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Reading and Phonics

"Reading is a passport to countless adventures." 

Mary Pope Osborne




At Knightwood we are committed to developing a love of reading in our children and therefore make it a key focus in our school. The children are encouraged to browse and spend time in our library where they can practise choosing books that interest and excite them. We have reading ambassadors in school who promote books and do work with the wider community. Teachers share their love of reading regularly with the children and read with their classes every day.



The foundation for reading is being able to turn sounds into letters and for this children need to be taught phonics. To teach phonics at Knightwood we follow the systematic programme Bug Club. The children are introduced to Bug Club when they start in Reception. Their lessons are fun and interactive and allow them to revise previous sounds, learn and practise the new sound and then apply their learning. As the children learn new sounds they are given books that allow them to practise decoding and blending these sounds. As the children gain confidence with their reading they will also be given a colour banded book from the Bug Club Independent range. Alongside these books children will always be able to take home a library book each week. When children are secure in their phonics knowledge (usually by year 2) they will be solely on the Bug Club Independent books until they are ready to become a free reader and no longer use the reading scheme. 

At the moment Bug Club is predominately on an online platform. The benefits to this are the children can access their books anywhere there is a electronic device (iPad, computer, phone etc), they can earn coins for reading and then access a rewards section and they are able to play games and answer comprehension questions to support their phonics knowledge and reading. However, we do recognise the importance of printed books and there are copies available if needed. We are also aiming to increase the amount of printed books we have available.  

Support for children struggling with reading 

We are proud of being an inclusive school that supports all pupils to succeed in their learning and build self esteem. Reading is such a complex process that it is understandable that some children struggle with it. If your child is finding it hard and is not where we would expect them to be then firstly their teacher would have a conversation with you. The following support is available depending on the needs of the child:

  • Phonics support booster groups with teachers or LSAs
  • Sounds and activities sent home
  • KS2 - Rapid reading intervention programme
  • Wave 3 interventions such as AcceleRead AcceleWrite, SYDNEY, Precision teaching 


How can I help my child read? 

  • In the front of the books there are guides to warming up before reading and then throughout the online versions there are questions for you to talk about and guide your discussions - these can be found at the back of the printed books.  
  • Read yourself. Set a good example by sharing your reading. Let your children see that you value books and keep them at home.
  • Point out words all around you. Help your child to read the words around them: on food packets in the supermarket, on buses, in newspapers, in recipes.
  • Go to the library together. Ask the librarian for help in finding books your children will enjoy. 
  • Make time to read. Try to read with your child at the same time every day. Bedtime is a great time to share a story. Why not let your child choose a story? Your child is never too old to enjoy a good story – keep reading to them even when they can read themselves.
  • Introduce your child to different types of books; classic fiction, chapter books, short stories, joke books, poetry, non-fiction.
  •  Read slowly, with expression. Try using different and funny voices for characters.
  • Keep books in your bag. A long wait in a doctor’s surgery or at a bus stop can seem less boring if you share a book.
  •  If English is not your family’s first language, you can buy dual language books. You can talk about books and stories in any language.


What do I do when my child has read the books? 

Once you have read the book and clicked on the bugs and completed the comprehension activities the book will move to the library section. We encourage you to read the book a few times over the week to increase fluency and understanding of the new sounds they are learning. Once you have read the books, please sign the reading log on google classroom.


When will my child be moved to the next Stage in the reading scheme?

Each band contains a wide variety of books and the children are given a wide range of books to consolidate their reading at each stage. Each child’s reading is assessed during individual reading sessions at school. Your child will be moved to the next band when certain criteria have been met both in decoding skills and comprehension skills.  A firm foundation at these early stages of reading is vital.  


How often do I need to read with my child?

It is our aim that all of our children at Knightwood will develop a lifelong love of reading.  Reading at home is a vital part of this journey. At Knightwood we run a ‘Reading Challenge’. The children are encouraged to read 4 times a week. This can be their books from school but also any other reading material – comics, magazines, newspapers, books from home, recipes etc. On google classroom there are reading logs to sign each week. At the end of each half term the teachers choose a child that has gone above and beyond in their reading and they win the opportunity to choose a brand new book to take home.  


Take time to enjoy books and stories with your child. Not only will it help them improve their reading, but it is a great opportunity to enjoy time together. Opening a book is like beginning an adventure – you never know what you might find inside. 



Useful links


Book Band Guidance 

KS1 VIPERS question starters

KS2 VIPERS question starters



Bug Club phonics


https://youtu.be/44mZZQfgkjY Video about how it works


https://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/asset-library/interactive/primary/bugclub/alphabet/index.html How to say sounds 

https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk/downloadable-resource?id=1097887&file=phonics-glossary.pdf Glossary of terms



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