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Owers Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 1FR
Telephone number: 01376 512201
Fax number: 01376 502415
Headteacher: Mr Ceri Jones

Reading at Chipping Hill


Everyone is a reader at Chipping Hill and children will come to understand that reading can open up limitless learning.

Chipping Hill Primary School aims to provide a clear, consistent, whole school approach to reading with Guided Reading being at its heart. Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and is given the highest priority at Chipping Hill Primary School, enabling the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect upon progress in all other areas of the Curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-confidence and motivation.


Our ultimate aim is for the children to become confident and independent readers with high levels of enjoyment, understanding and comprehension. To promote enjoyment of reading and the understanding that reading is a life-long skill.

Through guided reading, whole class reading, writing lessons and also foundation subjects Chipping Hill Primary School aims to:

  • Provide the children with the skills and strategies necessary to develop into competent and fluent readers.
  • Encourage the enjoyment of books and reading so that the children develop a life-long love of books
  • Develop a critical appreciation of what they read
  • Develop study skills so that the children can find appropriate fiction and non-fiction books from the library.
  • Develop research skills, using library and class texts, in conjunction with the ICT system
  • Develop a critical appreciation of the work of authors, poets and illustrators in order to emulate these skills in their own writing.
  • Encourage care and ownership of books.

Facilitating a Love of Reading at Chipping Hill Primary School

  • Daily story time in EYFS and Key Stage 1 where a story is shared and a joy for reading is modelled.
  • Confident readers can  read to the class a chosen book or book excerpt at story time
  • CHiRP (Chipping Hill Reading Project) time utilised in KS2. A class text is shared one between two and children share the book as a class. A clear joy of reading is modelled and discussions around the text led by the children’s question.
  • Half termly sustained reading. For one week each half term sustained reading will be utilised for half an hour a day. Children will read their own reading book independently and get ‘stuck in’ in order to promote reading before a holiday
  • EYFS have a reading area outside with designated seating within the lunchtime play area for reading
  • Children work with the English leaders to choose new book stock to buy or visit the Bookbus to borrow new books for class or the library.
  • Author focus and related texts for each  year group are available
  • Visits by authors to promote reading.
  • Keep on Reading sessions in Year 3 led by Les Kemp
  • Valuing written work and giving children the opportunity to read their written work to class members, pupils in another year group or as part of a whole school project e.g Poetry competition.
  • Library Club for KS2 and weekly library sessions for EYFS KS1.

Supporting the Transition of Reading through Phases

EYFS to Year 1

In the Autumn Term, there is continuous provision for the first half term.

Initially in the first half term whole class shared texts will be used and children will have the opportunity to engage with a range of comprehension activities orally and also with written responses on whiteboards. From Autumn 2 there will be chunks of text used for children to respond to in mixed ability pairs or groups of children will be working with support staff to support progress or enrich skills. In the Spring Term whole class reading lessons will also include a ‘Big Question’ linked to the whole class work which will be recorded. In the Summer term text can be used which has symbols aligned with sections.  Sharing reading in pairs before answering questions linked to this but which also reflect a specific reading skill on whiteboards.

Year 2 to Year 3

At the start of Year 3 there is a mirroring of the structure of guided reading to match Year 2 in the first half term. This will then support the development towards more analysis of texts and deeper focus work on reading skills. Teachers will focus on reading fluency and promoting an enjoyment pf reading through whole class reading with a specific author focus.

Image result for children who read for 1 minute compared to 20

Phonics at Chipping Hill

What is Phonics?

Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. Phonics sessions are the repetitive and consistent approach to learning, made up from games, songs and actions. Sessions last for 15-20 minutes per day.

Why is phonics important?

Teaching and learning of phonics is crucial to enabling children to read and spell.

Having a strong knowledge of phonemes and correlating graphemes provides children with a core foundation upon which they can develop their skills in reading and spelling as they move up through the school. A child who is able to read can access much more of the curriculum compared to those who cannot read. Reading is therefore one of the most important skills a child can learn.

At Chipping Hill we have designed a Phonics Reading Strategy to track the progress and needs of all children from a Phonological awareness assessment prior to starting up to and including Year 2 which is beyond the Phonics Screening check held in Year 1. We adhere to the Essential Letters and Sounds strategy and supplement with books from Oxford University Press which match the Phonics phase at which each individual child is working. 

We want the teaching of phonics to be enjoyable and engaging. To enable us to fulfil this, we utilise teaching phonics using various strategies including song, rhymes and actions. 

In phonics lessons children are taught three main things:


This stands for grapheme phoneme correspondences. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.


Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.

