We are determined to create a thriving reading culture at Headley Park where every child learns to read successfully. We have a structured approach to the teaching of reading which begins with the teaching of phonics to help children decode words.

In Reception and Key Stage 1, we use a phonics programme called 'Unlocking Letters and Sounds' to introduce synthetic phonics systematically. Children are initially taught letter sounds and are then introduced to letter names and taught to blend sounds in order to read whole words.

For further information about our approach to phonics, visit our phonics page here.

Children read phonetically decodable books before they move to books containing high frequency key words, following the PM Benchmarking levelled scheme so that pupils master phonics and foster a love of stories and reading fluency. 

Children in Years 1 - 6 have a daily reading lesson. This involves a structured approach to whole class teaching of reading and the explicit teaching of vocabulary and comprehension strategies.

Each day, all children have a read aloud story time during which teachers read carefully selected books to their class. We aim to encourage a love of reading through events like celebrating world book day, trips to the local library and author visits.


We have a consistent and structured approach to the teaching of writing across the school. Children are taught to master key grammatical concepts and text types over the course of their time at Headley Park and apply these to extended pieces of writing. Whenever purposeful, we make links between the children's writing and their learning in other areas of the curriculum.

Children have weekly fluency sessions to develop their spelling and handwriting.