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. We want all pupils to become enthusiastic and critical readers who are able to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings with confidence – both orally and in writing.  We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow a reading for pleasure culture.

Each year group has a core reading spine that includes high quality children’s literature. This ensures that children engage with high quality texts, delving deep into the texts’ characters and themes. We use a broad and balanced range of books to support teaching and provide cross-curricular links to a wide range of subjects based on the themes of the texts.

This approach to learning has seen the children’s engagement and enjoyment soar, evidence of which we have seen in the quality of their work.

Each classroom has an inviting reading corner that displays our core texts. 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 encounter vocabulary they might not be able to read for themselves. This enables them to add to the store of words they know, thus building a strong foundation for comprehension and their own writing. 

The school’s library is a comfortable and inviting space, which the children have access to and can borrow books from to take home to read and enjoy. 

At school we follow Little Wandle’s phonics and reading approach supporting children to grow as confident readers who enjoy reading for pleasure.

Your child will be heard individually, in small groups and as a whole class. Reading sessions focus on decoding, prosody (fluency and expression) and comprehension skills. Phonic lessons are taught daily and decodable reading books are available for the children to read at school and at home. Reading books are changed according to the child’s needs.   

Additional decodable reading books can be accessed at home using our eBook system.

For more support and information about Little Wandle reading please visit:

Early Reading at Nightingale Infant & Nursery School

At Nightingale Infant & Nursery School we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of key stage one. We believe this is achievable through a combination of high quality, discrete systematic phonics teaching combined with a language rich curriculum that promotes a reading for pleasure culture.



At Nightingale Infant & Nursery School we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Nightingale Infant & Nursery School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.


How we teach phonics

  • In Nursery, children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
  • In reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily.
  • Phonics starts in reception in to ensure the children make a strong start.
  • By the end of reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
  • By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
  • Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 25 minutes as soon as possible.
  • Year 1 lessons are 25 minutes long.
  • In Year 2, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
  • In Year 2 there are planned phonic catch-up sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.

Home reading

The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.

  • Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children. 

We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through Phonics and Reading Café throughout the year.

Ensuring reading for pleasure

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow a reading for pleasure culture.

  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Nightingale Infant & Nursery School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading.
  • In Nursery and Reception, children have access to the reading books as part of the continuous provision.
  • Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. This is used to record the books children have read at home and school.
  • The school library is made available for classes to use. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of reading for pleasure events such as, book fairs, library visits and national events.

Power of Reading

We use the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s Power of Reading to support our teaching of reading. Children engage with high quality texts, delving deep into the characters and themes of the texts they study. This reading then inspires fantastic written work and responses.



Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

Assessment for learning is used: 

  • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support 
  • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.

Summative assessment is used:

  • every term to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.