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Austin Farm Academy

Austin Farm Academy


Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. 

We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. 

How will my child be taught to read? 

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.  

The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘one,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.  

The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.  

The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.  

How will I know how well my child is doing? 

We will always let you know how well your child is doing.  

We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.   

We also use a reading test twice a year from year 1 upwards so that we can make sure that all our children are at the level that they should be for their age compared to all the children across the country.  

In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all. 

How long will it take to learn to read well? 

By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.  

How do I know the teaching will be good?  

All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. Senior teachers watch other teachers teaching to make sure that the children are learning in the way we want them to learn.  If you have any questions, please come to school and talk to us.  

What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn't do? 

You will be invited to a meeting in the first term that your child is in school so that we can explain how we teach reading. Please come and support your child. We would very much like you to know how to help.  

Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. A book that your child can read on their own and a book that you should read to them. They will also have a link to an online book, see the link below for how to access this via Oxford Owl.

Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds.

Story Time at home 

We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. Please click on the link to the ten top tips below. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here:  

At Austin Farm, we have a passion for teaching your children reading and encourage your children develop a love and enthusiasm for reading. If you would like to find out more about the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc Programme, please follow this link. Ruth Miskin - Read Write Inc