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Muswell Hill Primary School

Reading -Early Reading & Phonics


It is our priority to ensure that all pupils are fluent and effective readers who have a rich vocabulary and enjoy reading. Reading for enjoyment is key to motivating children in their own use of language. It is essential that children acquire the reading skills they need to access information in all areas of their learning.

We achieve this through high-quality teaching to secure fluency and a good level of comprehension.

The guided reading lesson is the formal opportunity where children are taught to become fluent and independent. These lessons happen daily. The school has a wide range of banded books and chapter books that are stocked up regularly. In these sessions the children are taught the skills to decode and comprehend what they are reading.

As the children move through KS2, guided reading changes to guiding reading. This involves whole class texts. In years 2,4,5,6 children have the opportunity to become a Reading Gladiator. This a weekly book club that allows them to discuss the book they are reading and explore areas such as authorial intent, themes and imagery.

In addition, teachers regularly read to the children a class reading book that is chosen with the children from a range of appropriately selected and diverse books. During reading teachers encourage discussion and develop reading skills, using ‘think alouds’ to model these skills.


We teach a progression of phonics that matches the ‘Letters & Sounds’ sequence. We have devised detailed weekly planning for each of the Phases (see below for year group progression) and use a range of resources to support the teaching to ensure we follow a systematic synthetic phonics approach.

Phonics is taught daily for 20 minutes with rigour from Reception to Year 2. We use a range of resources and activities that match the grapheme phoneme correspondence that is taught.

The progress of the children is regularly assessed, and appropriate support given, including targeted intervention programmes for children who need extra support throughout the whole school.

  • Reception: Phases 1-4
  • Year 1: Phase 5 (revise Phases 3,4 in Autumn1)
  • Year 2: Phase 6 (revise phase 5 Autumn 1)

In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at MHPS aims to ensure that all pupils: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/key-stage-1-and-2