Early Reading at Alexandra Infants’ School


Guided reading

These are a half hour session delivered by our ‘Reading Squad’ from Reception to Y2, this squad approach ensures that all children have an adult for every session with a particular focus on fluency and a key reading skill.

Pupils in nursery who are assessed as being ready for a reading book with words, read daily on a 1:1 basis with their key worker.

From September 2019 Year 2 will use accelerated reader. This allows children to select from an extensive range of literature and ensure that they are reading texts which will challenge them and further develop their fluency and comprehension skills. It will also help them to prepare for their transition to junior school. 

Click here to see our Approach to Early Reading and Early Writing

We are passionate about ensuring that every child is a reader, we learn to read and read to learn. This ensures that our children are well prepared for each stage of their education.

Early reading and reading for pleasure is centred around quality texts and these are weaved throughout our curriculum as soon as the children enter EYFS. Children explore a range of texts, in English lessons and during dedicated story time, these texts encompass traditional tales to famous children’s authors. We have selected key texts and authors that we feel every child should have access to. Theses authors are:

  1. Julia Donaldson
  2. Eric Carle
  3. Claire Freedman
  4. Oliver Jeffers
  5. David Walliams
  6. Anthony Browne
  7. Giles Andrea

Each class experiences a different author on a half termly basis, so that all children can talk about what type of stories they like and why they like the stories they have chosen. We recognise that these experiences in EYFS and KS1 are integral to developing children’s reading success in KS2. We prioritise reading with a range of high quality activities that take place daily in school these include daily phonics lessons, guided reading lessons, reading weeks in English and paired reciprocal reading. Other exciting events take place throughout the year such as parents workshops linked to reading, Booktrust visits, visits to the local library and book fairs.

To find out more about our Reading Squads follow the link to view our video

Our Reading Squads 

Over the last half term we have taken part in a reading competition alongside other primary schools in Stoke-on-Trent. The children have been working hard to complete a range of reading challenges from; finding interesting facts in non-fiction books, reading scary stories, bringing in their favourite book on a Friday, choosing their favourite lines from stories to miming poems and traditional tales! I am super proud to announce that we are one of the winning schools and have won an amazing £500 worth of book vouchers! We are so proud of this fantastic achievement. Thank you and well done everyone!



At Alexandra Infants’ School the teaching of phonics is a key component of the curriculum, the children are taught the five key skills for reading and writing:

  1. Learning sounds
  2. Learning letter formation
  3. Blending
  4. Segmenting
  5. Remembering memory words.

Daily discrete phonics is taught in differentiated groups that are suited to the needs of the children. These sessions last for 30 minutes and encompass paired reading of a phonetically decodable book matched to the children’s ability. We use the StoryTime Phonics programme to plan and personalise our teaching of phonics, where children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. This is supplemented by a range of resources to support learning and teaching from a variety of fully decodable reading schemes.

Children are expected to sit the national phonics screening check at the end of Y1 that tests their ability to read the phoneme/ grapheme correspondence that has been taught. For those children who do not meet the expected standard they continue to access daily phonics teaching in Y2, in preparation for their re-check.

Phonics Overview

Overview of teaching order in StoryTime Phonics