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Early reading

 Our Aims

We value reading as a life-long skill and nurture a love of reading from the moment children start with us at Maple Tree. We want children to believe in themselves as readers and have the desire and motivation to continue their reading journey. Our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers with secure decoding and comprehensions skills. We strive for children to meet or exceed the age-related expectations for reading.


Our early reading incorporates developing rhyme and alliteration awareness and an understanding and enjoyment of stories, information texts and poetry. Daily, paced systematic synthetic phonics is the primary approach for teaching reading. Through direct teaching sessions our Early Years classes and Year 1 class are introduced to specific groups of grapheme-phoneme correspondences and are taught to blend the sounds to read words from an early stage. We progress to more complex phonics knowledge and cover all the major grapheme-phoneme correspondences by the end of Year 1. In addition, we also provide a broad multi-sensory approach to practising and applying specific phonic knowledge to reading. Children are also gradually taught to read some of the most common exception words. These words are sometimes referred to as ‘tricky’ words and children are taught to identify the part of the word that is ‘tricky’ alongside their phonic knowledge.

We follow the Twinkl phonics scheme to teach reading. This provides a progressive teaching structure and routine with opportunities to practise core reading skills and help children who may need additional support. Children read texts that are matched closely to their current phonic knowledge and decoding ability. Each set of books links to the sounds children have learned so that they can read with confidence and developing fluency. We encourage parents to work in partnership with us to help children develop reading skills and, we offer regular support and feedback through our home-school Reading Record books. Parents are also invited to a ‘Reading Workshop’ in the Autumn Term and are given specific information about how we teach reading and how they can support their children at home with daily reading experiences.

Attainment is monitored closely through the Year 1 Phonics Screening check and the EYFS profile. Reading in guided reading groups, shared class reading, 1:1 reading with adults and twinkle summative assessments provide specific progress information to guide and inform our reading planning.

What it Looks Like

Our children develop as confident readers with speedy decoding skills. They rapidly attend more fully to understand what they are reading and demonstrate thoughtful and reflective responses to increasingly challenging discussions.  Reading is purposeful with links to all areas of learning as children extend their vocabulary developing enhanced knowledge and understanding of the curriculum and the world around them. Children make rapid progress in reading and are provided excellent opportunities to build strong foundations required to become fluent readers.