Old Basford School

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Reading and phonics

Please check this page to receive updates on reading and phonics around school!

Reading for pleasure updates!

Click the link below to go to our 'Reading for pleasure' page.

The curriculum

Please find below our reading progression document which outlines the objectives covered per year group. You can also see a preview of our reading spine of core texts that are covered across the academic year. These are subject to change when our staff are inspired by new texts!


Reading is taught through a variety of ways at Old Basford School. We teach phonics in F2 and year 1 daily for 20 minutes. We also follow the Rocket Phonics 'Next Steps' programme in year 2. Children who need additional support in phonics benefit from 1:1 interventions to 'keep up' not catch up. We also use interventions such as Nessi and Switch On to support our KS2 children. As part of our phonics programme, we teach whole class reading through our target practise reading books. Children also experience guided reading in small groups once a week. 


In KS2 children enjoy 'shared reading' lessons where a quality text is used to support children develop the skills they need to decode and comprehend an unfamiliar text. The children practise applying the skills required across the content domains both independently and as part of rich partner or class discussions. They enjoy listening to reading being modelled as well as applying the skills to perform a text themselves. 

Rocket phonics

Phonics is the main way the Government advise schools to teach early reading. Phonics is learning to read by using letter sounds and blending them together to make words. We have invested in the Rocket Phonics scheme and this is being delivered to children from F2 - year 3 (as needed). 


At Old Basford School reading is of the highest priority and we are passionate about developing our children’s ability and enjoyment in reading. Our aim is to inspire our children to see the world of possibilities that is opened up to them and the enjoyment that can be brought through reading, that will stay with them into their adult lives.


Why have we made a change?

Last academic year the Government announced changes to the teaching of phonics in schools. Although our current approach to teaching phonics has been successful, we felt there was a good opportunity to embrace new resources and books. Therefore our school has adopted the phonics programme by Rising Stars. Reading Planet Rocket Phonics is a structured programme which includes reading books that carefully match phonics being taught in lessons.


Here are some thing to note:

· There are some changes to the book bands to reflect the new phonics programme. For example, there are changes from the book bands between pink and white and your child may be moved bands to reflect this.


What will my child read?

  • Each week your child will access 2 books one book will be an in school Rocket Phonics Target Practise book that is matched to the sounds that your child knows in phonics.  We call this our book banded book.
  • They will also take home an additional book banded book which will be mostly decodable. This will expose your child to a wider range of vocabulary e.g. Biff and Chip books have more story language in them.
  • They will also take home a reading for pleasure book which is to be enjoyed with an adult or more capable reader at home.
  • These books will need to be read and shared repeatedly through the week to build up your child’s fluency, expression and understanding of the text, characters, settings and plot.



Reading policy


Please see an extract from our reading policy below. This includes our intent for our reading curriculum, the way in which we deliver reading (implementation) and the impact we aspire to have.



At Old Basford School we believe our pupils should have their lives enriched by a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors and be able to understand more about the world in which they live, through the knowledge that they gain from quality texts. We aim for all children to be educated with the knowledge needed to become confident and fluent readers. They should also be equipped with the skills to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. By the time they leave our school, all children should therefore be empowered through being capable, lifelong readers. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to enhance the skills being taught in school.


Implementation – the teaching of reading


Early Reading (Word reading):

To ensure that every child in our school will learn to read we ensure we:

Use one synthetic phonics programme

We follow the Rocket Phonics programme to teach phonics and graphic knowledge (common exception words and tricky words). We have fidelity to this one scheme. 

From the third week of starting school children in EYFS begin letter sound correspondence.


Reading books

Reading books in EYFS and KS1 match our phonics programme.  Children are taught specific phonemes / graphemes and then have access to the equivalent books that reinforce the phonics that have been explicitly taught.  They also have access to a specific band of books that they can choose from to take home.  These books have been carefully banded to support and reinforce the phonics taught. Children also take home a weekly ‘Reading for pleasure’ book to enjoy with a parent at home. These are intended to encourage parents reading to their children.

Children take their 3 reading books home on a daily basis.  The system in place for changing books is weekly as we believe children should re-read books for fluency and comprehension.  We encourage parents to hear their child read at home to develop fluency.  Our expectation is that children read at home 5x per week in EYFS and 3x a week across the rest of school.  Reading diaries / records are used by parents to record their children’s reading of books, common exception words and other texts. The teacher monitors these weekly in order to ensure children are reading at home and also to gain information about other books that children may have access to at home.  We carry out annual parent reading workshops which are chosen with a specific focus in mind such as reading for pleasure.



Developing the Love of Reading

Reading for pleasure is something that we value highly at Old Basford School. The following strategies are used to encourage reading and to develop the love of reading in our school:

  • Story Time:  We aspire for story time to happen daily across the school.  We have identified a specific collection of high quality texts that have been chosen with a range of focuses in mind. These books should be read, and reread in order for the children to be familiar with them and know them well.
  • School Library: The children take home library books once a week to share at home and they are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction. The use of additional ‘reading for pleasure’ book is being rolled out across school.
  • Every classroom has a carefully selected collection of books that the children can choose from independently. These cover a variety of genres including alternative text types like magazines.
  • Children are given responsible roles such as being librarians or reading champions. These ensure our children are given chance to be reading role models.
  • We have volunteer readers in school who help to support our readers and encourage a love of reading.
  • We make sure that World Book Day gives the children opportunity to find new books to treasure. It also helps the staff to know more about our children as readers.
  • We hold regular book fairs and provide second hand books to purchase too which makes them more affordable.
  • The reading lead organises the use of the ELS service so children always have access to new half termly topic based books.
  • We reward reading by giving children PROUD points for reading weekly. These points often make up the majority of the 100 proud points a child needs to get the next certificate in our termly achievement assemblies.




