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At Woodrow, children love reading. We give them the very best start they can have - balancing learning to read with enjoyment of books and other texts.


We recognise the importance of reading and aim for all of our children to become confident independent readers with an excellent understanding of what they read.  We believe that reading ‘opens the door’ to learning and children who read a lot will go on to become lifelong learners.


As soon as children start in our Nursery, we begin the teaching of phonics and start to develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories and encouraging children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine.  Children also take books home to share with their parents, carers and family members.


This continues in Reception, where we also begin to teach children to decode (sound out words) and read independently. Children progress at their own pace and, at this early stage, read regularly to an adult on a one-to-one basis. We also talk about the books that we share to develop very important early comprehension skills.  To support their work in school, children take home reading books or phonics books every day to share at home.


In Key Stage One, through a combination of modelled, shared, guided, individual and independent reading, as appropriate, children continue to enjoy their reading success and progress. They learn to understand, analyse and thoughtfully respond to a wider range of texts. Children continue to take books home to support them both in learning to read and reading for pleasure. This continues into Key Stage Two, where our readers become increasingly fluent and have by now developed the reading skills and strategies to read both for pleasure and to support their work in all areas of the curriculum. Children who find reading more challenging continue to have support in small groups or on an individual basis.

Reading Schemes

A range of fiction and non-fiction decodable reading books is used throughout school to support children in learning to read. These books are matched to the work done in the daily phonics lessons. The schemes used include:


Oxford Reading Tree   (Floppy’s Phonics, Songbirds, Traditional Tales )

Rigby Star

Phonics Bug

Project X  

Fantastic Forest


As children learn to decode texts competently they also choose from a range of 'banded' books, which are books that are grouped together by similar levels of difficulty. Each classroom also has its own book area with both fiction and non-fiction books for children to experience.

School Library

Our newly stocked library is a wonderful resource for the children to access up to date, appealing and quality reading materials to fuel their love of reading. Children take home a library book once a week to share at home. We also encourage all children to join  Redditch library.  


Parents and Carers

At Woodrow, we all know that reading is important and that parents and carers have a vital role to play in helping children to enjoy and gain success in reading. Reading and sharing stories at home is one of the most important ways that you can help your child to succeed. By taking time to hear your children read and talk about their books with them, you are showing them that reading is both important and enjoyable.



At Woodrow, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach. The school follows the government published programme 'Letters and Sounds' supported in the early phases by the multi-sensory scheme 'Jolly Phonics'.


'Letters and Sounds' consists of 6 phases.  In Nursery, children are introduced to Phase 1, which supports the development of speaking and listening and awareness of sounds. Children play a range of games and activities to introduce good listening skills, develop spoken language and allow them to make, explore and discriminate between different sounds.



In Reception, children continue with Phase 1 activities and proceed through Phases 2 to 4, which introduce them to one way of representing every sound in the English language. By the end of this year, children have the skills to read simple texts and write independently.  In Key Stage One, children consolidate the skills gained in Foundation Stage and move through Phases 5 and 6. The process of segmenting and blending for reading and spelling is made enjoyable and easy for children to understand and apply. Well timed multi-sensory activities serve this purpose and intensify learning.


Throughout Reception and Key Stage One, children have daily discrete phonics sessions and phonics is continued into Key Stage Two for those pupils for whom it is still appropriate.