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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

Phonics and Reading at RL Hughes

At RL Hughes Primary School, we recognise the importance of reading in developing children culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading is an essential life skill for children to develop, and so we strive to provide a stimulating, rich reading environment which enables children to become confident, life-long readers with a developed widespread love of reading.

Throughout our school, children are exposed to a wide range of high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts which stimulate and support the children with their reading and vocabulary development. This enables our children to develop an understanding of themselves and the world they live in. A wide range of core class texts are utilised across the school to challenge our children and to allow them to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Our children also have access to high quality independent reading books which are carefully matched to their current level of reading ability; these enable our children to develop their reading fluency, comprehension and their enjoyment of reading for pleasure.

Our Phonics Scheme

This year we have introduced a new phonics reading scheme called Monster Phonics. The

children are very enthusiastic about the new characters and there is an opportunity for

parents to access more information about the scheme online.

We know that children learn best when parents and teachers follow the same methods.

Working in the same way is vital for reinforcing learning. So here is some information to

help you use the Monster Phonics approach which your child is following at school. Monster Phonics accelerates progress, so it is important to use this approach at home whenever you are helping your child with phonics or learning spellings. Free downloadable resources can also be found on the website

Monster Phonics makes learning fun and more memorable. Rather than relying on rote

learning, Monster Phonics uses colour coding to promote understanding, which leads to

children becoming confident, independent learners. Confidence builds their passion for school and for life.

Monster Phonics Letter (Link to PDF)


Our Reading Schemes

As our children begin to read, we utilise a core spine of phonics based reading books from Rising Stars and Phonics Bugs. We also supplement this with a variety of different books from Songbirds and Read, Write, Inc reading schemes to ensure that we provide a wide choice of fiction and non-fiction reads, as well as ensuring that children do not become over-familiar with a particular style found in reading scheme books. Our reading books are organised into stages which are carefully matched to the current phonic stage of the child. Children will progress through the keystages in relation to their phonics development.

As children reach phonics stage 6, and are becoming more fluent readers, they move on to the Accelerated Reader (AR) reading scheme. AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. All children complete a Star Reading test when they are ready to begin the AR program, and also at the end of each term. The Star Reading test determines the current reading level of a child and will provide a reading range for the children to read within. Each book in our library is assigned a reading level so that children can choose a book which is within their current reading range. This ensures that all children can choose a book, which interests them, at their own level. Once children have read their book, they take a short quiz on the computer. This quiz indicates whether a child has understood what has been read. Children can then choose another book from within their range.

A Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader (link to PDF)

Reading for pleasure is central to our ethos at RL Hughes Primary School, and all of our children have access to a stimulating, well-stocked library brimming with engaging fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. To complement our book stock, newspapers are delivered weekly to allow children to keep up-to-date with current affairs, and children also have the opportunity to enjoy reading the writing of their peers. Our school library is open every morning during daily reading time, and every lunch time, to enable children to change and choose books, and to enjoy quiet reading time. We also run daily reading clubs to which children can come along and enjoy listening to a story or read the newspaper, discuss current events and take part in our school debate club.