Ashbourne Hilltop
Primary and Nursery School

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We use the Letters and Sounds programme to deliver daily discrete phonics lessons in FS and KS1, enabling children to decode efficiently. This is continued into KS2 where necessary, with children joining the relevant phase phonics lessons.


Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions - this gives the children the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts whilst being supported. In KS1 children also have the opportunity to read 1-1 with an adult at least once a week. As the children move through the school, opportunities to read independently for a sustained period of time are afforded to them.  A range of reading schemes are used to support early readers as well as book banded ‘real books’ used for guided reading. Teaching assistants support reading activities to ensure that children have more frequent opportunities to read with adults.


Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, i.e. ‘Book Week’. Book Weeks include visits by published authors, skilled story tellers from many cultures, performances by professional theatre groups, making books, using drama, dance and music to illustrate texts. 


In KS2 Accelerated Reader has been introduced - children are base-lined and receive a reading level from the assessment.  Once children have read their book they take a short quiz.  These quizzes have proved to be very popular.  Certificates are given out for most effort and most points gained from the quizzes during the weekly Celebration Assembly.