Reading & Phonics

At Ditton we believe that reading should be given the highest profile. Our aim is to instil a love of reading, for pleasure and for knowledge, from an early age.

We have a huge variety of reading materials for the children to choose from. Books are banded into colours; pink through to magenta and sapphire. Each band contains books that are suitable for a given ability group and are made up from a mixture of scheme books such as Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club, Momentum, Project X and Rigby Star. There is also a range of fiction and non-fiction books to choose from and they aim to satisfy a wide range of interests. Our large library sits at the heart of the school and provides children with the opportunity to enjoy reading with friends and use non-fiction books to support their learning. 


Introducing young children to the joy and wonder of books requires a systematic teaching of phonics. Our Reception children begin this journey through daily, direct and focussed Letters and Sounds sessions. Some children receive extra phonics practice to support their progress. Children will begin to read books containing the sounds they know and will read to staff individually and as part of  weekly guided reading sessions. Children will also begin to take books home to read to parents. Parents are encouraged to read with their children five times per week and to communicate this to the teacher via the child's reading diary or Tapestry system. 

Teaching phonics through The DFE Letters and Sounds programme provides consistency in approach across the school, we are ensuring there is a smooth transition from one class to the next and that children’s progress is not hindered by a change in practice or delivery method. 

Key Stage 1

Children are provided with banded books which are based on assessments carried out using PM Benchmarking. At present, books are changed on a weekly basis and we encourage children to read at home at least five times per week. In Y1, children read with an adult at least once a week during guided reading sessions and individually once a fortnight. They take part in focussed, daily phonics sessions following the Letters and Sounds programme. Children In Year 2, children read daily during Shared Reading lessons and read on a 1:1 basis every other week. Some children may be identified as requiring additional support in reading and these children will be heard by an adult on a daily basis. Others may be part of phonics or reading intervention groups to support their progress. 
Reading also underpins our teaching of writing as English is taught through high quality literature that also link to Science, History and Geography. 

Key Stage 2

In key stage 2, children continue to choose from our wide selection of banded books until they become a free reader. This means that they have completed the school reading scheme and are free to choose from a range of non-scheme books. KS2 children read daily in Shared Reading sessions where they are exposed to a wide range of high quality fiction and non-fiction books which often support learning in foundation subjects. Children are still expected to read at home five times per week and diaries should be kept up to date. Intervention groups are in place for any children who need support with their progress in reading. 
Reading also underpins our teaching of writing as English is taught through high quality literature that also link to Science, History and Geography. 


We follow Letters and Sounds for teaching phonics. Children are usually grouped within their year groups so that they are able to work at an appropriate level but are learning phonics within classes at present. When children come to the end of Phase 5 they progress to focused spelling, punctuation and grammar work. We hold a number of phonics sessions throughout the year where parents can come along and see how their children are progressing.

Below is a link to the information shared during a phonics meeting with parents.