Schoolsworks is a multi-academy trust in West Sussex. Our aim is to create small hubs of schools which work closely together to collaborate, share best practice and improve outcomes for children.



We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


School reading progression

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.


We start by teaching phonics in Reception using the Song of Sounds programme. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well.

The Song of Sounds programme is dynamic hands-on programme that brings phonics to life with engaging, interactive activities that reinforce learning.

Each of the three units use an initial song as the basis for the learning. See below for a link to the first song that Reception learn.

Song of Sounds Phase 1 song


The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These link to the government spelling programme below.

See the government spelling program and word lists here.

Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.

Reading skills

Teachers regularly read high quality texts to the children too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.

Throughout the years children work with others who have the same reading level during Reading Skills sessions. This enables the teacher to constantly review the level of their reading and signpost the children to the correct book for the level of both their reading and their comprehension.

Accelerated Reader 

The children also use a computer based reading program called Accelerated Reader which enables all books to be catalogued by reading level. Children are tested to see which level they are and then they are given a ZPD (zone of proximal development) which is a range of book level targeted at their next stage in reading and comprehension. Usually they start at the lowest level in the range and read through the levels at their own pace. Using this range they choose levelled books in school and when they have read the book they complete an online quiz to check their understanding. AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets and ongoing reading practice.

As children pass quizzes they receive certification to show their success. There is also a competitive element in school as classes compete against each other for the most quizzes passed each month!

In Year 1 and 2 the children are given banded books to read and complete quizzes as a whole class with the teacher. Then towards the end of Year 2 and in Year 3 they start the program in full with their own ZPD and log in for quizzes.

If you would like to buy your child book within their ZPD range then log on to Bookfinder website.

How long will it take to learn to read well?

Every child is different and  children will learn to read at different speeds.  By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3  and beyond, we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on.

In the summer term of Year 1, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the children.  We will let you know how your child has done.  Children who do not pass the phonics check in Year 1 retake the assessment during Year 2 to ensure that they have made progress.