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St Leonard's

Primary School

A Journey in Faith, Love and Learning

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Phonics & Reading

Reading is taught throughout school using a variety of strategies and methods which largely depend on the age, and ability of the children. 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.


All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their comprehension skills, 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. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.


We aim for all of our children to become fluent readers and we aim to extend their reading and research skills with increasingly stimulating, challenging and varied texts. Where possible, links are made between the different subjects so children can learn to use and apply skills they have learnt in many different and imaginative ways. As children progress through the school they will widen their range of reading material, read silently and learn to discuss with other pupils, character, plot and preferences. We aim to stimulate children’s interest in books and feed the habit of reading for pleasure, which will last a lifetime and fire the ‘curiosity of young minds.’  The National Curriculum 2013


The children at St Leonard's take books home daily. Parents are strongly encouraged to read to their child as well as to listen to them read. We use a range of different reading schemes, one of which is the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT). Please click on the link here to look at some of the ORT reading materials. All the children also have access to Oxford Reading Buddy which is a virtual reading service that develops deeper comprehension skills and makes reading fun. Click here to access the website. Instructions on how make the website an app on your phone can be found here. 


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Guided reading is taught weekly in all classes throughout school. We also use the RIC (Retrieve, Interpret, Choice) model for 15 minutes additional reading activities in order to further develop the children's inference and deduction skills. 


We challenge our most able readers to read a wide variety of authors and regularly have Authors and visitors come into school to share their knowledge and expertise with the children.