Curriculum  »  Reading Strategy

The ABC’s of Reading

A look at the Primary phase reading strategy developed by Avanti Schools Trust

The Avanti Reading Strategy takes into account the Government's expectation that all children should leave primary school able to decode words and have a ‘love of reading’. We have devised a strategy to build on synthetic phonics as one effective approach to develop children’s reading but also draw from an Australian research project which culminated in a programme called First Steps. This presents reading behaviours and attitudes in a less  linear way and shows how in different phases there are different and complex processes involved in understanding how to read and the meaning behind reading.

Primary Phase Reading Strategy
Phonics Guided reading (direct teaching of reading) Reading for pleasure

Supporting emerging readers


• Letters and sounds (Reception to Year 2)

• Daily reading (Volunteers & TAs)

• Daily synthetic phonics sessions from Reception to Year 2

• Learn to read (Culturally specific texts related to Krishna Consciousness)

• Phonics Bug Reading Scheme (home readers levelled books)

• Annual Book Week

• Annual Shakespeare Week

• High quality book corners in every class room

• High quality library in each school with wide selection of books, including multimedia texts

• Books chosen by children and taken home weekly

• Home Reading Record/parent training

• Book bags for every child

• Identified children/new starters/ EAL and SEN focused support using Reading Recovery

• Reading Support (group reading programme)

• Bespoke interventions including comprehension, challenging readers clubs etc (e.g. the Head Teacher will run lunch club to extend reading skills)


Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5
Phonics Guided reading (direct teaching of reading) Reading for pleasure Supporting emerging readers Reading for pleasure

• Curiosity about printing and mark making

• Wants to look at books

• Points at text, has a go

• Expresses enjoyment

• Eagerly anticipates book-reading

• Plays out characters in stories

• Talks about their own reading

• Asks for favourite stories to be read

• Joins in and acts out stories

• Selects books to read for pleasure

• Has a go at reading own words

• Enjoys listening to stories

• Reads for a range of purposes (pleasure & information)

• Responds sensitively to stories

• Discusses favourite books, authors

• Selects own reading material according to interest

• Reconstructs information gained

• Self-motivated to read

• Reads for range of purposes

• Responds sensitively

• Discusses favourite books, authors, particular genres

• Makes comparisons with other texts

• Confidence to read a wide selection of texts

• Reads alone for prolonged periods of time

• Avidly pursues a favourite author, books compared and recommended

• Feels strongly about reading preferences

• Totally absorbed when reading & reads for long periods at home and at school

• Sees books and text as a major source of information

• Strongly relates to characters in fiction

* Phases drawn from Indicators for Reading Development Continuum, First Steps

Weekly Reading Learning and Teaching
Taught Phonics Guided reading (direct teaching) of reading) Reading for pleasure All Teaching Sessions

Supporting emerging & struggling readers


• ½ hour Phonics session taught in whole group session. This is using Phonics Bug scheme which is based on Governments agreed Letters and Sounds strategy. As children progress at different rates, children will be supported in catch up groups. The main teaching is as whole class however (Teachers and TAs trained in Phonics)

• Repetition & consolidation activities planned for during free-flow and independent activities.

• Twice-weekly guided reading sessions taught by the class teacher. 

• Phonics Bug Reading Scheme (home readers levelled books)

• Teaching assistants will change children’s phonics reading books weekly. Children read their phonics levelled book to the TA/adult, who assesses confidence and identifies another book to support phonic learning or moves child to next level. (Led by TAs under Teacher’s supervision)

• As well as Phonics Levelled books, books chosen by children and can be taken home every day

• Book bags for every child

• Home Reading Record to record reading experience at school and at home.

• Story time each day for children during which teacher and other adults share their joy of reading. High quality texts with opportunities for children to read, act out, sing and listen.

• Will provide opportunities for children to read. Text on IWB. Children invited to read along.

• Key Vocab on display and used throughout sessions

• Literacy Learning Wall identifies focused language. Referred to by adults and children.

• Teaching demonstrates the excitement of stories and the importance of finding out information

• Everyone is celebrated as a reader. Adults are vigilant to identify how children have been successful in their reading development.

• Identified children/new starters/ EAL and SEN and G&T focused support

• Reading Recovery
Reading Support (group reading programme)


Assessing Phonics and Reading
Taught Phonics Guided reading (direct teaching) of reading) Reading for pleasure All Teaching Sessions Supporting emerging & struggling readers

• Phonics Tests

• Sight Word tests

• Assessment informs groupings for Phonics sessions (particularly in later phases)

• Guided Reading assessment format completed and children tracked

• Running Record

• Home Records show daily reading at home

• They identify children’s enjoyment of texts

• Finding the ‘buzz’ in literacy sessions

• Lesson monitoring

• Shared best practice

• Learning Walls discussed by children – direct impact on children’s learning

• Tracking children

• Reading record completed after each session to inform planning and teaching

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