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Reading and Phonics

Early Reading

At Healdswood we strongly believe that children adopt a love of reading through sharing stories and books on a regular basis.  We expect and encourage parents to hear their child to read at least three times per week.  In school we help children develop their love of reading in the following ways:


  • Use of book bands for children to take home.
  • Exchange of books through Nottinghamshire County Council's Education Library Service so children always have new and exciting books in school linked to their current topic.
  • School library where children can change a book of their interest on a weekly basis.
  • Weekly visits for KS1 to Skegby library.
  • Children are read to in class on a daily basis.
  • Celebrating World Book Day
  • Healdswood 'Look for a Book'
  • Author of the term
  • 'Snuggle up with a book', reading for pleasure session at the end of every day


Throughout the school, beginning in Nursery, we use our own Healdswood systematic synthetic phonics scheme - 'Get Set for Phonics!' which is underpinned by the jolly phonics actions. All children have daily phonics sessions.


Over the course of the year, teachers run sessions for parents giving more information about the teaching of phonics and reading in school. Parents are informed of these sessions via dojo and parents we cannot attend receive a recording of the session. We do not use a specific reading scheme, we use books from a variety of sources throughout school, which are grouped into ‘Book Bands’. They begin on lilac band and progress through a range of colours to white band.  Our banded books are aligned to our phonics scheme so that children can succeed and achieve in their reading.

We strongly encourage parents to read with their child every night. All children have a reading diary which is a record for both the parents and teacher to use. It is a good way of communicating with the teacher about your child’s progress in reading at home.


How to get the most from your home reading:

  • Sit in a comfortable place with no distractions
  • Look at the front cover and discuss the title
  • Ask your child to look at the pictures and guess what the story might be about
  • Allow your child to read at their own pace
  • Ask your child what they think will happen on the next page and at the end ask them to retell the story.
  • Remember: Your child will enjoy reading more if you read in short sessions, such as 10 minutes. As your child becomes more confident, they will want to read for longer. Little and often is the secret to success!

Here is a guide to our reading book bands:


Reading Across the Curriculum


At Healdswood, we promote a love of reading throughout the whole curriculum with books and stories

being at the heart of everything we do!  Have a look below at how reading is embedded into the curriculum:

How can I support my child with reading at home?




Supporting you child with reading at home is so beneficial to ensuring they progress in reading.  Research shows that reading and developing a love of reading is directly linked to a child's success at school.  As a school we expect children to read at home 3-5 times a week.  Below are a range of ideas and tips to support your child with reading at home.

After your child has finished their reading encourage them to talk about the book, try finding out

  • What happened in the text?
  • What did you find out?
  • Can you describe the setting, character?
  • What is your favourite part?
  • What do you think this word means?
  • What do you think will happen next?


Games and activities are a good way to help your child deepen their understanding of the book –

  • How many times can you find the word …?
  • How many words can you spot ending with …? i.e. ‘ing’
  • Can you spot a word with your phonic sounds for this week?
  • Your pile/My pile – quick recall of key words if they get it they keep it!
  • Jump on it! – for those that like to move – place flash cards on the floor – children to jump on the correct word
  • Word bingo – select key words from text – tick them off as you read them
  • Cut up sentence – write a sentence from the text, cut it up into words – child to re-make the sentence

Have a look below to see how

reading is celebrated in our school!


World Book Day 2021


Today in school we celebrate World Book Day (a week late so that all children could celebrate in school!).  We had a super time dressing as our favourite book characters and making wooden spoon characters at home.  In school we celebrated our 'Author of the Term', Jill Murphy by reading her stories and completing activities linked to these.  We all had a great day!

World Book Day 2020


We had another amazing World Book Day this year.  All the staff and children wowed us with their amazing costumes, a big thank you to parents and carers for all their efforts.  This year we looked at the author Oliver Jeffers and each class focused on a different one of his books.  We also ran a 'World Spud Day' competition where children turned a potato into their favourite book character.  Have a look below to see photos of how we celebrated the day.


'Look for a Book'


Welcome to our Healdswood 'Look for a Book' page.  'Look for a Book' is a reading treasure hunt which gives the children the chance to spread our school's love of reading around the local community.

The staff at our school hid almost 30 books around the school grounds and Skegby area for you to find!  If you are lucky enough to find a book please follow these steps:


1.  Take a photograph of the book

2.  Enjoy reading the book

3. Re-hide the book for someone else to enjoy


Please email photos to our school office so that we can see how far our books have travelled!


Have a look below at the children who have enjoyed discovering our books so far!

Stanton Hill Library Visits


Every other Friday afternoon, KS1 visit the library in Stanton Hill.  The children all have their own library card and are free to have a look at the books and borrow a book each visit.  We all know how to use the computer systems to log our books in and out too!

New Library - Now Open!


Our brand new library is now open and our children have loved coming to visit and explore the new books.  Every child is able to visit the library each week with their class and choose a book to take home.

World Book Day 2019


We had a blast on World Book Day!  The day kicked off with an assembly where we learnt about World Book Day and each class performed a catwalk to show off their amazing costumes.  Thank you parents and carers - everyone looked fab!  We decided to centre this year's World Book Day on one of our favourite authors Julia Donaldson throughout school with each class choosing a book to focus on.  In classes we did lots of literacy and art activities about our chosen book.  We enjoyed reading lots of stories throughout the day.  A big thank you to everyone who came to our after school book fair.