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Chase Lane
Primary School

" I always try my very very best at everything "

Reading & Phonics

Reading and Phonics at Chase Lane


At Chase Lane Primary School, we have developed our own systematic synthetic phonics programme based on the structure of the 2007 government document ‘Letters and Sounds’. 

We have developed actions, rhymes and real-life images to help the children learn the sounds in a memorable way. 

Phonics is taught discreetly in Nursery whilst daily phonics sessions take place in Reception - Year 1. This continues in Year 2 onwards for children who did not pass the phonics screening or who need extra support with their reading.

In Reception, Key stage 1 and for some children in key stage 2, we follow the ‘Big Cat Collins’ reading scheme. These books are allocated to the children based on their current phonics level. Children are allocated books that contain sounds that they know and have learnt. This allows the children to build up their confidence by only being exposed to sounds that they know and practise their blending skills.

Big Cat Collins books are changed on a Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, children bring home a free choice book from their classroom book corner or the library. Children are assessed every half-term to review the words and sounds they know. Using all their on-going assessment, teachers will choose to move your child to the next colour band when appropriate. It is important that the children understand what they have read and are able to answer questions and not only be able to read the words before they are moved up a book band. 

To find out more about supporting your child in phonics, please look out for the annual parent workshops held by our key stage 1 and early years phase leaders.


Guided Reading - KS1 and KS2

Following on from the work completed in EYFS, guided reading becomes the children's most regular engagement with reading. We use a whole-class model for guided reading across the school.

The whole-class model involves the teacher and children engaging in 'Active Reading'. With the active reading approach, the teacher will lead the majority of the reading - particularly further up the school. As the teacher is reading, they will model the thought process which we have developed as adults. We will encourage the children to copy this. This allows ongoing engagement with the text leading to a greater comprehension of what they have read.

In Y1 children continue to have phonics lessons but also have a guided reading session daily. In this lesson, a short text is shared with the children before the class engages in 2/3 questions which are usually literal or inferential questions.

From Y2 upwards, phonics lessons are delivered to those who need it (in KS2 usually delivered 1-2-1 for those who need it). Daily guided reading sessions take place. Once again, during a guided reading lesson, a text is shared with the children, with the text increasing in length and complexity as the children move up the school. The children then answer a range of questions based on the text - the lessons and questions given will be related to one of the reading domains as listed in the national curriculum.

In KS2 children are often given a photocopy of the text so as to make notes as they go along and then are able to go back to refer to the text when they are answering the questions.


Reading colour bands and Chase Lane level guidance