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Reading and Phonics

Teaching reading and phonics

Teaching children to read is of paramount importance at Headlands Primary School and we believe reading is a life enhancing skill that is the entitlement of every child.


 We provide a rounded and wholesome approach to reading that encourages children to love books, love reading, love finding out information and love sharing stories together.


At Headlands we start to teach reading in Reception where phonics are taught using a systematic, synthetic phonic approach as the prime approach to word recognition. All teachers and teaching assistants have been trained in these effective and proven approaches to the teaching of reading.

Phonics using Letters and Sounds are taught daily to all children in EYFS and KS1 with the expectation that they will have secured word recognition skills and be fluent readers by the end of KS1.

Guided Reading is taught throughout the school. At all stages teachers plan a series of reading activities for pupils to complete both in school and at home to enable pupils to both read, comprehend and read for pleasure.


Progression is ensured at Headlands using phonically decodable graded books to both support and challenge our young learners. Intervention group work is available for children who may need additional support.


The school continues to invest in reading materials and even encourages pupils (who are capable of taking responsibility for their own equipment) to bring books in to read their current book during ERIC (Everyone Reading in Class) time.


We think it is important that the school environment reflects a positive attitude to reading and children are given lots of opportunities to apply their reading across the curriculum.

Parental involvement in reading is encouraged with home-school reading records, KS2 planners and parent helpers in school. Information evenings for parents to help them understand how we teach phonics and how it progresses across the school have been very informative and helpful to parents.


Reading Champion

At Headlands we are very fortunate to have our very own dedicated ‘Reading Champion’, whose role is to enthuse and engage readers of all ages across school. Mrs. Dennison  works with classes and small groups of children to ensure reading for enjoyment is always at the forefront of our minds. 


As part of Mrs. Dennison's role we have had visits from well-known authors and poets, and each year we focus on a specific area of reading; most recently poetry and non-fiction. We have a whole school focus to promote the love of reading and invite visiting authors to inspire the children.