By the end of EYFS and Key Stage 1 we expect our children to be skilled at word reading to ensure:

  • The speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding); decoding most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation
  • The speedy recognition of familiar printed words; reading books at an age appropriate interest level, accurately and at a reasonable speaking pace
  • Reading books at an age appropriate interest level and at speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words
  • Ensure most words are read effortlessly and children are able to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity


By the end of Lower Key Stage 2 we expect our children to:

  • Have decoding skills that are secure and hence vocabulary is developing
  • Be independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently
  • Be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently
  • Be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects
  • Be able to justify their views independently about what they have read


By the end of Upper Key Stage 2 we expect our children to:

  • Read sufficiently fluently and effortlessly, with understanding at an age appropriate interest level in readiness for secondary school
  • Draw inferences from what they have read, make predictions based on their inferences and summarise the main points of their texts
  • Develop their understanding and enjoyment of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books, being able to participate in discussions about books and justifying their views

How do we prioritise reading at Old Basford School?


You might be wondering about how your child is supported to become a fluent, comprehending reader. Here are just some of the ways we prioritise reading at school.

  • Reading is timetabled daily across school in an age appropriate way including daily whole class shared reading, phonics, guided reading (FS/ KS1/ Year 3) and individual reading (parent volunteers and assembly slots).

  • We have a dedicated reading and reading for pleasure funding out of our whole school budget where money is used to continually refresh and update books in school including revamping the library area.

  • You may have noticed that your child has brought home new Rocket Phonics reading books. This is because we spent lots of money on a new phonics scheme to support your child with their early reading.

  • All classrooms have an in-class library with books that are age appropriate and quality. Your child can choose books from this in class library at points throughout the day. Your child also takes home a range of books including a reading for pleasure book that support their learning in class.

  • Teachers receive regular training on how best to support your child with reading.

  • Mrs Priddy (the reading lead) has allocated weekly release time to drive forwards the teaching of reading and phonics and monitor how it is being delivered in school.

Support your child with reading at home!

Please find some useful links below to help support your child with learning to read. These videos are all taken from the 'Rocket Phonics' programme which your child follows in school.

Each video shows your the flashcard your child will be shown and gives an example of how to pronounce them.


Pink A books - 


Pink B books - 



Red A books - 


Red B books - 



Yellow books - 



Blue books- 




Green books - 



Top tips for reading with your child

If you’re not feeling confident about reading aloud or sharing books, don’t worry – there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a story together. But if you’d like some tips, here are a few pointers to help you get started.

  • Ask your child to choose what they’d like to read. They’ll feel more interested in the story if they’ve picked it out themselves.
  • Ask questions and talk about the book. Picture books can be a great way to talk through your child’s fears and worries, or to help them deal with their emotions. Give them space to talk, and ask how they feel about the situations in the story.
  • Have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to share a story – as long as you and your child are having fun. Don’t be afraid to act out situations or use funny voices… your little ones will love it!

Useful resources

Here you can find some resources to support your child's reading at home.

Highlights from last academic year

Chase Rewarding Futures Programme

In March Mrs Priddy and Miss Booth took part in a day of reading for pleasure training as part of the Chase Rewarding Futures Programme. We are delighted to announce that school will be receiving 500 new reading for pleasure books for school in April! We are also going to be gifted some library furniture for KS1. We can't wait to share the books with you all!

World Book Day!

Old Basford School celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March. We asked children to come in fancy dress if they wanted to or to express themselves through their hair. On the day we focused on celebrating a love of books by sharing books with different year groups, reading to our friends and various other book activities. Year 3 enjoyed attending a virtual author's event where they wrote a poem and listened to a story. In year 1 the children watched the author of Dave the pigeon talk about their book and then they drew their own Dave the pigeon with the illustrator. In F2 parents were invited in to enjoy story time with their children. We had a great time enjoying books together!

12 days of Christmas reading challenge

Mrs Priddy was delighted by how many children participated in the 12 days of Christmas reading challenge! Thank you to everyone who also sent some photos in. Mrs Priddy will announce the winners of the book prizes in her next assembly smiley


Bookmark charity books

This Autumn we were so grateful to the Bookmark charity for providing us with over 200 beautiful new books for school. We were delighted by these beautiful new books. All of the teachers loved choosing new books to add to their class libraries. Thank you Bookmark!

Year 5 parent workshop

Please find the slides for the year 5 parent workshop below, thank you to everyone who could attend!

The book fair!

We were delighted to hold another book fair this October. Once again, we are so grateful to all the families who were able to support school by purchasing books from our book fair. Thank you also to our librarians who supported the book fair and helped to run the used book stall. We raised over £450 and we get to keep half of the money raised to spend on new books for school! Thanks again for supporting us by buying lovely, new books.