Lifelong love of learning

Teaching of Reading

At Dedham Primary School we understand that it is essential that the teaching of reading focuses on developing competence in both word reading and comprehension.


As stated in the National Curriculum 2014, “skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.  Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken word.”  Consequently, phonics is emphasised throughout EYFS & KS1 at Dedham and pupils are taught to apply their phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent.


In school, teachers use the National Curriculum and Letters and Sounds as frameworks for teaching phonics.  In addition to these publications, Jolly Phonics is also used where appropriate as an additional teaching tool.


In order to tailor reading books to the individual needs of our children, we use a range of reading schemes in school.  These schemes include: Phonics Bug, Bug Club, Rigby Star, Big Cat, Lighthouse, Rapid, Rigby Rocket and Phonics Books (Dandelion Readers).  We constantly strive to ensure that our reading schemes are appropriately challenging and engaging for our children and over the past few years we have put a considerable amount of money into purchasing new sets of books.  For struggling KS2 readers, we have purchased phonics books specifically written for an interest age of 8-14 and we have an expanding set of hi-lo readers by Barrington Stoke.


Our library is currently being developed to enable all children the opportunity to borrow quality fiction and non-fiction titles.  Our subscription to Essex School Library Service Premier Plus package enables us to constantly review and change the stock of books that we have in school.  We believe passionately that children need to be encouraged and supported to read widely so as to establish an appreciation and a love of reading.  As stated in the National Curriculum, “reading feeds pupils’ imaginations and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.”