At Cleaswell Hill School we teach the skills needed to read fluently and to gain meaning. We use a combination of whole class, small group and 1:1 phonics lessons, activities, guided group reading sessions and by hearing pupils read their individual reading books. Shared reading takes place within English lessons where children explore features of genres and the language used. They develop the skills of analysing and evaluating a variety of prose according to purpose and audience.


Pupils are taught phonics skills through either ‘Letters and Sounds’ or ‘Read, Write Inc’ during dedicated, twice weekly, phonics lessons. Supporting materials from ‘Phonics Bug’ and ‘Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds Phonics’ are also used. Pupils are grouped for these lessons according to their academic ability and learn the phonic sounds through fun, interactive and sensory activities. Once they are secure within phase 5 of ‘Letters and sounds’ or Set 3 sounds in ‘Read, Write Inc’ they progress to spellings outlined in the 2014 curriculum with work supported from ‘Get Spelling’. Through this work children continue to develop their knowledge of sounds and words so that they become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

Guided Reading

Pupils take part in a weekly guided reading session in a small group led by an adult.  The sessions have specific objectives to be taught and the teacher will lead the children through the text exploring the objective. This is further developed through pupil led group reading activities as they progress through the school.

Early Years

Within Early Years phonics is taught through ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Sounds Great’, as well as an emphasis on developing early communication skills through the use of ‘PECS’, switches and ‘Makaton’. Pupils explore stories using story bags, role play, puppets, outdoor storytelling and sensory stories; moving on to story sequencing further into the year. Within the Early Years classroom there is a book area that children have access to at all times.


All 14 – 19 year old pupils embark on courses to gain formal qualifications at a variety of levels. These include:

  •          AQA Entry Level Certificate (silver and gold)
  •          AQA Unit Award Scheme (pre-entry)
  •          AQA GCSE English / English Literature / English Language
  •          AQA Functional Skills (Entry Level – Level 2)
  •          ASDAN Towards Independence

Sixth Form

To develop their understanding of the wider world Sixth Form pupils work towards the completion of a Functional Skills qualification. Some Sixth Form pupils act as ‘reading buddies’, working with KS2 pupils to help develop their confidence and comprehension in independent reading.