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Petham Primary School

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At Petham Primary School, we aim to develop confident, fluent and passionate readers and writers from an early age. We believe that phonics provides the foundations upon which we can build our pupils ability to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, alongside developing a love of reading widely and often. 

We place a high value on reading as we know it underpins children's access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Other strategies must be avoided. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established.




Following completion of Little Wandle, children participate in daily reading lessons using the Pixl program. The teaching of reading develops children's skills across a set of core strands decoding, retrieval, inference, language context and choice, responding to a text and themes and conventions. Guided reading is taught in whole class sessions by the class teacher, using the PIXL resources. These sessions are focused on a particular skill, modelling the skill for the children, reading together aloud and allowing them the time to apply the new skill they have learnt to comprehension style questions.  

To supplement the this teaching of reading children self-select a reading book from Accelerated Reader (AR) giving .  We ensure children are secure in the learning content of the Little Wandle program and that they are confident and fluent when applying the skills before moving them forward to AR.  AR does not help children learn to read - it consolidates their learning and promotes reading comprehension rather than decoding and word reading skills. All children learn to read at different rates, so read with your child often to help them to develop a love of reading. This is equally as important as your child learning to read individual words. 


AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer (passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read). AR gives children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This encourages reading to become an independent experience as the children can choose books they find interesting promoting a love of reading and reading for pleasure. Teachers support children to choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can enjoy and understand the text and subsequently pass the quiz and experience success.

Children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they’re reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.




At Petham Primary our focused, consistent and challenging approach to reading ensures our pupils are prepared for the next stage of their learning as they move through KS2, on to secondary school and beyond. 

Assessment is regularly used to monitor our children's progress and allows us to quickly identify children needing extra support. This may come in the form of Lexia sessions, 1-1 reading, small group work using PIXl resources, or more focused questioning during whole class guided reading sessions. 


Assessment for learning is used frequently through teacher observation and the assessment of key reading skills during guided reading sessions. We use AR Star Reader assessments 3 times a year to identify any additional gaps in reading comprehension, which are then addressed as above. In KS2 we also complete a reading paper once a term to prepare the children for more formal testing at the end of year 6 and in to secondary education. These papers allow the teachers to complete 'gap analysis' for the cohort and identify skills areas to focus on in guided reading sessions for the term ahead. This ensures all of the teaching is focused, purposeful and precise. 


Key Stage Two Reading Outcomes

Academic YearPetham Primary SchoolNational Average

KS2: 78%

KS2: 73%


KS2: 75%

KS2: 75%

2022-2023KS2: 83%

KS2: 73%

2023-2024KS2: TBAKS2: TBA


Reading Progression of Skills

Reading Spine 2023-2024

What is Accelerated Reader (AR)?

Reading for pleasure (info for parents) - Ideas for cosy reading nooks and suggested books.