Reading at Mousehole School

Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work.

- Department for Education July 2021


At Mousehole School we love books and reading!

When our children leave Mousehole School in year 6 we want them to be confident, accomplished readers with a real love of reading. Our end of Key Stage 2 SATS results have consistently been significantly above local and national averages in terms of those reaching expected standards and those reading at a greater depth standard.

Staff share their love of literature in lots of ways but there are some fundamental routines present in all classes in the school: 

  • Every day, every child in the school will be read to by an adult: from their first day in Mousehole Mice pre-school to their last term in year 6. Teachers carefully select texts and share great stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts throughout the curriculum. This is done in a specifically timetabled session. Staff will engage in 'book talk' about these texts. In younger classes, texts will be read repeatedly over time to help embed language patterns and develop vocabulary skills. We also use guided reading sessions where appropriate so that adults can teach children reading skills in small groups and children and practice their skills in guided, independent activities.
  • We use a systematic synthetic phonics programme to teach the foundations of reading. We currently use Letters and Sounds as a planning tool (see the timeline document for more detail). We are reviewing this in line with Department for Education guidance and working with our local English Hub to establish one of the DfE’s approved schemes by the end of the Autumn term 2021.
  • We provide children with great books: we have a well stocked and beautifully presented library which every class visits on a weekly basis and we subscribe to the library service which provides regular book exchanges and project relevant books for each class.
  • We provide carefully banded books so that children can practice sounds they have learnt and increase their reading fluency. We encourage children to read these books at home regularly and we change the books regularly. Staff check that children are able to independently read these books without having to guess words ensuring that they can focus on deducing meaning from the text.
  • We support parents with sharing a love of reading with their children: giving advice; communicating about reading via reading records and Seesaw and having clear expectations about how often children should practice reading with an adult at home.
  • We ensure children with Special Educational needs are provided with extra support and adaptations as appropriate to ensure they are included in reading lessons. We also provide bespoke support to ensure their progress. Where appropriate, we use the Nessy Learning Programme (programme designed to support children with dyslexia to read and write).
  • We start teaching the foundations of reading (phase 1 phonics) in our pre-school. We also teach these fundamentals from the beginning of the Autumn term in reception in order to complete phase 2 phonics by the end of the children’s first term in school (see the Letter and Sounds timeline below).
  • We use formative assessment techniques throughout our reading teaching and where children are identified as falling behind their peers, we act quickly to support their progress and to ensure they catch up with their peers.
  • All our staff have had specific phonics training and we update this training regularly. Our English and phonics lead Mr Mullaney and the Head Teacher review practice regularly with teaching staff and provide support and training where appropriate.