Message sent from:


We are highly committed to developing all children as readers as we recognise it to be a key skill for lifelong learning and enjoyment. Children learn to read using a range of skills – phonic decoding, language comprehension and word recognition. They are taught these skills through whole class, guided reading and individual reading sessions, as well as through English, Grammar Punctuation and Spelling (G.P.S) and phonic lessons. We place great emphasis on enjoyment of reading and use high quality books throughout our curriculum to engage the children.

At Hangleton, we do not follow one particular scheme, but use a system called book banding. This is from the Institute of Education and has been developed from Reception up to year 3. This means the children are able to read from a wide range of books, rather than just one scheme. The grid below shows how the colour bands progress. The children take home the banded books during the week and we ask that you listen to and support your child reading with these. In Reception and KS1, the children have a diary where you can make comments about the children’s progress. In KS2 the children will have a reading journal in which you or they can make comments.

Progression of colour bands for home readers

  Reception     Year 1/2     Year 2  
  Reception     Year 1/2     Year 2/3  
  Rec/Year 1     Year 2     Year 3  
  Year 1     Year 2     Year 3  


Phonics teaching is the teaching of the relationship of letters and sounds in English. Our alphabet is comprised of 26 letters, although there are 44 different sounds. This can make our language seem quite complicated, as there is not one letter to one sound. Letters can make different sounds and some sounds are made up of 1, 2 or 3 different combinations of letters.

Phonics teaching focusses on two areas - phonics knowledge and phonic skills. Phonics knowledge is about children knowing which letters, and combinations of letters (graphemes), make which sounds (phonemes). Phonics skills are about teaching the children how to use their knowledge for reading and for writing. We follow a revise - teach - practise - apply model, using the Letters and Sounds Guidance issued from the Department of Education in April 2007. There is a systematic programme from phase 1 to phase 6 that builds on reading and spelling skills. As part of this, the school has produced phase booklets that we share with the parents during parents' evenings.

At our school we use the Jolly Phonics resources to support our children's learning. These resources use sounds, actions and visual clues which is a fun and engaging way to learn. The order in which we teach the letters and sounds support the building up of words for reading and spelling. This dowloadable PowerPoint presentation explains all about teaching children phonics (If you do not have PowerPoint you may still view the presentation online as a PDF)



In Reception, we teach the main way of making the first 44 sounds. At first, children are taught sound discrimination and are taught 3 - 4 sounds per week. They blend and segment these sounds; for example, they learn that c-a-t can be blended to make the word cat. They will also learn that man can be segmented into 3 sounds, m-a-n. We stretch out the word so that the children can hear the sounds. These skills of blending and segmenting are essential for reading and writing. We teach these skills through fun games and activities.

In Year 1, we continue with the different phases and teach the blends of the different consonants, for example tr as in train and fr as in frog, building on the work in Reception. We also teach the alternative sounds, such as the different ways to make the long a sound - ai as in rain; a_e as in bake.

In Year 2, we continue to introduce the less common alternatives and explore spelling conventions like suffixes.

In Key Stage 2, we work on developing stategies for spelling longer  words, looking at spelling patterns as well as developing guidelines for making choices between spelling alternatives.


Core Book Reading Spine

We have developed the Core Book Spine in school as the foundation of our reading curriculum. The collection has been designed to introduce children to a range of high quality literature rich in language, awe and wonder and challenge. These are books that all children will get to know in every detail and get to love. Not all children will be able to read the books on the spine but they will all have access to them as they will be read aloud and shared in the class context inspiring children to be readers and motivated to read for themselves.

Of course so many books will be read and shared and enjoyed in school, individually, in groups and at story times, but we think this progressive spine of literature supports children’s learning to read, and their development as readers.

Please click here to view the Hangleton Primary Core Book Spine.

Hit enter to search