The Teaching of Reading at Pentland Infant and Nursery School


Teaching children to read is of paramount importance at Pentland Infant and Nursery School.  We believe reading is a life enhancing skill that is the entitlement of every child. We offer a  balanced and creative, yet systematic, approach to the teaching of reading throughout the school; one which provides children with a teaching and application of phonics, alongside a focus on exploring comprehension, meaning and reading enjoyment. We encourage children to love books, to love reading, to love finding out information and to love sharing stories together.

At Pentland Infant and Nursery School we start to teach reading in Nursery – this involves handling books, sharing stories, talking about books, including books on our displays, labelling areas and objects in the classroom and basic phonic recognition. Children are also encouraged to borrow books for story sharing sessions at home.

These approaches are continued into Reception class, with children also progressing onto  daily phonics lessons in small groups, where they are taught using a systematic, synthetic phonic approach (based on Letters and Sounds)  as the prime strategy to develop  word recognition.

This small group approach  is continued throughout the school, with children being taught in a leveled, phased approach in order to ensure they have very targeted and  appropriate support and challenge at all times.  The expectation  is that they will have secured word recognition skills and be fluent readers, with good comprehension, by the end of KS1.

Guided Reading is taught throughout the school from mid-year within Reception Class. At all stages teachers plan a series of reading activities for pupils to complete to enable them to read and comprehend a range of different texts. Children are also offered individual reading sessions with staff on a weekly basis.  They take reading scheme and library books home on a regular basis.

We offer a range of structured reading interventions for those children who require further support and assistance in any area of reading.  These include a Better Reading programme, which gives 1:1 support for 30 sessions over a 10 week period. 

We place a great emphasis on providing training for all teachers and teaching assistants in  effective and proven approaches to the teaching of reading. 

The school is committed to investing in reading materials. The school has recently invested in new reading books and now provides a variety of reading schemes, including Story World, Big Cats, Project X and Bugs Club.  These books are all leveled, allowing teachers to gradually increase the challenge offered to children, whilst maintaining the correct level of support to allow each child a sense of achievement and aid their reading comprehension. 

ICT equipment has been recently updated to include I-PADs and Netbooks, which now allow children to access electronic reading materials in all curriculum subjects.  

We think it is important that the school environment reflects a positive attitude to reading and children are given lots of opportunities to apply their reading across the curriculum, both within the indoor and outdoor learning environments.

Parental involvement in reading is encouraged with home-school reading diaries aiding two-way communication.  We hold a variety of reading workshops over the year to share information about how reading skills are taught in school and ways in which they can be supported at home. 

At Pentland we have recently launched a new reading scheme called ‘Reading Planet’. As part of this reading scheme, pupils will also now have access to ebooks that they can read online at home. These ebooks can be accessed using a mobile, laptop or tablet. Each pupil will have an individual log-in and password. To find out more, please read the information letter at the bottom of this page. This letter is available in multiple languages.

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