Civitas Academy is determined that every child will learn to read, regardless of background, needs or abilities. We want our children to be fluent, confident readers. They will be exposed to a wealth of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and engender a genuine love of reading and a keen interest in a range of texts. We work to inspire them to become life-long readers who enjoy books and have a desire to read for pleasure.

In order for the children to have the will to read, and be able to read to learn, they need to have secure skills in reading so that they can read with fluency and comprehension. Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum underpinning every subject area. We want every child to read widely, and to gain a rich knowledge across the curriculum. By offering a wide range of texts we aim to broaden their minds and experiences to allow them to empathise with the world in which they live and support the development of their cultural capital. Reading is such an important life skill that it is imperative we enable them to become independent readers who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for their next stage of their education

How We Teach Phonics 

We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.

You can see Little Wandle's progression overview here.

In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4. Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing. Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.

Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.

It is important that, in order to support children to decode phonemes accurately, that the pronunciation is accurate. For information and support with pronunciation, please follow the link and look for the videos. 

Reading in EYFS and KS1

Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, read fully decodable books with an adult 3 times per week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. These books are given to children in school to build their reading fluency and showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge. Similarly, they are assigned a corresponding e-book that matches their phonics phase. These 3 reading practice sessions each have a different focus; decoding, prosody and comprehension. Our reading books in Reception, Y1 and Y2: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Big Cat books.

Home Reading Books

Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. 

From Autumn 2, all pupils will be assigned an e-book via Collins (Big Cat) library to match their phonics phase in line with the Little Wandle scheme. 

Pupils will then receive two types of reading books:

A reading practice e-book - this will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

A physical family book - your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you to read as a family and enjoy together.

Reading practice e-book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Family book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together. Books will be assigned on a weekly basis and must be returned in order to change books. 

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

Parent Workshops

We offer a Phonics and Early Reading workshop at the start of every academic year, this enables us to share phonics teaching with parents. The Phonics workshop gives an overview of our phonics scheme and how parents can understand the role systematic phonics plays in learning to read and gives lots of practical tips and advice. 

Reading in KS2

As children enter Key Stage 2, they move from banded books onto the Accelerated Reader Program. This program helps to diagnose and assess their level of vocabulary and comprehension skills. From this data, the program then gives children a 'zone' of books they can read between. This is similar to the colour banded books the children use in KS1, but the books are levelled in numbers. For example, a child may be selecting books from the 3.5-3.9 range. 

When a child has finished the book they are reading, they will then complete a comprehension quiz online to help them further develop their reading skills. They can access Accelerated Reader by clicking here. There is further guidance about Acclereated Reader in the 'Parent Workshop' section of our website. Teacher's will communicate your child's reading range to them and children then have the choice of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books within school. 

Reading lessons in KS2 follow the VIPERS reading skills program:

Children have whole class reading sessions 4 times a week; 3 of these lessons are focused on their class novel and at least 1 lesson is focused on a different genre to ensure children are getting a healthy reading diet. Whole class reading lessons consists of high quality reading aloud from the teacher, class discussions and independent written tasks, all linked to the specific skills above.