Reading and Phonics

Reading at Christ Church School

Reading is at the heart of everything we do at Christ Church School.

Our reading intent is to ensure all children are enthusiastic readers, who are able to access modern Britain and have a genuine love for reading. To begin with, children learn to read and then read to learn. Our systematic yet effective approach to reading, ensures we are catering for individual needs to allow every child to become a mature and passionate lifelong reader.

Our excellent teaching staff, aim to foster and develop a genuine reading culture amongst our children for both pleasure and understanding. With a high proportion of EAL pupils, oracy is a high priority. Staff ensure children have a wealth of opportunities to develop their vocabulary and reading skills as a fundamental measure so that they are able to access the curriculum, as well as become life time learners.

Guided reading

Every day, there is dedicated time slot for whole class guided reading sessions. This is an opportunity for children to be immersed in high-quality texts developing their reading skills whilst also engaging in dialogue.

Each student has a homework diary where students, teachers and parents write comments to celebrate individual achievements as well as how they can become even better. This year, the School Council have organised a ‘Superhero’ reading challenge to promote reading for pleasure whilst raising the profile of reading. This has enabled students to access books from a range of authors as well as genres.

Over the years, Christ Church has invested substantially to support the reading curriculum. Students are able to choose from a range of Guided Reading schemes such as: Phonic Bugs, Project X and Rapid Readers.

Every week, students are able to take home a guided reading book as well as a ‘reading for pleasure’ book from the school library.

A Guided Reading lesson. We discuss what we are reading and talk about the text and the illustrations.
A Guided Reading lesson. We discuss what we are reading and talk about the text and the illustrations.

We enjoy Guided Reading! We get to show off all of our phonic skills. We work together to help each other to be great readers.

Reading Room

Reading Room

A special sanctuary within the school is the Reading Room: where all dreams come to life!

The Reading Room is full of all the books needed for Guided Reading and banded for easy reference so that students are able to easily access books matched to their ability whilst also providing sufficient challenge.



Our newly refurbished library is a hub where great ideas are generated and a world of possibilities opens up as a fantastic collection of fiction and non-fiction books can be found.

Each class visits the library weekly to select their books as well as exploring the range of genres and writers that we could enjoy. A range of classical and contemporary texts are readily available. Children at Christ Church adapt the style of their favourite authors within their writing and explore further books the author may have written.

Our family at Christ Church understand the importance of becoming lifelong readers so that many other doors could be unlocked!

Parents in Partnership

Working in partnership with families, ensures our children have a supportive network of adults supporting them to become confident role models ready for modern Britain.

Throughout the year, regular parent workshops are held to share practise on how families can best support their child. Parents and carers read every night with their children and write comments in their homework diary.

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure

To ensure our students are active global citizens, reading for pleasure is vital. Engaging with a range of texts is critical to individual and social well-being, enriching the world around us. Therefore, a wealth of opportunities are available to ensure reading for pleasure is at the forefront of everything that we do.

At Christ Church, our English Coordinator is Mrs Yasmin. All staff champion reading for pleasure and model good reading habits, laying the foundations for reading with enthusiasm.

Every afternoon, teachers read the class novel where they enjoy the language of writing and reading for pleasure.

We have been part of a special UKLA research project called 'Building Communities of Readers' and we have adopted lots of the ideas to help us develop a lifelong love of reading.

Each classroom has a library where children can use a range of texts to support their learning or immerse themselves into the latest recommended reads for their age. We also have a delivery every week of First News: a newspaper for all KS2 classrooms so that they are up-to-date with current global news.

Reading Across the Curriculum

Our English writing is based on a theme each term. This is supported by each classroom having high-quality texts linked to their area of learning. The wide variety of books allow teachers to provide opportunities for directed or independent self-study.


Guided Reading books can be read online at (external link). Students have access to their own usernames and passwords. Here a range of challenges can be completed. to encourage independent reading.

To access some fantastic eBooks visit (external link). There are over 260 free books for parents to read with their child at home with lots of ideas on how to support children with reading.

Teaching Phonics - Letters and Sounds

At Christ Church School we use ‘letters and sounds’ to teach Phonics.

We have a 25 minute daily phonics session where we learn about how to read and write using our phonic knowledge.

We play lots of different phonic games which help us understand how sounds make words and we use words to make sentences. We use the Interactive Whiteboard to play games and learn new phonemes and graphemes.

In Year 1 we know that some sounds can be written more than one way. How many 'tricky words' do you know?

Why not visit PhonicsPlay and Family Learning (external links) to play some games and see for yourself!

In KS2, children continue to develop their phonic skills within spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons. Extra support is available to children who may need a bespoke phonics session to support their learning.

A daily phonics session.
Playing a phonics game.

Learning 'tricky words'.
More games to help with phonics.