Reading and Phonics at Melbourne Infant School 


At Melbourne Infant School we have a wide range of approaches to teaching reading. We want all our children to be fluent readers who leave us with a high level of reading and comprehension skills. However, we also want to foster a love and enjoyment of reading and to encourage children to experience texts form a wide range of genres and authors. Reading is a partnership between home and school and we value all home reading. We expect children to read at least three times a week at home. Children will read at school  through individual reading, group/guided reading and whole class reading. Reading will be recorded in the home school diary at least once a week.


School Reading Scheme.

Children will work through our coloured banded reading stages which are separated into Phonic books – those which have a Phonic focus and allow children to practise their growing phonic skills. These books are in a separate basket and labelled Ph for Phonics. The other colour banded books are progressive, allowing children to apply their growing phonics knowledge, sight vocabulary to texts and comprehension at an appropriate level. We expect children to take one colour banded book and one phonic book which will be read at home and at school. A dojo is rewarded each time a child reads at home. We ask parents to hear their child read at least 3 times a week. Children also have access to a library book to enjoy at home.

To complement our reading scheme we also use Bug Club. These interactive books are used in classrooms, during phonics and in small guided groups. A book is selected for homework which matches the phonic focus for that week.



We have a well-stocked school library which is regularly updated. Children can change their books on a weekly basis. We also have a mobile library which visits Foundation stage classes, packed with books that match their topic and selected by our Junior librarians (Book worms).

All classrooms have a book area containing a variety of books targeted at the specific age of the children in the class.



At Melbourne Infant School children are taught phonics as soon as they start in Reception. As the children move through their time at the school they will progress through the Phases. We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme across EYFS and Key stage 1. We complement this with Bug Club, Phonic bug and Phonic play. All children have a daily phonics session to teach and embed skills.

We assess children regularly on their phonetic knowledge and provide phonics intervention groups for any children who need some extra support. At the end of Year 1 the children will sit their Phonic Screening Test. The children have to read 40 words, some of the words are real and some are nonsense (alien) words e.g. blan. If the children do not achieve the pass score, they will have interventions and re-sit the test again at the end of Year 2. We share information with the junior school for any child who is not successful by the end of Year Two so that they can be supported.


For the data of last year's Phonic Screening please see the  Ofsted and Results page


Reading Toolkit

Children are encouraged to use our reading toolkit to help them read and understand their reading. Children in Year two use VIPERS to help them with their comprehension during whole class, group or individual reading.

V- Vocabulary

I – Inference

P – Predict

E – Explain

R – Retrieve

S - Sequence




Sometimes, children may need a bit of extra support with their reading. We provide this support in a variety of ways e.g. extra reading sessions, PTP, phonic booster sessions.


Reading for Pleasure

Children will have access to at least one story session every day. This normally takes place after lunch in KS1. The books are recommended for children of their age group. The books were selected by teachers and children from each year group. The list of these reading for pleasure books are shared with parents.


We have a variety of ways to foster a love for reading. We organise activities on a rolling programme. Examples of reading events include:

  • Author of the month – shared with parents, children encouraged to read a book at home from the author of the month.
  • Story Menu - every term we have a themed story menu where children can decide which story they would like to hear.
  • Breakfast with books- parents invited to share a story and a croissant before school.
  • Extreme reading competition – where is the most extreme place you have read?
  • Teddy bear sleepover – children bring their teddy into school to pick a book at our library.
  • Book swap – children bring a book to swap with a friend.
  • Sponsored read
  • Donate a book – children donate books to our library. Books are labelled with a personalised donation sticker.
  • Mystery reader – adults invited to read to the children in groups.
  • Summer reading challenge – promote Derbyshire library scheme.
  • Book worms- club where junior children read a story to a group.

For more information about reading and phonics at Melbourne Infant School please see below to see our PowerPoint which is delivered to parents early in the Autumn term each year.