Reading Subject Leader – Mrs Spencer


At Moat Farm Infant School, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by ensuring pupils have a strong understanding of spoken and written language. Our curriculum has been developed to address our context and the barriers to learning that our children face. We believe that children need to develop a secure basis in literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We want them to use a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning, including editing and correcting their own errors.

At Moat Farm Infant School, we value reading as a crucial life skill.  It is our intent that by the end of Key Stage 1, all pupils are able to read fluently, with confidence and prosody. We aim to develop their love of literature and interest in words through widespread reading for enjoyment. We achieve this by establishing an environment where reading for pleasure is at the forefront for all pupils, teachers and their parents. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

We also ensure that all pupils are able to access and acquire knowledge across the curriculum by using their comprehension and inference skills to understand texts – this will deepen their learning in every subject.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

Spoken Language
We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children are encouraged to develop their spoken language skills through listening activities, talk partners, role play and discussions. These extend the children’s vocabulary, strengthening the connections with their learning in English, foundation subjects and maths. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that the use of spoken language is a crucial skill for reading and writing in all subjects


We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

sharing high-quality stories and poems
learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
attention to high-quality language.

We teach phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery in the Spring term and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression. 

We teach phonics daily in Reception and KS1. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

From Reception, we teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These are taught to small groups of approximately six children using books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge.

Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

– decoding
– prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
– comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

In Reception, decodable reading practice books are sent home. In KS1 decodable books are set online to ensure success is shared with the family. Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy. We read to children every day. Our whole-school Reading Spine has been developed to provide teachers and children with a store of classic books to develop their imagination and story-telling skills. These books have been carefully chosen as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Moat Farm Infant School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures. Children across the school have opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author webinars and national events).


All monitoring shows that the Phonics is being implemented as planned following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Phonics Scheme.
Pupil voice and surveys show that children enjoy the Reading Practice sessions.
Summer 2023 data analysis shows the impact as:
• The majority (84%) of children were on track at the end of EYFS (compared with 20% on entry)
• The majority (64%) of children are on track in Reading at the end of KS1
• 25% of children achieved ‘Greater Depth’ in Reading at the end of KS1
• 75% of children passed the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1
• 68% of children passed the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2 and 90% of children were working at the expected standard in phonics at the end of KS1