Reading and Phonics


At Oak Tree Primary teachers from Nursery through to Key Stage Two (where appropriate) follow the Letters and Sounds programme. The children are grouped according to their knowledge so that all children are always challenged and stretched.

Most children in the following classes will work within these skills:



The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each. At Oak Tree 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 words. Phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading when they begin school. Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills are developed through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussions with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. We encourage pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.

Approaches to Reading at Oak Tree Primary:

  • Each class will have an ongoing class novel (or book in Reception) which will be read by the class teacher throughout the week.
  • Children are encouraged to take a new library book each week.
  • The school has invested heavily in new reading books, with a particular focus on engaging reluctant readers in a broad diet of texts.
  • Our reading scheme is colour banded and includes a broad range of different texts. The main spine of our scheme is Oxford Reading Tree.
  • All classes in Reception and Key Stage One will have weekly Guided Reading sessions with texts which match the ability of the group. In Lower Key Stage Two, consolidation reading groups are developed dependent on the need of children across the cohort. As children progress through Key Stage 2, they will be taught key skills/content domains in the format of whole class reading sessions (followed by subsequent applicaiton lessons) as well as group disucssion sessions with their class teacher.  Should children require it, additional opportunities to read to an adult/independently will be provided each week.
  • Children in the following classes will take home:

Reception – Two colour banded reading books each week.

Key Stage One and Year 3 – Two or three colour banded reading books each week.

Years 4, 5 and 6 – Have an ongoing personal reading book which is catalogued by the class teacher.

  • Children in Reception to Year 3 have reading folders which include graded colour banded questions of difficulty as their ability progresses.
  • Children who still require additional support with their reading will have access to a range of extra materials and schemes in school, some of which may include the colour banded books.
  • All classes will provide a stimulating reading environment, promoting book ownership and recommending books to pupils. Classroom and central displays are language rich and special displays will promote authors and books.
  • Our cross-curricular approach to learning ensure that the children also have numerous opportunities to read outside of a structured English lesson.

Oak Tree Primary School, Queens Road, Cheadle Hulme SK8 5HH