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Reading and Phonics


At Chellow Heights, it is our belief that reading is an integral part of our school curriculum and a fundamental life skill, that impacts on the acquisition of all knowledge and is central to their intellectual emotional and social development. First and foremost, we aim to develop a widespread love of reading and promote reading not only for purpose, but also for enjoyment.


At Chellow Heights we have carefully crafted a bespoke reading curriculum whereby all classes are exposed to a wide variety of differentiated reading materials and high quality texts across a range of genres to promote early reading skills.

We pride ourselves on creating a reading rich environment, where children have access to a wide range of books including sensory and textured books, lift the flap books, pop up stories, story sacks, audio stories and a vast range of props to create stories with.

To ensure that our pupils experience a wide range of genres and authors, we have created reading spines across all key stages, where high quality texts provide hooks for our curriculum topics. Key stories are enhanced through the use of props, switches, visual aids, auditory experiences, ICT devices.  This ensures a multisensory approach to reading is used, making reading accessible for all and as a means of developing communication.

To promote a widespread love of reading, we have created inviting and enriching book areas within classrooms, where pupils frequently choose to engage with books independently or share books with highly skilled adults, modelling fundamental reading and communication skills. Children at Chellow Heights have a chance to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day. 


At Chellow Heights, children’s reading is developed through the thorough and systematic daily teaching of phonics. Here at Chellow Heights, we use a systematic phonics scheme called Fun Phonics. The scheme incorporates rhyming, rhythm, singing and storytelling as well as providing high quality resources and props to support the acquisition of phoneme and grapheme development. For many of our non-verbal pupils, music and song provides them with a platform to communicate with, they can also use this to show response and understanding. 

Daily Phonics lessons are taught across school. Here at Chellow Heights, our individualised approach to learning, acknowledges that children learn at their own pace and need lots of opportunity for repetition and consolidation, which Fun Phonics allows us to do.

Reading books are divided into:

Decodable phonics books

At Chellow Heights, we have invested in books from 3 main reading schemes advocated by Fun Phonics as well as books that our pupils have shown an interest in. These are fully decodable and are carefully matched to the phonetic levels of the pupils, working at independently segmenting and blending from phase 2 upwards. We use more than one reading scheme, in order to provide a range of texts and reading styles to provide depth and exposure for children to progress at their own pace through the phonic phases, allowing lots of consolidation to take place.

Picture Books

These books are for children where a Phonetic approach is not suitable and children rely on word recognition skills. Activity packs are included to develop comprehension and word recognition.

Sensory Books

We have a range of multi-sensory books for our Pre formal, sensory leaners. Adults support children to hold the book, turn the pages, look for objects in the illustrations and to reach out and explore the textured pages.

All children are given one of the above reading books. This is shared with an adult in class and sent home in their book bag. Children have a reading record and parents are encouraged to record when they have shared the book with their child.


At Chellow Heights, we use our own robust Phonics assessment to track pupil progress termly. It is evident that our bespoke, inclusive reading curriculum, including Fun Phonics has created a community of enthusiastic readers, who demonstrate high levels of engagement in Phonics sessions. Our children are exposed to a wealth of reading material to promote a love of reading and our Cultural Capital evidences the opportunities we provide to foster a life long love of books.