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St Thomas More's Catholic

Primary School and Pre-School

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Early Reading

EYFS Reading at St Thomas Mores 



Throughout EYFS we value reading and books highly. We aim for all children to enjoy a variety of books and to develop a love of reading. This is achieved through a wide range of learning experiences which help children to learn all of the skills which will help them to become a successful reader. Some of the key focus skills include: learning new vocabulary, developing comprehension, retelling stories using drama & puppets, talking about story characters, learning to read lists, recipes, and menus.



We also place lots of emphasis on children developing competence with their phonic skills. We recognise the important role that phonics plays in children learning to read. Children at St Thomas More’s begin to learn these skills at the earliest opportunity; during their time in Nursery. We aim to develop the key phase 1 skills (aspects 1-7) during the Nursery year.

In Reception children learn phonics through a daily direct teaching session. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme combined with Jolly Phonics. Children take part in a daily phonics lesson which is has a clear daily focus on a particular phoneme. Children will typically begin to progress through phase 2,3,4 during the Reception year. Some children will work beyond this and begin to work through phase 5.


Shared Reading

Children also benefit from short inputs of shared reading. We use a mix of whole class and group sessions to tailor our teaching to the children’s ability. During the shared reading sessions children practice decoding, reading key words and using picture and contextual cues to read. We use a range of resources including big books, Oxford Owl and large extracts of a text. Texts are carefully selected based on a particular quality such as patterned language, rhyme, phonics, rich vocabulary or sentence structure.


Home Reading books

We have aligned our home reading books closely with the sets of letter sounds that the children learn in class, to allow the children to consolidate their learning. Children will take home a book which features the letter sounds which match to the most recent set of letters that they have learnt within the particular phase.

In addition to this we give the child a second book to read at home, which aims to develop wider reading skills such as comprehension, story sequencing and learning to apply their knowledge of key words.


Parent Workshop:

Each year we run a parent workshop to talk through our approach to early reading. The purpose of the workshop is to enable parents to feel confident to support their child at home. We aim for a consistent approach between home and school and offer guidance to the parents on supporting their child with skills such as using the correct articulation, blending and using questions to develop comprehension and inference. Parents strongly encouraged to read daily at home with their child.

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