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Reading in Early Years



Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success - The Reading Framework, 2021

At Halsnead, Early Reading is a focus for our children. We want our children to have a love of reading from an early age. It is important to us that our children leave school passionate, fluent and confident readers. We believe children who read with ease are equipped to access the KS1 and KS2 curriculum. .

Reading in school

We expose our children to a wide range of reading experiences from a young age. Children are read to at least once a day in nursery and reception. All staff are passionate readers and are given training on reading with children effectively. Teachers map out a wide range of texts to use to support children’s learning and to promote a love of reading. We ensure children access books that promote imagination; diversity; are factual; engage children and that have a wide range of vocabulary.

Reading Spaces

Both reception and nursery enhance most learning areas with texts for children to explore independently. They both have designated reading areas indoors and outdoors. These are calm and quiet spaces that allow children to spend time reading and looking at a wide range of texts. Teachers regularly update the books around the classrooms and will enhance areas with books based on children’s own interests in order to instil a love of reading to all children.                            

Home Reading

We encourage and promote home reading to all children from our first meeting. We speak to our parents about the importance of reading with their child during our ‘Welcome to Halsnead’ meeting. We hold reading workshops throughout the year to support parents with home reading. We give each child a book bag and a home reading story book from nursery age. Children then progress to taking home reading books that they can read themselves, when necessary, these books will be based on children’s phonics assessments. Our reception and nursery class have a system where children can take books home and keep them. We encourage families to donate and swap books when finished with them. This is to allows children to access a wide variety of books at home, at no cost. 

Learning to read (RWI)

At Halsnead we recognise the importance of early reading and embedding routines early on. Children in Nursery concentrate on Phase One phonics which focuses on developing children's speaking and listening skills. This is a priority and children are exposed to communication and language sessions daily. This lays the foundations for when they begin Phase Two. The emphasis during Phase One is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin   developing oral blending and segmenting skills. In summer term, children who are ready to move on to Read, Write, Inc. phonics, will begin to learn their letter sounds. EYFS staff use ‘Fred Talk’ and Fred games each day (saying words using pure sounds) with the children.

Once children have settled into Reception, all the children are assessed by the Reading Leader, and they are placed into small groups. Children are grouped by ability for these sessions and additional phonics support is provided for those children who are identified in the half termly assessments.

Please see the Read Write Inc section of the website to find out more around our reading scheme in EYFS and KS1.