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Nightingale Infant

& Nursery School

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Nightingale Infant & Nursery School 



At Nightingale we aim to foster a whole school love of reading and writing. We recognise that reading is the keystone of learning and teach the children both to learn to read and to read to learn. 


For the past 3 years the school has invested in the programme The Power of Reading (POR) a proven resource which uses high quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches to develop a high quality literacy curriculum.  We teach a broad and balanced range of books from the POR while providing cross curricular links to a wide range of subjects. The Power of Reading is used to base each theme on and this outstanding, immersive, approach to learning has seen standards improve and the children’s engagement and enjoyment soar. The school’s curriculum weaves this programme into the learning and because of the children’s fascination and enjoyment of the texts their work is of a  

consistently high quality. Each classroom has an inviting reading corner themed around the current (POR) text. 


Phonic lessons are taught daily.  Since June 2021 the school has been following the Monster Phonics systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP), a multi sensory and engaging scheme which uses 10 monster characters to help teach reading and spelling skills.  Decodable reading books are also available for the children to read at school and at home. Reading books are changed according to the child’s needs.  The children also have access to the school library and can borrow books to take home to read and enjoy.  Within school the children read individually, in small groups and whole class.  Teachers read to all pupils so that they experience what it is like to enjoy and become immersed in a book.  By listening to and talking about stories, children also meet vocabulary that they might not be able to read for themselves.  In this way, they add to the store of words they know and thus build a strong foundation for comprehension and their own writing. 


Handwriting is practiced regularly to increase fluency, legibility and quality.  We recently introduced a robust whole school handwriting scheme.  Nelson Handwriting is a whole-school program designed to help all children develop a confident, legible and personal handwriting style and meet higher curriculum expectations. Part of Nelson English Skills, the program includes resources for pattern practice and motor skills work as well as fun activities to bring handwriting to life. 


Children’s progress is constantly monitored so the learning is always tailored to the needs of the children.  There are clear and robust action plans. 



Useful Websites
Key Vocabulary
Word Meaning Example
Digraph Two letters that make one sound ai, ee, oo 
Trigraph Three letters that make one sound igh 
Phoneme The sound that you hear  
Grapheme The sound that you see on the page

ai, ay. a-e

all sound the same but written differently 

Split digraph Vowel sound split by a consonant

o-e as in hole

a-e as in made

I-e as in slide. 


What is phonics? | Oxford Owl

Get a definition of phonics and understand the key aspects of learning to read using phonics. Learn more about key terms such as 'phonemes', 'blending' and '...

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language.

Phonics: How to blend sounds to read words | Oxford Owl

Suzy Ditchburn explains how letter sounds can be blended to read words, and gives tips on how to practise phonics with your child.

Activities to try at home
Illustrated Tree Background