Reading at Hamstel



"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."  

Dr. Seuss



Dr Seuss said it right, reading is the key to everything.

Both at school and in life!

It all begins with reading…


The key to reading……..

Once a child is able to read fluently and understand what they are reading they can make the leap into the wonderful world of books.

Where will reading take you? To a forgotten island, overgrown with vines? To a city in the sky, with buildings higher than the clouds?

To a magical village, run by a cruel wizard? Who knows…?

We want every child at our school to see how fun reading can be. Also, we help children to see how interesting it is to find out about a range of topics using non-fiction texts.

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Our Aim for Reading at Hamstel:



  • To foster a lifelong love of reading for pleasure.

  • To ensure children leave us with all the skills necessary to decode and blend words using phonics.

  • To support children to read with fluency, confidence and expression.

  • To ensure children understand what they are reading and are able to discuss what they have learned from a text.



At Hamstel we understand that the current Curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions:


  • Word reading/ decoding

  • Comprehension



We support both skills through a range of strategies, including following a Systematic Synthetic Phonic scheme, the development of sight vocabulary and the use of contextual clues, pictorial clues and reading for sense.







We follow the Read Write Inc. Programme across the school. Which follows the structure of revisit, review, teach, practise and apply. Phonic lessons are daily and children are assessed and grouped according to their next steps. Children continue to progress through the coloured RWI bands and are assessed every 6 weeks. This continues throughout Reception and KS1. In Year 1, children will take a “Phonics Screening Check” in the month of June which is a statutory requirement and assesses

their ability to decode real and “alien” words.




Reading Bands:



  • Our book band system is progressive, starting in Reception with the early stage Dandelion books through to Grey banded books and becoming a free reader at the end of KS1.

  • Our ‘colour banded books’ are the books that the children take home to practice their reading skills and support the reading stage a child is working at.

  • We use a range of reading scheme books which include ‘Big Cat’, Oxford reading books and a range of other schemes.In the early stages the books are phonic based and in line with the schools RWInc Phonic scheme.