From an early age, pupils learn to love reading.Ofsted 2020

We teach reading using a variety of different graded schemes. To begin with you will find your child probably has a book with no words in at all - this is an important stage during which the children are learning about telling their own stories, and the features of books. Then the children will be introduced to key words and those they can read using their phonic skills. As they progress through the school they will develop core reading skills using increasingly complex texts.

Key Stage 1 - All children have a daily guided reading session at the beginning of the day and they bring books home to read with an adult.

Key Stage 2 - Each class has at least 3 whole class reading lessons a week where reading skills are taught.  Appropriate level books are sent home for the children to read with an adult and these are then discussed in a reading conference with the class teacher or a TA each week.  In Upper KS2 they are set a number of pages to read each week. 

As a school, we also want children to read for pleasure and there are lots of opportunities for this during the week. We have a well-stocked library and children are encouraged to take books from here home to read on a regular basis.

Book Fair Books - Early Years

Book Fair Books - Years 1 & 2

Book Fair Books - Years 3 & 4

Book Fair Books - Years 5 & 6 - 1

Book Fair Books - Years 5 & 6 - 2

Teaching Early Reading

Reading at KS2

Questions to support KS1 reading at home

Questions to suport KS2 reading at homeKey texts used at Cranbourne

100 books to read in Years 5 and 6 page 1

100 books to read in Years 5 and 6 page 2

100 books to read in Years 5 and 6 page 3

100 books to read in Years 5 and 6 page 4

100 books to read in Years 5 and 6 page 5



Children are taught phonics using "Letters and Sounds". This programme has its own website that you might like to visit. Most children have mastered their phonics  by the time they leave year 2, but we continue to follow the scheme in KS2 for those who need it. All KS2 classes have a phonics mat on display and this is regularly referred to during lessons.

Mr Thorne Does Phonics website

Letters and Sounds websiteJolly Phonics website



Spelling is a key feature of achieving age related expectations in all year groups.  At Cranbourne we have developed our own progressive spelling programme which builds on the children's phonics learning and ensures that they learn the relevant spelling conventions in each year group.  The statutory spelling lists for years 3 and 4 and years 5 and 6 are referred to regularly and we ask parents to support their children in learning the words on these lists.

Spellings are not sent home weekly for children to learn for a test as research shows that this is not an effective way to learn spelling.  However they will ask to practise the spelling conventions which are being taught in class. 

When learning words, children are encouraged to think about the root word and how it can be extended by using prefixes and suffixes. Knowing the etymology of a word is also useful in helping children to define unknown words.  For example, if a child recognises that "auto" means "by itself", this will help them to decode and spell words like autopilot and automatic.  Similarly, if they understand that the root word "bio" is Greek for "life" and that "graph" is Greek for "written", they can use this knowledge to unpick the meaning of biography. If they combine all this knowledge, they should be able to grasp autobiography too.

100 most common words

next 200 common words

Year 3 and 4 words alphabetically

Year 3 and 4 word list in spelling groups

Year 5 and 6 word list in spelling groups

Speaking and Listening

This is a very important part of the English curriculum and is the basis of a lot of the work that we do.  If children cannot talk in sentences they cannot write in sentences. Our children are given lots of opportunities to talk within lessons and to rehearse what they may later write.  Where possible, we have theatre groups visiting school so that the children see actors performing lines with expression and enthusiasm.  These visits help the children when taking part in their own year groups plays each year. 


At Cranbourne we encourage children to take a pride in their work and to develop a fluent, legible hand.  We use the Nelson Handwriting scheme throughout the school with children learning to join in their writing in Year 2.

Handwriting examples