Clowne Infant & Nursery School

‘We take our children on a journey of discovery, giving them aspirations and engaging them in lifelong learning’



Reading at Clowne Infant and Nursery School

At Clowne Infant and Nursery School we aim for all our children to learn to read confidently and as independently as possible.  Pupils who read books and other literature have an opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.  Through reading pupils can aquire knowledge to build on what they already know and good readers can successfully access other curriculum areas throughout their school experience and within the wider world.  Reading is an essential language skill needed to participate as a member of society as so we place high importance on children learning to read. 

How do we teach reading?

In Foundation Stage one (FS1/nursery) and Foundation Stage two (FS2/reception) reading is currently taught following the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2017 and to support the implementation of this teachers also use the non- statutory guidance Development Matters 2012. 

See documents below. 

In Key Stage one (year 1 and year 2) reading is taught following the National Curriculum for English.
We teach reading in specific ways throughout our curriculum, along a progression of skills and reading is included in our English Curriculum Intent.  See the documents below for further information.

Reading has two elements: learning the words to read them (decoding) and understanding what is read (comprehension). 



In order to read print, children need to be skilled in working out unfamiliar words (decoding) as well as recognising words which are familiar to them.  Children need to understand that letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken English words.  This is why we give high importance to phonic teaching for our children who are just beginning to read.  We teach phonics during our letters and sounds direct teaching sessions across all age groups.  

In nursery our pupils have 2 letters and sound sessions each week and in reception, year 1 and year 2 pupils have letters and sounds lessons daily.   

If you would like to know more about phonics in our school please see our curriculum phonics page which explains phonics in more depth.  The picture weblink below will take you to our phonics curriculum where you can learn more about what phonics is and how we teach phonics. 

Reading Comprehension

Children understanding what they read (comprehension) relies on their knowledge of the English language vocabulary and grammar and their understanding of the world.  We aim to develop English comprehension skills through teachers and teaching assistants communications and interactions with pupils and through reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.  We encourage our children to read widely and aim to encourage an appreciation and love of reading as well as to gain knowledge throughout all areas of the curriculum.  Reading a broad range of books helps to develop pupils vocabulary and language beyond their own spoken language as well as opening up children's imagination and questioning skills.  


In our reception classes, as well as taking part in our daily letters and sounds lessons, children read one to one with an adult each week.  This allows children to have an individual focused opportunity to practice pre-reading skills, phonic skills, discuss books to develop vocabulary and comprehension and allows teachers to assess children's reading progress individually.  Reading skills in reception are also developed by share reading and discussing big books together with the teacher.  Over the year children have adult-led focused reading  lessons specifically planned as part of teaching the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum with a more specific focus on traditional tales during term 4.  (See our curriculum page for more information about our reception yearly curriculum.) Children engage in comprehension activities in letters and sounds by matching words and sentences with pictures.  Pupils take home phonic based activities to practice and reinforce the phonemes (sounds) taught each week and informs parents which sounds their child has been learning. 

Key Stage one (Years 1 and 2)

In years 1 and 2 we give children opportunities to practice their phonic skills and develop their reading comprehension through adult-led guided reading sessions in which pupils read a text together in a small group with a teacher or teaching assistant.  Teachers and teaching assistant monitor children's word reading and application of phonic skills as well as questioning children on their understanding of the vocabulary, content, characters, main ideas and how a text is structured.  Children are prompted to use reading strategies at difficulties, are asked questions about the books and encouraged to join in group discussions about their reading and the text before, during or after reading.  As children become more fluent and confident with their reading and writing they begin to answer written comprehension questions about texts, with support at first and afterwards independently.  

Reading books 


Our books for children to read both in school and to take home are colour book banded from the Early Years Foundation Stage in reception through to the end of Key Stage one in year two.  The colour book bands are closely matched to our progression of phonic skills so that reading books are at a level appropriate to children's phonic knowledge gained and this means pupils can practice and apply their phonic skills when reading books and be successful readers.  


We use a variety of reading schemes so that children read a broader range of books which includes fiction, non-fiction and some poetry books.  Our reading scheme was audited and updated with new reading material in the reception classes last academic year and has been audited in years 1 and 2 and is being continually updated to give children a wider variety of reading material for predominantly practicing phonic skills in the early stages of reading and later a broader range of reading material as children become more confident and fluent readers.  


In the Early Years Foundation Stage reception classes for our main scheme we use Big Cat Phonics, Reading Planet and Floppy's Phonics with Bug Club as our online scheme and alongside our main scheme we also use PM, Engage Literacy and Rigby Star. 

