Raising aspirations so every child can spread their wings and fly!


What does reading and spelling look like at Leigh C.E.?

At Leigh C.E. we want all children to read with enjoyment, confidence and fluency. In order to do this we ensure that pupils:

  • have access to high quality texts from stories, to non-fiction, to poetry
  • have opportunities to be heard reading whether this be by other adults or our Year 6 ‘Reading Buddies’
  • have opportunities to be read to throughout the day by other adults
  • learn to read using systematic synthetic phonics from as early as Reception

Every child at Leigh C.E. school takes part in daily phonics lessons from Reception up to Year 2 following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ Programme of work. In these lessons pupils are taught about the sounds that make up words and the letters we use to represent these sounds. Pupils are taught to segment and blend. Segmenting a word is when you break the word down so ‘cat’ would become ‘c-a-t’. We also call this sounding out. Blending is when we put a word back together so the sounds ‘c-a-t’ would become the word ‘cat’.

Take a look at this website for more information around phonics and for some great resources to use at home.  http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/


Tricky Words/Common Exception Words/National Curriculum Word Lists
There are some words which are more difficult to sound out as they do not usually follow the phonetic sounds learned. We call these Tricky Words or Key Words in Key Stage 1. We practice recognising these as whole words. A list of tricky words is available in children’s planners, but they can also be accessed by clicking the web link below. 

Tricky Words

From Year 1 to Year 6 children have to know Common Exception Words, also referred to as the National Curriculum Words. In Key Stage 1, spellings are sent home half-termly for children to practise; in Key Stage 2, spellings are sent home weekly. A formal spelling test will then be completed at the end of each half term, which will test the children on the words they have been practising that half term. The same words are also practiced on a daily basis within school using a kinaesthetic approach (activities may differ across classes and year groups):

  • Thread it! - Using letter beads and string to spell out words
  • Form it! - Using pipe cleaners to form letters and spell out the word
  • Attract it! - Using magnetic letters and baking trays to spell out the word
  • Chalk it! - Using chalkboards and chalk to practice handwriting and spell out the word

The word lists are available in children’s planners, but they can also be accessed by clicking the web link below.

Year 1 & 2 Common Exception Words

Year 3 & 4 Common Exception Words

Year 5 & 6 Common Exception Words


Year 2-Year 6 follow the National Curriculum statutory spelling rules. A daily spelling session is built in to the timetable in which children focus on the spelling rule, definition of the word/etymology and its meaning within a sentence. Children also have the opportunity to practice the spelling rule using handwriting skills and dictation. In Year 1, aspects of the spelling curriculum not covered within phonics are taught via SPAG sessions within the English lesson.

Home Reading
Every child at Leigh C.E. has a reading book linked to their reading level which they take home. We ask that every child reads daily for at least 10 minutes (Key Stage 1) or 15 minutes (Key Stage 2) and that planners are signed to acknowledge this. Reading your child’s book with them regularly is a great way to help them practice their letters and sounds and fluency (speed of reading words) as well as helping them to understand the meaning of a text.

Every book your child reads will have opportunities for them to practice segmenting and blending, recognising tricky words as well as having some sort of meaning attached to the words. By asking your child questions about the book they are reading you can really help to develop their understanding as well as extending their vocabulary. Please see examples of questions that you can ask at home, available on this page under ‘Guided Reading’.

Books are changed on set days across school. If your child finishes their reading book prior to their day, we actively encourage them to reread it to further their fluency and comprehension skills. They can also complete one of the Book Bingo tasks, which you can access by clicking on the web links below.

KS1 Book Bingo KS2 Book Bingo

Shared Reading
Pupils take part in shared reading on a daily basis. This is where large groups of children read a text with an adult. Reading may be modelled to the children by an adult or the children may read the text together. It is another opportunity for pupils to apply their phonic and comprehension skills. Throughout the year, each phase will share at least five class reader texts - English lessons are linked to the class reader for that half term. In addition to this, a different text may also be read to the children in our ‘Treasured Text’ time.


Guided Reading


In Reception and KS1, children access guided reading three times a week. Each day an adult works alongside a small group to teach/model a range of reading skills at their phonic/reading ability:

Day One-Decoding-blending and segmenting/New Vocabulary/Spelling patterns

Day Two-Prosody-Focusing on intonation and punctuation

Day Three-Comprehension-use understanding, retrieval and inference skills.


In KS2, each child has a guided reading session at least once a week. This is where an adult teaches your child, within a small group, about specific reading skills. This may be how to read for meaning and answer questions based on the text. Throughout KS2, the APE model is used: Answer/Prove/Explain. These sessions help your child to apply their reading skills and develop their comprehension skills. Also within the KS2 guided reading cycle, children will have the opportunity to:

  • KS2-Pre-Read-Reading an extract prior to analysing with the teacher. Children will look for any words they may not understand or words/phrases that they like.
  • Comprehension task-Within this activity, children will use their retrieval and inference skills to show that they have an understanding of the text.
  • Personal Choice Reading-Children will have the opportunity to read for pleasure a book of their choice
KS1 Reading Prompt Questions KS2 Reading Prompt Questions

Library Timetable

Each class in school has a 20 minute weekly library slot built in to their timetable.  Children will either listen to a story read aloud by the teacher or will be given time to access and read for pleasure a book of their choice. Within each class, a reading area is also available with a fantastic range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. Leigh Library also has a fantastic range of books for children and families to enjoy for free. For more details contact Leigh Library on 01942 404404.