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South Malling CE Primary

Reading & Phonics

At South Malling we strongly believe reading matters. This includes being able to read and reading for pleasure. Our approach to reading prioritises both. Our reading offer is substantial and gives our children the best chance of success. 


We follow the Sounds-Write Phonics programme at South Malling. This is an expertly structured synthetic phonics programme based on the science of reading.

To support our children's reading further we have invested in decodable texts for our Early Years and KS1 readers as they start on their early reading journey. These texts match the sounds being taught in school and aids the child's reading further. 

Here is a very useful video for any families wanting to support their child with their reading and writing. 

We are proud that we have offered and provided training to our teaching assistants and reading volunteers in the best way to maximise one to one reading.

Beyond these decodable books, children select a banded book that matches their reading ability to read at home, whilst borrowing another from our very well stocked class libraries for pleasure with their family.

Reading lessons

From Year 2 to 6, we use a progressive model of fluency, extended reading and close reading. Each class teaches a progressive mix of these reading lessons across their week. All of these lessons aim to provide our readers with a greater level of reading fluency and language comprehension. 

 Reading for pleasure

At South Malling, we believe it is choosing to read – reading for pleasure – that makes the difference. Being a frequent reader, impacts on children’s academic outcomes, which in turn leads to better employment and economic prospects. In addition, being a reader has the potential to enhance children’s social and emotional well-being, broaden their understanding of the world and enrich their imaginations. Reading changes lives so finding ways to engage students in reading may be one of the most effective ways to leverage social change.

At South Malling, we realise the importance of children wanting to read for themselves. We have seen from the research that this activity alone is one of the greatest single indicators of a child's future success. There are many ways in which we as a school, and you at home, can encourage this from a very young age. In school, our first job is to make sure there is time to read to the children every day. We ensure that story time always remains on the timetable no matter what. This is will be a book that is intentionally chosen for pleasure. To excite, interest and entertain the children. It is crucial we understand children's literature very well in order to make the most of this precious time by selecting books of great quality. We also acknowledge the importance of the children's agency in selecting the books they read too and this is encouraged through voting for some class stories from a great selection. 

Our job doesn't end there though. Reading stories to the children is only one of the jobs as a 'reader teacher' or 'reading parent' (someone who advocates a love of books). It is the building up of reading identities and communities that makes a big difference. We spent a lot of time discussing the books we've read, recommending them to each other and having the time to promote this love of reading. Allowing the time for this enables the love of reading to grow and can become rather infectious on those around us.


All year groups have a clear list of books on their Long Term Plans which make up a wonderful reading offer from Reception to Year 6. These contain a diverse mix of authors, protagonists and genres and ensure they are inclusive for all.