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Lee Common Church of England School

English - Reading

Our Vision for Reading


The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

                                                                   Dr. Seuss


At Lee Common, all children develop a love of reading and learn to read accurately and fluently. Children develop the skills needed to read in their early months at the school through a systematic approach to learning to read. In timetabled sessions throughout their time at the school, children have opportunities to discuss and read high quality texts and study core texts to develop vocabulary and language comprehension. Children read to an adult – and sometimes to a dog - at least once a week and teachers record relevant information that is used to support children’s progress. Teachers constantly assess and plan for next steps which enables children to make good progress. Quality intervention and personalised support helps children who may have fallen behind to catch up. High numbers of children achieve at or beyond age related expectations. Children take home a reading book appropriate to their skill level and this will be complemented with a range of other texts including online phonics texts and a library book they can choose to read for pleasure. Children can go freely to the library to choose a reading book and once they are competent readers they are ‘free’ to choose from a range of more challenging texts. Reward schemes and incentives encourage regular reading at home. Children have age-appropriate opportunities to share what they have read with their peers.  Children read for enjoyment and are excited to share and hear stories. Special events promote a love of reading throughout the school year, including author visits and theme days which enrich the curriculum. Time is allowed in the curriculum for reading for pleasure and a comfortable reading area in each classroom enables children to do this.  


Our Reading Curriculum


At Lee Common, we produce confident and lifelong readers who value books and enjoy reading. We use a range of reading material to teach reading, including from a range of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree and Rocket Phonics. These are split into levels that the children work through until they become free readers and move onto more challenging books in our library. Early reading books are split into sub-levels that closely link to the phonic level of each individual child to enable them to practise and use their phonic knowledge.


We believe the exposure to children’s literature within the primary school setting is vital as a rich context for learning, not only within English as a subject, but to support building a reading culture throughout the school and to encourage reading for pleasure. We use high quality texts which offer opportunities for empathy and can aid philosophical enquiry, encouraging debate, drama and discussion using the issues raised through, and within, a text. These are evident in all classrooms, as well as in our well-resourced library, which children are taught to use. 



Supporting your child with Reading


When listening to your child read at home each evening, it is important to focus on their comprehension skills as much as their decoding of the text. The following link provides ideas for discussion starters, ways of asking questions and generally provides support for parents and carers. You will find this an extremely helpful tool to help move your child's reading forward and keep them interested and challenged.


The prompt sheet is structured for Reception/Year 1/Year 2. However, we have included further skills, as there will obviously be younger children who would benefit from working on more advanced concepts.


Please feel free to print out this sheet and use it when reading with your child at home

Our Phonics Programme


Here at Lee Common, we use 'Rising Stars, Rocket Phonics' to teach our Phonics programme. 



Rocket Phonics is a DfE approved phonics programme aligned to Letters and Sounds by expert Abigail Steel. We approach phonics differently to ensure every child keeps up and not catches up. 

  • Steady pace and progression of two letter-sounds per week (rather than the usual four) so that knowledge and skills are embedded from the start

  • Whole-class mastery style teaching to ensure no child is left behind

  • Teaching through original illustrated stories to develop phonics skills and a love of reading

  • Consistent daily practice of reading and writing to gradually build children’s confidence

  • Flexible yet structured teaching materials that can be adapted to suit the needs of every class