Helping Your Child to Read at Home

At Girnhill Infant School, we strive to ensure all of our learners become confident and competent readers by the time they leave the school in Year 2.

Teaching staff carefully plan a range of activities to ensure the provision we offer in school meets the needs of our learners. With the additional support of parents and carers at home, our pupils are provided will many opportunities to apply the reading and writing skills taught in school at home. With an array of provision to support pupils’ reading and writing in school, we aim that all children become independent readers and authors in their own right.

Phonics Screening Check

The National phonics screening check is a statutory assessment that was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils and is a quick and easy check of a child’s phonic knowledge. All year 1 pupils (with the possible exception) will take the phonics screening check in June each year.

The screening check, which comprises of 20 real words and 20 nonsense words, identifies children who have phonic decoding skills below the level expected for the end of year 1 and who therefore may need additional help. Children that are working towards the current age-related pass mark of 32/40 will be required to re‐take the assessment in year 2.

There is a large emphasis on the phonics check in year 1. In addition to daily phonic sessions and to ensure that children are prepared for the check, we provide:

  • A half termly mock phonic check to show how many words each child can read, which children are on track to pass, key sounds that children are struggling with and identified individuals/groups that need additional support
  • Afternoon interventions; planned by the teacher and led by a TA to raise the attainment of key groups e.g. the first targeted group will be children who are just working below age related expectations
  • Comprehensive tracking by the Reading Leader to ensure that all of the above is in place and an impact is being made through smart action planning.


We believe in ensuring that every child is a reader by the time they leave the school.

Reading experiences across school include shared, guided and independent opportunities. We also encourage regular reading at home. All children from Nursery to Year 2 take home a reading book to read/share with Parents and Carers. Each child can use their SEESAW journal as their reading record. Teachers check and respond to this regularly. We use RWInc phonic matched books both in school and at home. Each week your child will bring home a copy of the book they have read that week in school. If you have acknowledged that your child has read at home, they will also receive a RWInc book bag book matched to the book they have read that week in school.

When a child can read a large range of books with fluency, expression and understanding they will be considered a ‘free reader’ and can choose whichever book they like.

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and happens daily across the school in the form of guided reading and shared reading within our English curriculum. In addition, every day teachers will also share stories with the class displaying an enthusiasm for reading and setting a positive example as a reader. Through creating an enjoyment for reading we aim to promote a rich language for writing.

Provision for reading is placed as paramount importance where it is promoted through continuous provision areas. Cosy, enticing reading areas offer an exciting range of books and activities to all our earliest readers. Learning environments across school encourage and support reading whether through reading corners, displays of books and labels/questions/captions to read or through interactive displays.

Reading progress will be evident in various forms including:

  • Individual reading records (via SEESAW journal)
  • Reading tasks e.g. book review, reading comprehension activities etc.
  • Medium term and weekly planning to show progressive objectives/targets and next steps
  • Termly assessments
  • Termly progress tracking

All of the above will provide effective feedback, in verbal or written form.

Where expected age-related standards are not being met, children should begin an intervention. It is expected that any children who are underachieving will read daily with an adult as a priority reader.

Each class has weekly access to the school library where children choose books to take home. Designated story times take place daily, and reading for pleasure sessions are built into each class each week.