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Manor Primary Academy

'Lighting the fires of our future'

School Logo

Manor Primary Academy

'Lighting the fires of our future'



Phonics and Early Reading at Manor Primary School


We follow The Teach Hub Letters and Sounds Programme. This method teaches reading by linking sounds with written letters in a set order - we call this a 'Synthetic Systematic Phonics Programme'  Children are taught the phonics phase appropriate for their year group and term. Children who have gaps in any phase will be caught up with interventions and class activities. Those who are 'faster graspers' in reading will be extended and challenged within the lesson. 

Children are taught:

  • To read and spell three sets of sounds
  • To read phonetically decodable books
  • Work on comprehension skills
  • To always speak in sentences and to use expression when reading texts
  • Writing activities linked to the book


Click the image below to see the sounds that your children learn in each phase and year group.  

For more information on how we teach phonics please click here and/or see the video and documents attached below. 



Most days there is a 20-30 minute Whole Class Reading session (WCR)  from year one to year six. This is when much of the structured teaching of reading takes place. In EYFS reading is taught on a 1:1 basis and as the year progresses small group reading begins to take place to prepare pupils for KS1. 

Teachers plan a whole class text for the children to work on through the unit. The text is read together with any new vocabulary explored and understanding ensured. Teachers set challenging and enriching follow up activities that link to the text the group has been reading and that develop the different domains of reading skills such as inference and deduction, information retrieval and understanding of vocabulary. We use a combination of tasks to develop greater understanding of reading that will extend the children's thinking. The class teacher keeps a close record of the progress and achievement made by each pupil.


The main skills we cover in our reading lessons are: 

Comprehension Skills 

  • Prediction - to use evidence from a text to say what may happen next, what events may unfold or how a character may behave
  • Sequencing - to sequence and order events in a text 
  • Retrieval - to find and pick out information from a text in order to answer questions about it.
  • Inference - to use evidence provided by the author to draw our own logical conclusions
  • Vocabulary - to use knowledge of vocabulary (words) in order to understand the text. 

Reading Strategies 

  • Fluency  - to read at a comfortable pace without undue hesitation 
  • Visualising - a reading strategy that helps children to create a picture in their head of what they're reading.
  • Clarifying - to understand meaning of a text by using strategies such as questioning, reading on to gather meaning, using a dictionary to clarify word meaning and using our knowledge of a text or real life experiences. 
  • Questioning - to question what you have read to make your understanding of the text clearer.


To help our children learn and use these skills and strategies, each lesson is focused on one of the areas above. We use  Twinkl's 'Reading Dogs' to help teach these skills in a more child friendly way. 



Accelerated Reader (AR).





To support our whole class reading sessions  we have adopted the Accelerated Reader program as part of our comprehensive English curriculum here at Manor Primary. The only way to become really good at understanding what we read is through practice. Reading is a skill; so just like an athlete, if we have a good coach who teaches us ‘how’; it is up to us to practice perfecting that skill. The only way to get better at reading is to … READ!


What is Accelerated Reader?

AR is a program used to motivate pupils to increase their reading & vocabulary comprehension and guide them to independent reading. AR is a very popular reading program; used in nearly 60,000 schools. There is a proven link between strong reading skills and academic success – great readers make great pupils! This compliments the school’s goal of having each Manor pupil read independently at least 20-30 minutes per day at home.


Online Program

With the AR Online web-based program, our pupils are no longer limited to read only the books in our library to participate. Pupils not only have access to over 1,000 books available through our school library, but the public library, home library & book shops as well. You may check for AR test availability at AR Book Find.

Suggested texts and Ideas on how to support your child with their reading.

Phonics Sounds and Actions

Still image for this video
This video will demonstrate the sounds and actions for phases 2-5.

Home Reading Books

All children Reception– Year 6 will take home (each day) a reading book and a reading record book. Nursery children will take home story sacks and picture books to share with their parents and are encouraged to listen to stories.

In EYFS and Year 1 pupils will be allocated a reading book that closely matches their phonics learning and ability. These books will be changed by a member of school staff at least once a week. We ask that parents listen to their child read at least 5 times a week and record this in their Reading Record book.


In year 2 upwards, when children have progressed from phonics and are on the Accelerated Reader system (more information regarding AR can be found below), pupils will take home books from the school library. Again, the expectation is that pupils read at least 5 times a week and each time they read a note from parents is recorded in the Reading Record book.  


The purpose of the Reading Record book is to keep track of books being read and for staff to easily identify those pupils who are not reading as frequently as we would like. These pupils can then be supported in school and staff can support parents. They are also used to keep passwords and log in details for Google Classroom, Accelerated Reader, Purple Mash and other web-based applications.

Staff will sign the Reading record books weekly and note when the child has been heard read in a 1:1 situation.

How does AR work?

  1. Each pupil is tested & assigned a reading range known as a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development – basically, the right level of challenge to stretch the child’s ability without being too hard) & given a point goal.

  2. Pupils then choose an AR book based on their interest and reading level (ZPD).
  3. When they have finished reading the book, the pupil takes the AR quiz to assess comprehension.
  4. The pupil earns points for mastering the material on the test. They earn full points by answering all test questions correctly. (Pupils who average at least an 80% on tests taken are considered to understand what they read at an average level.)
  5. The class teacher or the child will write in their reading record book when they have completed a quiz and what they scored. If your child scored less than 50% they will be asked to re-read the book, between 50%-100% they will be able to choose another book at the same ZPD point. Once they have scored between 80%-100% 3 times in a row they will be able to move to the next ZPD point in their range. Of course, the class teacher’s professional judgement may mean that some children move up after one or two times or may need to go to the ZPD below. This will be judged on an individual basis.
  6. The tests are repeated termly to track changes in ZPD. These tests will help to inform teachers and their planning.


What makes it FUN?

We strongly support the AR reading program. It’s a great way to encourage reading and have a positive, fun experience. Pupils love enjoying reading and are motivated to reach personal points goals and enjoy the challenge of completing quizzes online. We have also introduced an element of competition to see who can read the most words in each class and be a 'Reading Champion' each half term. 


How can you help your child?

  1. Promote reading at home: encourage them to read; read to them, let them see you reading & encourage them to carry their book wherever they go – so they are always ready to read!
  2. Ask about the current book they are reading and their point goals. Congratulate them when they reach their goal.
  3. Donate AR books from our book fairs to the library so we can continue to expand our offerings for the pupils.
  4. Cheer on your child and start growing a reader today!

If you have any concerns or queries about this exciting system please speak to your child’s class teacher or Mr Robson



Rising Stars - Reading Planet Online 





In addition to Accelerated reader we also subscribe to Reading Planet Online  which offers the Reading Planet books in digital format. Teachers will assign books frequently to your child to be read online at school or at home on any internet- enabled device.


The books in Reading Planet are designed to appeal to the tastes and interests of children who are starting to learn to read, as well as those who are becoming fluent readers. The books include a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays, written by experienced educational and children’s writers. All the books have been carefully levelled according to book banding and other criteria, to ensure gradual progression in difficulty.

Each eBook features an optional audio recording (with each word highlighted as it is read) and a variety of quizzes to check children’s understanding of what they have read. 


 Click the image above to log on to our Reading Plant Online.