Reading and Phonics

Reading At Westminster

Learning to love reading and being able to read to a high standard are key priorities at Westminster and the process starts with our youngest learners and continues throughout their time here. Sharing the magic of books and stories happens throughout school and opportunities to read across our curriculum are frequent.

Early reading is taught through a systemic synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds. This programme is used from Reception through to year 2 and allows pupils to be taught the sounds they need to read and then to use and apply them. Once ready, pupils will be introduced to reading books, which use the sounds they have been taught and allow them to apply their phonic knowledge and enjoy reading a book. As their phonic knowledge increases, so does the complexity of the books they read. Alongside phonics, the pupils will learn tricky words that are exceptions to the phonics rules they learn for example the words ‘the’ or ‘what’.

Whilst learning to decode words, our pupils also have to develop an understanding of their reading and will talk about what has happened in the text, who the characters were and predict what they think will happen next. All these skills build the foundations that they will use throughout school, as they become competent and enthusiastic readers.

Parental support is vital in developing your child as a reader and we ask that you read daily with your child and keep a record of this in their reading record. This continues to be important all through school even when your child is a good reader.

Please use the links below to find out more about how you can support your child with reading.

Supporting your child with reading in early reading

Supporting your child as their reading develops further

Supporting pupils who are new to English with reading