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Lionel Primary School

Working together to provide an educational environment that inspires, challenges and nurtures each child.

Early Reading

Early Reading at Lionel Primary School


At Lionel Primary School, we know that a child who reads, and more importantly, a child who reads for pleasure, is a child who will succeed, not only academically, but in many different areas of life too. Consequently, we are ambitious for every child to be able to read with fluency and understanding and to develop a life-long love of reading from the very earliest stage possible, whatever their starting point may be.

To this end, we prioritise Early Reading, aiming to consistently provide effective, high-quality teaching and teaching support from experienced staff.



Language Comprehension

Speaking and Listening

From the moment children enter our Playgroup provision and throughout their time in Early Years and Year 1 onwards, they will find themselves in a language-rich environment, participating in high-quality interactions with the adults working with them and learning to engage in meaningful conversations with their peers.

To be effective communicators, children require an ever-increasing vocabulary to express their ideas and understanding and to make sense of the world around them. In our Early Years setting and across the whole school, we prioritise the learning of vocabulary, not only that specific to each curriculum area, but also the language of debate, discussion and dialogue.



Daily storytime is an integral part of our provision, from our playgroup all the way through the school. Books for storytime are carefully selected to ensure they are of a high-quality and will allow children to listen to language above the level they are currently able to read themselves. Stories are read and re-read to allow children to internalise the structure, the rhymes and rhythms, the rich language.

In a similar way, songs and rhymes are shared daily with the children in EYFS, following careful selection. Children learn one rhyme or song off by heart over a week.


Reading for Pleasure

Fostering a love of reading is at the heart of what we do across the school.

We aim to do this through sharing high-quality texts during class storytimes and through teaching with high-quality texts. In classrooms, we strive to make book corners an enticing area of the classroom for all children and refresh book displays regularly to reflect our topics. Children take home a reading for pleasure book chosen from their class library to share with their families at home and parents and carers are encouraged to read these books to their children.

The Reading for Pleasure tab on the school website supports children and their families to find book recommendations and tips for reading at home.


Word Reading and Spelling (Decoding)

Teaching children the English phonetic code is key to them being able to read and spell successfully. At Lionel, we use Read, Write, Inc. (RWInc), a recognised systematic synthetic phonics programme, to teach children to decode.

Read Write Inc is fun and very effective. Children are grouped according to reading ability and are assessed regularly and regrouped as they progress.

Children start by learning the 44 phonemes, or ‘speed sounds’, and how to sound blend for reading. At the same time, they develop the skills of handwriting and spelling. Children progress quickly to read and comprehend lively storybooks containing words that they can decode so that they achieve early success in reading.

The PowerPoint below and the links within it give more information about Read Write Inc and how families can support their children from home.


Decodable Books

Children receive a fully decodable book (RWINc Bookbag Book) weekly that is matched to the phonics sounds they are learning. They are encouraged to re-read the book many times to develop their fluency. Adults in school will listen to children reading their decodable books and parents and carers are encouraged to do the same.


Early Reading for Older Children

For many different reasons, some children may not develop their reading skills as quickly as the majority. To ensure that they are progressing and can access the full curriculum, these children will receive support in small groups or 1-1, using RWInc for children in Years 3 and 4 and using FreshStart (a RWInc programme for older children) in Years 5 and 6.


Early Reading for Children with SEND

Children with SEND follow our RWInc programme to learn to decode in the same way as other children, but we recognise that they may learn at a slower rate, depending on their area of need, and require additional support.