At Hawley, we place a huge emphasis on the importance of ensuring that pupils become fluent, thoughtful and enthusiastic readers. We develop both the skills of word reading and the ability to understand, reflect upon and discuss texts.

In the EYFS, children access books throughout the day and class activities are planned around focus texts. We want children to be fluent and independent readers by the end of KS1. Reading is a priority in our school.

All classes have a well-stocked and appealing book corner. We also have school libraries on both the ground and first floor and we actively encourage children to use them.

Our English Curriculum focuses on carefully chosen texts. We develop links between different areas of the curriculum through our literacy teaching which serves to emphasise the importance of reading.

Every class has a daily guided reading session to enable children to practice the skills of reading and to reflect upon what they have read.

We run several interventions that support children who need additional help in reading and focus on early support where it is needed.

Through our work on Oracy, particularly in KS2, we build time into our reading sessions to enable children to discuss books, review books and recommend books to each other. We hold events such as Book Week and run meetings for parents about how to support their child in reading in order to ensure that reading maintains a very high profile.

Reading to children is one of the most important ways to support children to become enthusiastic about books. At Hawley, we all have class story times. Listening to stories enables our children to access and enjoy rich, authentic texts. We firmly believe that reading stories at home is part of the process of establishing a reading culture. The way that children get better at reading is by reading and by being read to!


In the Early Years and Key Stage One, the teaching of phonics supports the acquisition of early reading and writing skills. Hawley follows the DfE “Letters and Sounds” programme with a particular focus on Phase 1 in the nursery.

This programme ensures a very structured approach beginning with the teaching of individual sounds, moving onto sound blending and introducing children to multi letter sounds (e.g. ay, igh, ough). Children learn to read and write words and sentences using their knowledge of letter sounds and have opportunities to apply these skills throughout the curriculum. We ensure that there is extra support for those children that need it.

We hold workshops for parents to help them to support their children in the teaching of phonics.

From Year 2 to Year 6 we follow a spelling programme called “No Nonsense Spelling.” The children learn spelling in short, focused sessions, which include a range of different activities to support the learning of new spelling patterns in a fun and contextualized way.