We endeavour to ensure that by the end of their journey with us at Otterham C P School all our children become fluent, confident and enthusiastic life-long readers, enabling them to enter secondary education equipped with the skills to succeed and reach their full potential.  We believe that reading underpins many aspects of learning and therefore encourage engagement with key texts and media across our curriculum.


At Otterham C P School we have a systematic approach to the teaching of reading.


The development of reading begins with the systematic and rigorous teaching of daily phonics, using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.  These 15-30 minute sessions are planned and resourced using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised approach and connected to Big Cat Phonics for Little Wandle, to ensure that teaching is consistent throughout the year groups.

In these lessons, children quickly build a knowledge of phonemes, and graphemes as well as increasing recognition of sign or tricky words.  Summative assessments are used every 6 weeks, to ensure that children are working at the correct phase.  The adult teaching applies formative assessment daily and adjustments are made accordingly.  Reading books at this stage match with their assessed phonic stage and allow children to apply their phonic knowledge in school and at home.  Children are also encouraged to take home a ‘sharing book’ to read for pleasure.  This book allows for other reading strategies to be employed and exposes children to a greater range of vocabulary and genres.

As well as Phonic teaching, as part of our Early Reading Curriculum children are exposed to their phonetically decodable book through 3 times weekly guided reading sessions.  Additionally in Year 2, smaller group work sessions are used to explore a text and enables the practise of key reading skills.  For those children in Year 2 who did not pass the phonic screening test in Year 1, additional inventions take place.


In Key Stage 2, the children who have not passed the Year 2 phonic screening will have tailored 1 to 1 phonic teaching.

Children have access to a wide range of texts and their home reader is monitored along with the use of their reading record.

At Otterham C P School, we teach reading through discreet comprehension lessons which focus on developing pupils’ level of understanding of the text, through discussion, written and oral tasks; and the exploration of new vocabulary.  Pupils will be taught to retrieve, infer, predict, summarise, analyse and evaluate a whole class extract from a range of genre.  This is taught using a range of high quality materials, including Ashley Booth’s programme, The Teaching Booth.


Each classroom has an engaging reading area and books are displayed and accessible to the children.

With the support of the NCLT and PTA - Friends, books are regularly updated and refreshed.  NCLT provide a ‘Top Ten’ reading books for KS1 and 2 located outside Class 1.  In addition to this, NCLT provide further collections of books that rotate around the trust schools.

As reading underpins many areas of learning, our curriculum is linked to key texts.  In ‘Opening Worlds’ children have the opportunity to make links, explore in depth and discuss confidently facts and vocabulary based on a theme.

We encourage a love of reading through daily whole class story time, where books are carefully selected to engage and excite our children.

We believe in offering a wide variety of opportunities to our pupils and therefore endeavour to engage with a variety of activities throughout the year.  We hold an annual Book Fair, celebrate World Book Day and have local authors visit where possible.


The impact of our reading success is measured through the following:

  • Pupils will be confident and fluent readers.
  • They will read for pleasure and read to learn.
  • Pupils being able to decode and recognise enough sight/tricky words at the end of Key Stage 1 to read age appropriate text.  They will have the ability to pass the Year 1 Phonic Screening.
  • They will have acquired a rich vocabulary and have a deeper understanding of text.
  • Our formative assessment of reading will be based across a range of text and curriculum areas.
  • Our summative assessment is achieved through NGRT (Reading age), NFER and SAT papers.
  • We aspire to ensure our children leave us as confident, accurate readers with the skills to equip them for the next stage of their journey through their school life.