Whitleigh Community Primary School, Lancaster Gardens, Whitleigh, Plymouth, Devon, PL5 4AA

Tel: 01752 706383

Main Contact: Lisa Richards


Chair of Governors: John Bale

Whitleigh Community Primary School

Children at the heart of the school - School at the heart of community

Early Reading


At Whitleigh Primary we believe that promoting a love of reading is intrinsic to a child’s education, development and happiness.  We work with all children to ensure that this begins with the youngest members of our school community and continues throughout their time in school. As soon as a child joins Whitleigh, they are introduced to a literacy rich environment that ensures that we:


·         Foster a love of reading and sharing stories, poems and rhymes to develop vocabulary and comprehension.

·         Develop children's Communication and Language skills to ensure they can listen, attend and understand language.

·         Ensure children are taught early phonics skills through our systematic, synthetic phonics programme.

·         Create opportunities for children to read and reread books that match the phonics stage taught.

·         Provide opportunities within Child Initiated, Adult initiated and Adult directed activities for the children to apply and rehearse early phonics and reading skills in a range of contexts.

·         Effectively use assessment to quickly pick up children falling behind and give targeted support.

·         Offer challenge to the children who are applying and using phonics skills early on in their school journey to ensure we nurture and continue to move children forward to achieve.



Early reading and phonics skills are nurtured and developed across the continuous provision, giving children the opportunity to apply their skills in a range of play-based activities and meaningful contexts.  The Early Years environment has been carefully planned so that it provides opportunities for reading in all areas of the classroom; creating comfortable pockets similar to the environments they experience at home, where children feel comfortable and confident to curl up with a good book. Adults are highly skilled in providing guidance, support and challenge to children as they practice and consolidate these early reading skills. Alongside the continuous provision, the following sessions are planned to ensure children develop strong Communication & Language, Phonics, reading and writing skills, during their time across EYFS.


·         Children in Nursery will complete Pre-Phonic skills in school daily, focusing on developing strong communication, language, listening and attention skills in a range of contexts.

·         Children in Reception will complete daily a phonics session in school, following our Synthetic and systematic phonics programme: Read, Write Inc. 

·         Children in EYFS will enjoy a daily story read to them to develop and foster their love for reading. All class reading books shared with children have been specifically chosen to support             language development, storytelling and to continually develop our children’s love and passion for reading. 

·         Weekly Guided Reading will take place in Reception, completed in a small group each week with a different focus skill. This will begin with using and applying phonic skills to decoding            of text, moving onto discussing and applying what has been read through discussions and answering of questions.