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'Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body' — Richard Steele


This quote exemplifies High Halden’s approach to reading. We want children to learn to read quickly and accurately and to then keep on reading. We want children to see reading not only as a task set by teachers in school but as a pleasurable activity full of drama, enrichment and escapism from the real world. An opportunity for the children to grow their vocabulary, understanding, and most of all enjoyment!


Our curriculum provides a significant ongoing opportunity for children to engage with a whole range of texts. Wherever possible, the cross curriculum topics work alongside texts to ensure that learning is both full and rich.


In Early Years and KS1, phonetically decodable books are available to children which match their reading level. We have chosen Floppy Phonics as our programme to support the delivery of Systematic Synthetic Phonics.


As soon as children are able to decode fluently, we quickly move them on to fuller, richer texts so that they continue to read for pleasure. We use the Accelerated Reader scheme to ensure we meet each child’s individual reading need.


Guided Reading

At High Halden Primary School, we use guided reading sessions to ‘teach’ children how to comprehend what they are learning. We use the ICLUE (Y1-2) and VIPERS (Y3-6) approach to explicitly teach the reading domains. Please see section below for further information. 


Reading for pleasure also features in every classroom every week. Children are encouraged to read for a range of purposes. We ask children to bring in examples of texts they have read, such as newspapers, instructions and leaflets. This helps children understand how important reading is and how it unlocks the door to everything.


Opportunities to Read

We provide many opportunities throughout the week to hear children read and for children to be read to. These include reading with our volunteers, 1:1 reading with staff, and teachers reading to children during timetabled sessions.



At High Halden Primary School, we use the Floppy Phonics programme to teach phonics. All children in Year R, Year 1 and Year 2 will follow the programme. These children are assessed regularly so that we can track their progress and provide additional phonics support to those who may require it.