Cavendish Primary School believe that Reading is essential across the curriculum and is important in all areas for learning.  Reading is a vital skill for life both inside and out of education and that is why it features across all the subjects taught across our school.

We aim to develop a love of reading for all children as this is the key to success!

Teaching children to read confidently for information and pleasure is one of the most important things we do at Cavendish.

Our reading curriculum aims to give all children the knowledge they need to succeed and that all children will leave our school ready for their next stage in learning and be able to read confidently at an age appropriate level.

Our goal is for our pupils to be readers for life and we have developed a curriculum and a reading spine which strives to reflect this. 


Implementation – how we teach Reading at Cavendish


Reading is the cornerstone of academic success. We strive to equip our children with strong reading skills that empower them to excel in all subjects by making reading an integral part of our curriculum.


  • Phase 1 Letters and Sounds: In the Nursery at Cavendish Primary School, we lay a strong foundation for reading by introducing children to Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds. This phase focuses on developing essential pre-phonics skills, such as listening and sound discrimination. Through fun and interactive activities, children learn to identify and differentiate sounds in their environment. We use games, music, and sensory experiences to engage children in these early literacy concepts.
  • FFT SFA First Steps to Phonics: As children progress, we transition into First Steps to Phonics. This structured approach helps students develop phonemic awareness, which is crucial for reading and writing. Through systematic phonics instruction, children learn to recognise and decode letters and sounds.
  • Concepts about Print: Throughout the year, we integrate Concepts about Print into our curriculum. This includes teaching children about the basic elements of print, such as understanding that print carries meaning, recognizing letters, words, and sentences, and the left-to-right and top-to-bottom directionality of reading. We use age-appropriate books and materials to reinforce these concepts and encourage children to explore printed text.
  • Interactive Storytelling: Storytelling plays a central role in our reading implementation. We engage children in interactive storytelling sessions, where they can actively participate in creating and retelling stories. This fosters a love for narratives and encourages them to become storytellers themselves.
  • Phonemic Play and Rhymes: Nursery children are exposed to phonemic play and rhymes that enhance their phonological awareness. Activities like rhyming games and wordplay help children become attuned to the sounds and rhythms of language, which is essential for reading development.



  • Daily FFT SFA Phonics Sessions: This program provides a synthetic, systematic and progressive approach to phonics. Our children engage in daily phonics sessions to learn letter-sound correspondences and develop blending and segmenting skills. These sessions are interactive and multisensory.
  • Daily Shared Reading Sessions: In these sessions the teacher models fluent reading and comprehension strategies. Children are exposed to a variety of texts, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and rhymes. Shared reading promotes language development, vocabulary acquisition, and a love for stories.


Year 1:

  • Daily FFT SFA Phonics Sessions: Students engage in daily phonics sessions to further enhance their phonemic awareness, decoding and comprehension skills and their reading fluency.
  • Daily Shared Reading Sessions: These sessions expose students to a wide range of texts and genres while promoting comprehension skills, vocabulary development, and an appreciation for literature.


Year 2:

  • Daily FFT SFA Jungle Club Spelling Program: This program provides systematic and structured spelling lessons that help students develop phonemic awareness, spelling patterns, and word recognition skills. Daily spelling sessions ensure that students receive consistent and targeted instruction to improve their spelling abilities.
  • SFA Routes to Reading Sessions: These sessions focus on shared reading, comprehension, and critical thinking. Students engage in discussions about texts, explore deeper meanings, and develop higher-level reading skills.

More information about SFA can be found on the parent portal : 


Reading Assessment Program (Reception – Year 2)

We continually assess and track each student's progress in phonics and reading. This information helps us to challenge and support as they advance in their reading journey.


Book Corners

We create inviting book corners within our classrooms. These cosy reading spaces encourage independent exploration of books, allowing children to choose texts that capture their interests and imaginations.


Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, we follow the Reading Gems (One Education) approach.

Reading Gems is a reading strategy that aims to teach children to take pleasure in reading by themselves, listening to someone else read, and sharing texts with adults and other children. Different and specific key skills are taught explicitly to the children through discussions about texts, teacher modelling and opportunities to answer questions independently or with support where needed. Each new reading skill is allocated a colour-coded ‘gem’. Every week, children focus on a certain reading gem and learn strategies to help them develop that particular skill.

More information on this can be found here:


FFT Lightning Squad Intervention Program

For students who require additional support in phonics and reading, we offer the FFT Lightning Squad Intervention Program. This program is designed to provide targeted, small-group intervention to accelerate progress in phonics and reading skills. It focuses on specific areas of need.


Reading Spine

At Cavendish Primary School, we have a reading spine which incorporates a variety of text styles, plot structures and is diverse.  The complexity of texts builds up over the years and children/teachers are encouraged to choose a book(s) from the spine each half term.


Daily Read-Aloud Sessions

Everyday children participate in engaging and interactive read-aloud session. These sessions are designed to captivate children’s' imaginations and instil a passion for stories and books. Teachers carefully select a variety of age-appropriate texts, including picture books, stories, poetry, and nonfiction, to expose children to a rich literary landscape.



At Cavendish, we can see the importance of reading poetry to build vocabulary, rhyme and enjoyment.

In EYFS and KS1, through enjoying rhymes, songs and poems, teachers create a language-rich classroom. Using alliteration, rhyme and assonance, children remember and build on their knowledge of sound. They can join in with and recite small parts of poems and/or songs.  

In KS2, each class is read a weekly poem which children are encouraged to join in with.  This poem (and the poet) is discussed including any new vocabulary.  


Book Talk/Club

Each week, the children take part in a whole class book talk. Within this session, the teachers and children can promote new books and authors, talk about their favourite books, recommend them to peers and promote enjoyment and engagement.


Reading at home

We recognise and understand the importance of reading as a life skill. As adults, we rely on our ability to read for both work and for leisure. Reading underpins and supports everything that children do at both primary and secondary school, and in their future lives.

We encourage regular reading at home for all of our children. Children who are not secure with their phonics take home books that are phonetically matched to their ability and learning. Children with a secure level of phonics will take home an appropriate book for their reading level. The children’s reading diaries (Reception – Year 3) provide regular communication between home and school.

In order to help your child here are some things you could do at home:

  • Listen to your child read their school reading book at home as often as possible and discuss these books together.
  • Write in their diaries how amazing they have been reading!
  • Let them see you read different types of texts so that they recognise the importance of reading
  • Encourage children in Y4, Y5 and Y6 to complete their journals and be creative with how they display their reading journey
  • Read to them at bedtime – there’s no better end to the day!
  • Discuss words that they come across and what they mean, whether they are in books or when you are out and about
  • Share books together – take turns reading to encourage them
  • Encourage older siblings to read with their younger siblings
  • Sing nursery rhymes to develop speech and language
  • Go to the local library and choose a book
  • Talk about Reading Gems and discuss which skill they have learned this week
  • Engage with the Summer reading challenges that are set by local libraries

Please find attached information for our Reading Meetings. These are delivered to parents at the start of each academic year. 



Cavendish Road,
West Didsbury,
Manchester M20 1JG
Mrs Taylor: Headteacher
Miss Evans: Deputy Headteacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Hookes: Inclusion lead & SENDCO for years 1-4
Mrs Carroll: Inclusion lead & SENDCO for years 5-6
All available via the school email & telephone number