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In Reception, the initial focus is on developing children’s language and understanding of story structure in a language-rich environment. Children need to be able to talk about stories they’ve read and apply this language to their own stories and play before learning to read.  

In daily phonic lessons, children learn how to read and decode simple CVC words and irregular ‘tricky words’. All of these skills need to be in place before a child picks up an unknown book to read.

Once a child is ‘ready’ they will then take part in guided reading sessions in small groups. These daily sessions firstly teach children key reading skills; how to hold a book, turn pages, track the words, make sensible guesses, use pictures as prompts and how to apply their phonic knowledge.

They will be asked questions to ascertain their understanding of the text, and given the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas with others. Children also have the opportunity to take guided reading books home to share with parents. 

In Year 1, guided reading sessions continue with children also having frequent opportunities to read on a one to one basis.