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Church Vale Primary School

and Foundation Unit

Reach for the Stars

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Reading and Phonics at Church Vale

Reading at Church Vale is at the forefront of our curriculum. We believe reading is the key to unlock learning and a world of possibilities. 

At Church Vale, our children's reading journey begins in the Early Years.

Children are read to daily to instill a love of reading and books from the earliest age. We practise listening and attention skills to enable our children to engage with listening games and stories. Our rigourous speech and language support encourages our children to join in with stories, rhymes and songs and talk about books with grown ups and friends.  

Our Early Years environment is designed to entice independent reading and for children to see a purpose in reading. 


Alongside promoting a love of books, we also teach children to read from an early age.

An effective tool for this is Phonics.

At Church Vale we begin our phonics journey in F1.

 Phonics is taught following the 'Letters and Sounds programme' and this continues through to the end of Key Stage One. We can quickly see children exploring what they learn in 'Letters and Sounds' in their play which helps them gain the confidence to apply new skills in independent reading. 

Phonics is made up of 6 phases which children progress through systematically. 


To help your child with phonics, reading and writing at home, please watch the video below:

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Reading at home. 

Throughout school children take home a 'sharing book' for adults to read to their child and a 'reading book' which is matched to each child's reading ability. 

As a school we do not work with one scheme of reading books alone, we use a variety of different books. We use a combination of 'real books' and books linked to your child's phonic phase. This allows children to enjoy a variety of texts and be exposed to a wealth of vocabulary whilst having the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in phonics lessons at home. 

Reading Mileage 

Children are expected to read at least 3 times a week. 

Parents are asked to sign reading diaries when they have listened to or read to their child. 

Each week the amount of reads are counted and certificates and prizes are awarded to the children who reach 25, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 reads.


Useful reading websites and apps: 


  • Hairy letters (app)


  • Teach your monster to read (app)


  • Mr Thorne does phonics (youtube)


  • Oxford Owl (website)


  • Phonics play (website)

Reading Volunteers 

We are fortunate to have a team of Reading Volunteers who dedicate their time to listen to our children read each week. If you are interested in becoming a reading volunteer, please see Miss Law. 


One of our reading volunteers is Lionel the Dog! He is a very popular member of the Church Vale team and I am sure you can see why! 

Early Bird Reading 

Every Wednesday morning at 8.30am-8.45am parents are invited into school to spend some quality time reading and listening to their child read. 


Book Club Vlogs

This year we are taking part in the Blue Peter Book Awards as 'unofficial judges' 

We meet every week to read (and eat!) 

This year's shortlisted books are: Owen and the soldier, Vote for Effie and Wildspark 

Have a look at what we think! Would you like to read them? Come and see Miss Law! 


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Contact Details and Useful Links