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: we are very proud of our success in teaching reading (our end of Key Stage 2 SATS results have  been significantly above local and national averages for a number of years). We are also not complacent about our reading offer and always on the lookout for innovative and effective methods to improve reading pedagogy.

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 use a systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) to teach the foundations of reading. We are currently establishing the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds SSP. This programme  is used with all reception and year 1 pupils and includes: daily phonics sessions; regular small group reading practice sessions and keep-up sessions to ensure all children keep pace with the programme. See link and download below for more detail.
  • 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. These books are aligned with Little Wandle our phonics programme. 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 and then follow the Little Wandle Programme (see the download below for more detail).
  • 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.