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Reading Intent

At Rabbsfarm, we understand that reading is a vital life skill that unlocks countless opportunities for our children.

Our primary focus is on teaching reading skills, fostering a love for books, and empowering our students to become passionate readers. We achieve this by carefully selecting high-quality texts that celebrate diversity, inclusion, and a variety of perspectives.

Our goal is to promote empathy, expand their reading experiences, and deepen their understanding of the human experience.

We value shared story times, as they enhance listening skills, comprehension, and familiarity with different types of books. At Rabbsfarm, we model the joy of reading daily, inspiring young minds and dreams as we look toward the future.

Phonics Intent

At Rabbsfarm we understand that mastery in phonics is a fundamental aspect for pupils reading development.

We strive to teaching phonics systematically in a practical way so that pupils rapidly gain the phonic knowledge they need to begin to become independent readers. We provide ample opportunities for children to consolidate their ever growing phonic knowledge through various engaging activities and ensure that parents can support their child’s learning during by providing children with decodable books that are directly aligned to the phonics knowledge they are acquired.

  • How we teach Phonics and Early Reading at Rabbsfarm Primary School

    Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen Phonics programme. The aim of ELS is ‘Getting all children to read well, quickly’. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.

    Children begin learning Phonics at the very beginning of Reception and it is explicitly taught every day during a dedicated slot on the timetable. Children are given the knowledge and the skills to then apply this independently.

    Throughout the day, children will use their growing Phonics knowledge to support them in other areas of the curriculum and will have many opportunities to practise their reading. This includes reading 1:1 with a member of staff, with a partner during paired reading and as a class. 

    Children continue daily Phonics lessons in Year 1 and further through the school to ensure all children become confident, fluent readers.

    We follow the ELS progression and sequence. This allows our children to practise their existing phonic knowledge whilst building their understanding of the ‘code’ of our language GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence). As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. 

    Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches relevant, useful and ambitious vocabulary to support each child’s journey to becoming fluent and independent readers.

    We begin by teaching the single letter sounds before moving to diagraphs ‘sh’ (two letters spelling one sound), trigraphs ‘igh’ (three letters spelling one sound) and quadgraphs ‘eigh’ (four letters spelling one sound).

    We teach children to:

    • Decode (read) by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently

    • Encode (write) by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.

    The structure of ELS lessons allows children to know what is coming next, what they need to do, and how to achieve success. This makes it easier for children to learn the GPCs we are teaching (the alphabetic code) and how to apply this when reading.

    ELS is designed on the principle that children should ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. Since interventions are delivered within the lesson by the teacher, any child who is struggling with the new knowledge can be immediately targeted with appropriate support. Where further support is required, 1:1 interventions are used where needed. These interventions are short, specific and effective.

  • Supporting Reading at Home
    • Children will only read books that are entirely decodable, this means that they should be able to read these books as they already know the code contained within the book.
    • We only use pure sounds when decoding words (no ‘uh’ after the sound)
    • We want children to practise reading their book 4 times across the week working on these skills:

              Decode – sounding out and blending to read the word.

              Fluency – reading words with less obvious decoding.

              Expression – using intonation and expression to bring the text to life!

    We must use pure sounds when we are pronouncing the sounds and supporting children in reading words. If we mispronounce these sounds, we will make reading harder for our children. Please watch the videos below for how to accurately pronounce these sounds.

    At the beginning of each academic year, we will hold an information session for parents and carers to find out more about the teaching of phonics, reading and ways to support your child at home.

    Look out for the Year group specific year group information sessions.

    We will hold up to three sessions across the academic year so you are updated on the new phonics and reading teaching and learning in class. Please do join us.

    More support for parents and carers can be found here:


  • More support for parents and carers can be found here
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