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Reading and Phonics

We believe reading is a vital but complex skill that will support children’s learning across the whole curriculum. We want children to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding. At Foxdell Infant School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. As a school we aim to develop in children a love of reading. We promote reading for pleasure by providing stimulating learning environments where reading materials include high quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts.


"The proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard at the end of Year 1 in the phonics screening check has risen. In 2017, it was broadly in line with the national average." 


"Teachers use reading opportunities across the curriculum effectively to enable pupils to develop reading skills."

Ofsted report 2018


At Foxdell Infant School, all our reading books are colour banded. 

Children are given a colour band to choose their home reading book from which will help to ensure that the books they select are at the appropriate reading level for them whilst also ensuring they are appropriately challenged. Every colour band includes books from a range of reading schemes so that children will experience a range of text types.

It is important that children develop fluency (read without hesitation) and understand what they read before they move onto the next colour band. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children develop these skills, by encouraging their children to read to them every day at home with the parent recording in the reading record.


Still image for this video


We need to develop pupils’ competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).



At Foxdell Infant school we help children learn and verbally tell stories to develop their understanding and experiences of stories. They deepen their understanding of stories through speaking and listening activities, drama, poetry and art. They develop their imagination by innovating and creating their own versions of the story.


Grammar, punctuation and spelling

All pupils in Key Stage One receive a weekly grammar and punctuation lesson in which discrete skills are taught which can later be applied throughout our cross-curricular writing lessons. Spelling is covered during our daily phonic lessons. All children have access to high quality dictionaries and vocabulary lists to enable them to improve their spelling and vocabulary choices within writing lessons. 


Handwriting and letter formation

Your child is taught how to form each letter according to the guide below from Reception. It is important children form each letter correctly as this will support them well when they begin to join their handwriting in Year One. Please encourage your child to use the correct letter formation when completing homework or any other writing activities at home (for example writing greeting cards). 



Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles, involving the sychronisation of hands and fingers with the eyes. Fine motor activities help children prepare for handwriting. Children in Reception and Year One regulalry take part in fine motor activities in the classroom. 


Parents/carers can help children to develop fine motor skills at home by encouraging their children to: 

  • Draw crosses, squares and circles in anti-clockwise direction
  • Draw people, animals and objects
  • Draw crosses, squares and circles in a top-to-bottom direction
  • Play with construction toys such as Lego and wooden blocks
  • Play with toy tools 
  • Cut along lines with scissors
  • Use scissors to cut out circular, triangular and square shapes
  • Use colouring boosk to colour within the lines of the picture


Our librarians have been busy this year setting up new books and looking after the books in the library.