In Key Stage one years 1 and 2 we use a wider variety of schemes for both guided reading and individual reading including: Big Cat Phonics, Bug Club, Reading Planet, Floppy's Phonics, Engage Literacy, Rigby Star, Project X, PM, Ginn and Ginn Lighthouse, Oxford Traditional Tales, Oxford Reading Tree and some real books by recognised authors.  Bug Club is our online individual reading scheme.  



Bug Club


Bug club is our school online reading scheme used beginning in reception and continuing through to years one and two.  Children can access bug club books in school or at home to read books at their own reading level.  Children can read independently or listen to the books read to them and they enjoy collecting bug points for each book after they have completed the comprehension questions and activities.  

To find out more information about bug club or if your child already has their login and password and you would like to find out how to begin, follow the link picture below.

Print rich environment

Children see print and books throughout the school environment.  We have a broad range of topic and reading material available to children throughout their continuous provision and within in specific comfy reading areas which children can access freely to practice their independent reading skills.  Classrooms throughout school have reading areas which encourage children to look at and read books by themselves or with others to develop a love of reading.  We have wide variety of real books in our school library from which children choose a book to take home and share with their parents. 

How to encourage and help your child to read at home.




  • Have books available at home so your child can read whenever they are ready to.  Make reading a part of family life, if children see parents reading it encourages children to read too!


  •  Make your child a member of your local library to broaden and expand their reading experiences. Let them choose their own books and go with what they are interested in reading.


  • Help your child to find reading material they are interested in.  Comics, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, magazines or leaflets is all good reading.  Home reading is not limited to reading books that children bring home from school, all reading is good. 


  • Find a quiet space and get comfy with your child so that you can give your full attention to reading together for a short while.  Snuggle up in bed or on the sofa together.  It helps if your child sees reading as a nice shared experience with you. 


  • Ensure your child has a quiet comfy place to read by themselves too.  Studies have shown that children's reading fluency and confidence improved by reading to dogs or teddies too! 


  • If your child is reading to you, always ask them to point underneath each word themselves, until they become very accurate and fluent readers and no longer need to point at all.  This is so that they look carefully at the words but also so that they see themselves as readers whose job it is to do the reading.  Being able to point to each word independently is an important skill in early reading. 


  • If your child is reading and they come across an unfamiliar word – give your child at least 6 seconds to have a go at working out the word by themselves.  If they are still having difficulty prompt them with questions like:  What are the sounds/letters in that word? What word would sound right? What is the story/book about? This helps children to think how to work the word out themselves first but if they are struggling after that you will need to tell your child what word it is and hopefully they might recognise it the next time they read.


  • Ask your child questions before, during and after reading to keep them interested and help them understand what they are reading.  (What so you think this book/story will be about?  What has happened so far? What have you found out? What did the characters do and why? What do you think will happen next?  What was the book about?  What was your favourite part and why?  Can you re-tell me that story in your own words?)


  • Re-read familiar books and poems that have already been read again and again.  This helps children gain fluency, confidence and understanding by over learning their reading.  Children also love listening to familiar stories being read to them again which helps them establish knowledge of language and story patterns.


  • Children love joining in with rhyme and repetition or repeated language when reading so introduce some books with rhymes and poetry so children see reading as fun and this helps them remember words too.  


  • Have a book or magazine with you for times when your child has to wait for something, like at the dentist or waiting in a café.  This helps your child to see reading as a great leisure activity to be enjoyed anytime.  


  • Encourage and praise your child for their reading efforts.  Learning to read in the early stages is a hard job for children as they are working out the unusual code of print so after reading if you give your child a sticker or other small reward for their efforts to show them you are proud of their reading effort, they are more likely to see reading as a pleasurable experience.


  • Choose a time for your child to read to you when they want to read and are not too tired.  If your child is refusing to read leave it until another time when they seem more eager to read and read a book to them instead to show that reading is a positive and enjoyable thing to do. 


  • Read a bedtime story to your child most nights or as often as you can, even if it is for just 15 minutes.  Children will enjoy spending precious time with you sharing a story book and it helps children settle down into a calm, quiet bedtime routine ready for sleep.  

More information about reading:


Visit the Oxford Owl website to find out more information about helping your child read at home, gain access to free ebooks, find out activity ideas and information about English as well as listening to some stories read online.  (Follow the picture weblink below.) 

Below are a selection of more websites which have useful information reading and helping your child to read. 

Year 1 phonics screening check 

Every year the children in year 1 will sit a Phonics screening check, this is used as a mid-point review to asses where the children are at. This year the screening check will take place during the week of June the 6th 2022. The test normally takes around 5-10 minutes and is done in a quite space and is one-to-one with an adult. The test consists of 40 words, 20 which are real words and 20 which are alien words (made up words containing the sound they have learnt). The PowerPoint bellows gives you some more information and details of the check and how you can support your child at home.