Home Page

Phonics & Reading



Statement of Intent:

At Harrietsham, we believe that reading is a fundamental skill that will support children for the rest of their lives. All children who arrive at the school regardless of their starting points and educational history will leave the school able to read with sufficient fluency to access secondary education. 

We want to provide opportunities across the curriculum to explore wide ranges of texts and genres, whilst also ensuring children have plenty of time to read for pleasure. A love of reading should be evident as you walk through our school, with well resourced reading areas and a high-quality library.



All of our staff are trained in delivering exciting phonics and reading sessions, with a pro-active reading leadership team who continue to deliver staff CPD to maintain our high standards.


Starting in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children are taught daily phonics lessons using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic synthetic phonics programme validated by the DfE. These daily sessions continue throughout EYFS and Year 1, with assessments every term to ensure all children are on track to meet their age expectations.


In KS1, all children have three group sessions with an adult every week. These sessions are structured as follows:

1 – Decoding – Reading the words.

2 – Prosody – Reading with expression.

3 - Comprehension – Understanding the text.


In September 2023, we introduced a relentless, no shortcuts approach, ensuring exposure to rich texts in English lessons, whilst the children hone their basic skills in reading lessons and only move on when ready. This is to prevent weak fluency causing issues further down their educational journey. In Key Stage 2, the children are taught in groups pitched at their reading ability enabling gaps to be filled and ensuring rapid progress. We follow a robust and evidenced based approach to teaching the comprehension skills called 'Complete Comprehension'.  The children take part in questions, debates, research and other activities to encourage a love for reading whilst embedding skills.


All of our reading schemes cover all requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum and the 2023 DfE Reading Framework.

All children bring home a Learn to Read and a Love to Read book. The first is a levelled phonics or colour banded book which is levelled at the child’s current reading level (using benchmarking assessments). The second is a book chosen by the child which can be read by adults at home for enjoyment. This may come from the school library or class book corner.

All classes spend at least 10 minutes every day having class story-time using our Harrietsham Reading for Pleasure Spine which was created by teachers and inspired by Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine.


Children Requiring Support

Children who are working below their age expectation are supported using Little Wandle’s Keep-Up (EYFS / Y1), Catch-Up (Y2 / KS2) or SEN (SEN Register) intervention programmes. This will be regularly assessed and timetabled to ensure children are supported in their reading. We also use Literacy Gold Engaging Eyes to support children with meeting their age expectation in reading.



When children leave Harrietsham, they have been exposed to a wide range of high-quality texts and genres as part of their learning, and as part of reading for pleasure.

They are confident, fluent readers, equipped with the skills to decode and understand texts and engage in conversations about their own preferences.

We aim for above national average results for reading and phonics across the school, with our lowest 20% of children being supported from EYFS to Y6, so that children reach their full reading potential and are ready to access any text they encounter in the next phase of their education journey or in their lives outside school.

Phonics Gallery