School Logo

Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust

Phonics and Reading Curriculum Intent

At Elmhurst School, we have high expectations for all of our pupils regardless of their background, needs or abilities. We aim for every child to be a successful reader. This means that at least 95% of our children will leave Year 1 confidently reading Phase 5 Mustard books, having also passed their Phonics Screening test.


Enabling our young readers to start successfully in life will allow our Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6 teachers to build upon fluency and focus their teaching on vocabulary and comprehension.


The National Curriculum for English (2014) aims to ensure that all pupils:

• read easily, fluently and with good understanding

• develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.


We recognise that reading underpins children’s access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. This is why we are so passionate about it. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.


To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. We understand that phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established.


Fluent decoding is only one component of reading. Comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read.


Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have more secure general knowledge. 


We aim to provide all children with the skills needed to succeed in becoming independent readers.   In order to allow children to transition to secondary school, able to easily access all other subjects, it is essential that all of our pupils have the skills to decode and comprehend texts at an appropriate level.

Page last updated: 23/01/22