At Trinity St Stephen we believe that giving children the skills they need to read and access text is a priority. We want our children to be confident in being able to read different kinds of text and to use them for a variety of reasons.

The foundation to good reading is being able to decode text. Simply put, this is being able to make sense of letters and words. To give our children the best chance of being able to do this as soon as they are able we use Monster Phonics.  You can find out more about the Synthetic phonics approach at this website

You can also find videos of the phonic sounds here 

We believe that children should learn skills of understanding and comprehending text alongside learning basic phonics skills. So through guided reading children get the opportunity to read texts together and to talk about them.  They are directed to make links with the phonics they are using to read, with the phonics they are using to spell words in their writing.

Each week your child will bring home reading books relevant to their current reading level and the reading skills/strategies we are teaching them. The reading books will either be a selection of instructional level books ( where children are using a new strategy/skill to add to the range they have) and confidence building books within that level ( that ensure children have successfully added their previous new skill/strategy to their reading).  We use books from a range of reading schemes ( Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, PM readers) together with ‘real books’ or non-scheme books for example Usborne Young readers to paperbacks incorporating children classics and popular authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Francesca Simon, and Cressida Cowell.

We ask you to spend time reading these books together and talking about them with each other. Please tell us and your child how they are doing by using the reading record book.  Whenever you get the opportunity, it is good to introduce your children to different kinds of books, for example: non-fiction books of different types; short-stories; longer stories; child-friendly magazines and newspapers - so that they begin to get the idea that they will need to use their reading skills in a variety of ways.

Praise your child for all the strategies they are using and how well they are progressing. It is also useful for teachers to know:

  • if you notice that your child reads the words fluently but takes no clues from the pictures, that add to the understanding of the book
  • if you notice that your child's reading is being slowed down by them having to sound out too many of the words
  • if you notice that your child sounds out the words but is not able to put the sounds together to say the whole word
  • if your child struggles to remember the information they have read on the page
  • when books are too easy or too hard for your child to read fluently



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