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Reading at Gilded Hollins


Phonics is taught through Letters and Sounds in Early Years and moves on to the Sounds-Write Phonics Scheme in Key Stage1. Sounds-Write promotes a strong, proven approach to the teaching of phonics and reading and links to the Dandelion Reading books used throughout Key Stage 1.


The strategies put in place as part of the scheme are as follows:


  • The children learn to discriminate between the separate sounds in words.
  • They learn the letters and combinations most commonly used to spell sounds.
  • They learn to read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts.
  • They study written representations of a sound and how it looks.
  • They also recognise on sight vocabulary identified as complex.


The Sounds-Write approach is continued to be used as an intervention programme through to Year 6. 

All children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 have two discrete phonics lessons daily.

Alongside these lessons, those children who may be finding it more difficult to grasp the art of reading than others, are taught in smaller, focus groups with a teaching assistant and where possible, they are heard read by another adult.

Key Stage 2 children are taught weekly spelling patterns that follow the new curriculum, which they practise and apply regularly.  In Year 3, children have a daily spelling session and in Years 4-6, children have three discrete spelling sessions per week.



As early as possible at Gilded Hollins, pupils begin to read using phonetically decodable texts that are in line with their reading ability. Pupils are given regular opportunities to read to in school, either with an adult, as part of a small group or individually.  As soon as children are confident decoders, they progress on to ‘real’ books where their inference and deduction skills are developed, as well as their love for reading.

All classes have a ‘class reader’ – a book that is shared together and read by the whole class.


The approach to reading throughout Key Stage 2 may be seen as taking a ‘multi-layered approach’.

  • Each class has a targeted reading lesson each day alongside their English lesson. This lesson is a Whole Class Reading session. Over the course of a week, the children do two lessons based on their class reader and three lessons on a linked theme. For example, in Year Six the children explore texts based on the theme of Pompeii (a non-fiction text, fiction text and a song) for one week. The linked themes are selected to match other areas of the curriculum, relevant things in the wider world which are not covered on our curriculum and significant people in our history.


  • 1 lesson each week is a dedicated comprehension lesson, where children are taught specific reading skills. (We refer to these sessions as ‘CLIMB’ sessions. CLIMB is an acronym standing for: Comprehension, Language, Inference, Meaning and Books. Questions about the relevant texts are based on these reading skills.)


  • In addition, one afternoon is dedicated to foster a passion for stories and the written word.  This is where children are given the chance to share and talk about a range of books whilst in a small group with like-minded peers, in a similar way to a book circle. This book goes home and is shared with parents to continue the strong reading link between home and school.


Regardless of year group, it is the expectation that every child in school will read at home at least five times weekly. This is monitored in school through the school planners and posted on Seesaw for staff to keep track of.


Watch to learn a little more about our approach to phonics - Sounds-Write

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