We believe that reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn at school. Reading gives us the power to enter into the world of literature and unlock the wonders of the world. Reading is something that accompanies you on life’s journey. A constant companion, bringing knowledge, solace, escapism and new learning. Reading is truly at the heart of everything which is why we make sure that our children learn to read as quickly and as confidently as possible. We want our children to learn to read so that they can eventually read to learn; we aim to instil a lifelong love of reading within them.


In KS1 our approach teaches the conceptual understanding needed to become an effective reader:

  • that letters are spellings of sounds: visual language is a representation of spoken language

  • that a spelling can contain one, two, three, or four letters - examples are: s a t, f i sh, n igh t and w eigh t

  • that there is more than one way of spelling most sounds: the sound 'ae', spelt as in 'name', can be represented as in 'table', in 'rain', in 'eight', in 'play', and so on

  • that many spellings can represent more than one sound: can be the sound 'e' in 'head', 'a-e' in 'break', or 'ee' in 'seat'

Within this conceptual framework, we teach the factual knowledge required to become an effective reader and speller: the approximately 176 spellings that represent the 44 or so sounds in English, starting with the most simple one-to-one correspondences.

Reading and spelling also requires expertise in the skills necessary to make use of the alphabet code and pupils need to be able to:

  • segment, or separate sounds in words

  • blend, or push sounds together to form words

  • manipulate sounds: take sounds out and put sounds into words


Hazel Wood Infant School uses Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc as the basis for delivering phonics within EYFS/KS1.

How will my child learn to read at Hazel Wood Infant School?



We begin our journey to read with Phonics. At Hazel Infant School we use Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc to support your child with learning phonics. This means the children learn how to “read” the sounds that are within words and how these sounds can be written down. We teach the children how to segment (break up) and blend (put back together) sounds to read and write words, using a range of strategies. The children also spend time practising reading and spelling our tricky words, this is then sent home with the child weekly, so parents have an opportunity to support their child’s reading development at home. The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know and it is incredible to watch their confidence flourish.


How can I help my child learn to read?

We know how important it is to work in partnership with parents and carers to help children to develop their confidence with their reading. Reading together at home is one of the easiest but most important ways in which you can help your child. As you share books together, you will help to develop your child’s reading skills and also show them how enjoyable and important reading is.


Each week your child will bring home a phonics book matched to their phonics, a home reading book that your child has chosen themselves and a library book. These books will be their reading books for the week and you can support your child by reading together and seeing if they can read their phonics within their books. Please support your child to re-read these books to ensure successful blending of sounds, recognition of tricky words, understanding, fluency and expression. In Year 2, once your child can read fluently and successfully blend they will have a wide variety of books and will join ‘bug club’ where they will be able to choose a book to match their ability this book is instead of a phonics book.

We also have a subscription to the Oxford Owls E-book library, which you can find at


Ash class: username and password: hazelwoodash

Beech class: username and password: hazelwoodbeech

Elm class: username and password: hazelwoodelm

Maple class: username and password: hazelwoodmaple

Oak class: username and password: hazelwoodoak


We have a home reading diary where you can write when you have read with your child. To support reading at home we encourage the Year 1 children to complete ‘The 5 a week’ reading challenge which encourages and rewards your child for reading 5 times a week for 10mins. For each reading entry in the diary children receive a stamp. Every time they collect 50 stamps they will win a small prize in an end of term assembly. The Year 2 children have a reading marathon to complete. At the end of the term, children who have completed the lap will win a prize in assembly. 

Early Reading 

What strategies do you use to support my child with their reading?

Phonics is our key strategy which we teach in order to enable children to read the words they see by segmenting and blending, following a well structured phonics programme.  By using the phonics skills that they have learned, children will be confident to tackle new words and go on to become fluent readers. In phonics, children learn phonemes and graphemes and practise the skill of segmenting and blending for word reading.


Guided Reading


As the children become more fluent within their reading, we focus on the child’s comprehension and understanding of the texts that they have read.  We do this through our daily guided reading sessions and when reading aloud to the children. Throughout the week your child will have the opportunity to read at least twice weekly with their teachers and apply phonic knowledge, tricky word recognition and comprehension. During guided reading sessions children will apply phonic knowledge learnt and taught that week, including tricky words. Our guided reading sessions are carefully planned to ensure there is a focus for developing the children’s comprehension and moving their reading forwards, some of these strategies include: clarifying, retrieval, explaining, summarising and inference. We support and encourage our children to develop their comprehension by:

  • Making connections between the text and our prior experiences, other texts and the wider world
  • “read between the lines” to gain a deeper understanding
  • Consider how language is used effectively within texts
  • Answer simple questions about the text
  • Develop new vocabulary through reading

We strongly believe that by developing these strategies within our reading curriculum, our children not only become fluent but also a skilled and analytical reader.



What other opportunities will my child have to read across the curriculum?


Reading really is everywhere at Hazel Wood Infant School and is at the heart of our learning. Our children have daily opportunities to enjoy high quality texts and poems as part of our wider curriculum by reading texts which are part of our integrated projects and making connections and links as a class. We believe that reading across the wider curriculum supports our children transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” as texts are often used as a driver to support our writing end point and project knowledge, whilst providing a different context for children to practise their reading skills. The children also have regular opportunities within our wider curriculum to read and learn a talk for writing text which supports their oral rehearsal and retelling of stories which supports their confidence.


We have a dedicated time every day where we read a high quality text to the children during story time. This is another opportunity for our children to use their phonics learning and apply reading skills and strategies throughout the day. Each child also have time to read for pleasure during the school week where they will enjoy reading a story with their friends in our exciting book corners.

All about our wonderful library at Hazel Wood Infant School!

In our school library we have a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction texts to engage the children in reading.


Library Sessions

Each class has a library session each week where the children can browse the books or sit and read, either on their own or with their friends, sharing stories or facts with each other.

Junior Librarians

Each class chooses 2 children to be Junior Librarians. These lovely children have sessions with their class teacher learning about looking after books and encouraging their classmates to do the same in the library and in the classroom. They also find out about new books when I exchange books with the School Library Service, so the children know what new books are available.

Library Skills

The children in Year 1 and Year 2 take part in Library Skill sessions as part of their library session. They get to learn about how a library is set up – fiction books shelved by authors surname and non-fiction using the Dewey System. We also look in more detail at fiction and non-fiction books, authors and illustrators. The children use these skills during their library sessions and help each other to use the ‘Where to Look’ poster, which helps the children to find the correct Dewey number for the subject they are looking for.

Hampshire Picture Book Award

Key Stage 1 take part in this award each year and it is so exciting. They get to read the 4 chosen stories lots of times, so they know them well and do activities related to them. They also find out about each author. Then they get to vote for their favourite. The children love the fact that it is only them that vote not the adults. There is always much excitement when we find out the winning book!