Shakespeare Infant School

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Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading at Shakespeare Infant School

At Shakespeare Infant School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.


As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Shakespeare Infant School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. 


We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.  


If you would like more information about the Little Wandle programme, please follow this link. You may also like to explore our SIS Phonics and Early Reading Policy, which can be found towards the bottom of this page.


Home Reading

Children at our school are given two types of reading book:

  • A reading practice book -  This will be at the correct phonic stage for each child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
  • A sharing book - Children will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for parents, carers and children to read and enjoy together. Children will choose this from the school library.


Reading for Pleasure

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard to help the children develop a love of reading.

  • We read to the children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Shakespeare Infant School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • All children visit the school library at least once a week.
  • Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events. So far this year these have included a visit from the author Simon Chadwick, a Book Fair, World Book Day and the 'Shakespeare Seven' reading competition. 
  • Year 2 children visit Eastleigh Library at least once during the year.
  • Year 1 and Year 2 have a year group Reading Assembly once a week. These assemblies are carefully planned and delivered by different members of staff and visitors. 


Reading Comprehension

In addition to teaching comprehension skills through reading practice sessions, reading comprehension is also taught through discrete, weekly, whole-class comprehension lessons in Year 1 and 2. In Reception, reading comprehension is taught through their termly focus author and weekly focus texts. These texts are read everyday and targeted questioning is used to develop the children’s understanding.


To plan these lessons, teachers follow the Shakespeare Infant School Reading Progression Maps (see below), which details the diverse texts and skills taught each half-term. The skills are drawn from the National Curriculum and Development Matters.

SIS Phonics and Early Reading Policy

Parent/Carer Reading Workshop 2022-2023

Teaching Phonics at SIS