Through their time at Sidbury CE Primary School we strive to equip our children with skills which will enable them to communicate effectively.  Being confident and competent readers, writers and speakers is empowering and integral to all aspects of life.  Through our teaching of English, in line with the expectations set out in the National Curriculum, we aim to develop children’s understanding of and fluency with the technical aspects of the subject, explore the richness of our English language heritage and inspire a curiosity about language and words.  


We believe that learning to read is the key to unlocking knowledge for children, and because of this we work hard to ensure children have a range of opportunities for reading.  Learning to read is a journey and many skills need to be developed along the way.  We start this journey as soon as the children start in our school. 

Early Years Foundation Stage, Year 1 & Year 2

When children start school, we first teach the children to recognise letters, the sounds that they make and using a 'synthetic phonic approach' which follows the Letters and Sounds programme,  children are taught how the sounds (phonemes) are blended together to read or segmented (broken down) when the children are learning to write. 

We use a variety of reading books to teach reading. Our children take part in weekly guided reading sessions, where they apply their phonics learning alongside a variety of other reading skills. 

Children can be heard individually or as a group as part of a structured guided reading approach, where they apply their phonics learning alongside a variety of other reading.  This allows the children to engage in discussion about what they have read. Using this approach children learn to use problem-solving strategies to work out words they don't know, deal with difficult sentence structure and understand concepts or ideas they have never encountered before in print. 

Year 3, 4, 5 & 6

Reading is integrated into every area of the curriculum; supporting children's development of vocabulary, stamina, fluency and comprehension. Children are encouraged to spend time reading key texts assigned to their by their class teacher and books that they have chosen to read for pleasure, during quiet reading time. In addition children take part in guided reading sessions teaching them decoding and comprehension skills so that they are achieving well for their age and stage. 

Reading at home

Children will take home reading books based on their reading ability and choose a book from the classroom, that maybe above their reading ability to take home to read for pleasure.  In addition to this every child has their own Bug Club login details and are assigned online reading books by their class teacher, with comprehension questions linked to each text for the child to complete.

We expect children to read their school reading book at least 3 times a week at home.  This should be done in a quiet space, without the interruption of TV, radio and other distractions. Reading a text 3 times, enables children to become familiar with it. Each read moves through the stages of blending until fluency when children can then add in expression and they can understand what they have read.

  • First Read - the child is mainly going to decode a lot aloud, at this read they will not necessarily be able to understand the story as their brain power is going on identifying the sounds and blending them together to read words.
  • Second Read - the child is encouraged that if they need to decode (blend sounds together to make a word ) then to do it in their head so that they don't keep decoding aloud. This helps their reading fluency.
  • Third Read - the child can now read with more fluency as their brain power is not going on just decoding the words, as they have had practice with that.

Reading Intervention

Where children are identified as making slow progress, or struggling to make progress in reading, they will receive small group interventions, or 1:1 reading intervention sessions. The aim of these interventions is to provide a short spell of very targeted teaching, that re-tracks them. For some children, who may be on the Special Educational Needs Register, these interventions may be provided over a longer period of time, or throughout their time with us.

Toe-By-Toe, Wave 3 Reading and TRUGs are some of the reading interventions we use regularly.


English is taught through high quality texts offering rich opportunities to explore and develop oral and written language.  We use Talk for Writing strategies, which encourage children to embrace learning a text with actions orally before building up to planning and writing their own.  


Spelling is a fundamental skill for children to master in order to allow them to show that they are working at age related expectations.  In school, from Year 2 onwards. we follow a programme called No Nonsense Spelling which has really supported both teachers and children to adopt new ways of learning how to spell. Children focus on spelling rules, looking at homophones (words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different definitions) and root words with suffixes. Children also have dedicated spelling practice time regularly throughout the week, focusing on their Rainbow Spelling words, a set of words that they have been assigned to learn by their class teacher. 


From Reception children learn how to form their letters, using our pre cursive handwriting style; this supports them to form their letters and position their letters properly. When they are in Year 2 they begin to learn how to join their handwriting. 

Writing Intervention

As with our reading intervention, where children are identified as making slow progress, or struggling to make progress in writing, they will receive small group interventions, or 1:1 intervention sessions.