to buy or when you visit the library with your child.

The suggested reading lists below have been organised by year group but are by no means prescriptive as not all children will be reading in line with their chronological age.

The reading lists for Years 4-6 contain some older titles and may well be less familiar. They are, nevertheless, from authors with a proven track record in writing high quality literature and we hope that you may discover a gem among them which becomes a firm favourite with your child.








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Waterhouses CE Primary Academy