The Role of the Class Teacher and Support staff in teaching phonics

  • All teaching staff are responsible for developing and implementing our whole school approach to Phonics
  • All classroom staff will model good reading of phonetic sounds and encourage the children to copy with accuracy
  • All classroom staff will promote reading using phonics with attractive and appropriate books that reflect the topics being taught
  • All teaching staff will ensure that their classrooms are phonic rich and that they reflect various sounds being taught at the time, as well as reinforcing previous sounds taught
  • All teaching staff will ensure provision of additional support is made for any child with Special Educational Needs
  • All teaching staff will ensure the children have daily access to high quality phonics teaching
  • All teaching staff will track the progress for each child, keep up to date with record keeping and assessment
  • All classroom staff will model how good reading behaviour looks and sounds
  • All staff within year group will be responsible for the delivery of phonics

Phonics phases

There are six phonics phases. These are:

Phase 1

Early phonics teaching at the start of Reception focuses on developing children’s listening skills.

In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:

  • Environmental sounds
  • Instrumental sounds
  • Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
  • Rhythm and rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Voice sounds
  • Oral blending and segmenting

Phase 2

In Phase 2, children begin to learn the sounds that letters make phonemes. There are 44 sounds in all. Some are made with two letters, but in Phase 2, children focus on learning the 19 most common single letter sounds. These should be broken down into smaller sets of approximately six sounds to make them more achievable for children to learn.

The order in which sounds are taught must follow the school scheme scheme, learning the most commonly used phonemes first, starting with: /s/, /a/, /t/, /p/, /i/, /n/.

By the end of Phase 2 children should be able to read some vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, and to spell them out. They also learn some high frequency words like ‘the’ and ‘go.’ This phase usually lasts about six weeks.

Phase 3

Phase 3 introduces children to the remaining, more difficult and/or less commonly used phonemes. There are around 25 of these, mainly made up of two letters such as /ch/, /ar/, /ow/ and /ee/.

Alongside this, children must be taught to recognise more tricky words, including ‘me,’ ‘was,’ ‘my,’ ‘you’ and ‘they’. They learn the names of the letters, as well as the sounds they make. Activities might include learning mnemonics (memory aids) for tricky words, practising writing letters on mini whiteboards, using word cards and singing songs like the Alphabet Song.

Phase 3 takes most children around 12 weeks. By the end, they should be able to say the sound made by most, or all, Phase 2 and 3 graphemes, blend and read CVC words made from these graphemes, read 12 new tricky words and write letters correctly when given an example to copy.

Phase 4

Children should now be confident with each phoneme. In Phase 4 phonics, children will, among other things:

  • Practise reading and spelling CVCC words (‘such,’ ‘belt,’ ‘milk’ etc)
  • Practise reading and spelling high frequency words
  • Practise reading and writing sentences
  • Learn more tricky words, including ‘have,’ ‘like,’ ‘some,’ ‘little’

Children should now be blending confidently to work out new words. They should be starting to be able to read words straight off, rather than having to sound them out. They should also be able to write every letter, mostly correctly. This phase usually takes four to six weeks, and most children will complete it around the end of Reception.

Phase 5

Phase 5 begins by introducing alternative spellings for sounds, like 'igh',. Children should master these in reading first, and as their fluency develops use them correctly in their spelling.

Children learn new graphemes (different ways of spelling each sound) and alternative pronunciations for these: for example, learning that the grapheme ‘ow’ makes a different sound in ‘snow’ and ‘cow’.

They should become quicker at blending, and start to do it silently. They also learn about split digraphs (the ‘magic e’) such as the a-e in ‘name.

They should begin to choose the right graphemes when spelling, and will learn more tricky words, including ‘people,’ ‘water’ and ‘friend’. They also learn one new phoneme: /zh/, as in ‘treasure.’

By the end of Year 1, children should be able to:

  • Say the sound for any grapheme they are shown
  • Write the common graphemes for any given sound (e.g. ‘e,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ie,’ ‘ea’)
  • Use their phonics knowledge to read and spell unfamiliar words of up to three syllables
  • Read all of the 100 high frequency words, and be able to spell most of them
  • Form letters correctly

Phase 6

Phase 6 phonics takes place throughout Year 2, with the aim of children becoming fluent readers and accurate spellers.

By Phase 6, children should be able to read hundreds of words using one of three strategies:

  • Reading them automatically
  • Decoding them quickly and silently
  • Decoding them aloud

Children should now be spelling most words accurately (this is known as 'encoding'), although this usually lags behind reading. They will also learn, among other things:

  • Prefixes and suffixes, e.g. ‘in-’ and ‘-ed’
  • The past tense
  • Memory strategies for high frequency or topic words
  • Proof-reading
  • How to use a dictionary
  • Where to put the apostrophe in words like I’m
  • Spelling rules

Although formal phonics teaching should be completed by the end of Year 2, children continue to use their knowledge as they move through the school.


Reading Lists

Below are suggested reading lists for children based on year group. These lists are not exhaustive and are based on several sources. Reading should be promoted for various reasons including just for the love of reading, as such children should not be contained to their reading age. More able readers should challenge their learning and read up as much as reading down an age group for pleasure should also be endorsed.

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