Reading and Phonics

How it all begins

In Nursery, your child will have stories read to them every day. All learning and activities are linked to these texts.

Once your child joins our Reception class, they are taught phonics following the Harmony Trust Framework.  You can read the parent guide to the scheme here:

Your children also share stories with the class and are exposed to picture books to develop book talk and vocabulary. These are sent home for children to practise with their parents.

Reading and Phonics at Alt:

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Reading is important and fun!

At Alt Academy, we are committed to ensuring all children across all key stages are supported in the development of their reading in order to foster a successful future. Those who read, also succeed.

Reading is a vital skill, as it governs a significant amount of the world around us. Without an ability to read well, an individual can find themselves at a substantial disadvantage in becoming an effective member of the global community, restricting employment opportunities, self-worth and independence.​

It is vital that, working in partnership with each other, parents, carers and staff of the children at Alt Academy are provided with opportunities to develop all reading skills (from early phonics development to reading for a purpose).

You can help your child at home by reading a wide range of texts together and by using the local library, online resources and texts you have at home. These could include: story books, factual books, magazines, newspapers, texts online, leaflets, letters, cooking recipes and any other pieces of text you have available at home.

Early Reading

As your child starts to understand letter sounds better, they will be taught to blend these sounds from left to right in order to read simple words. 

When this skill is in place, your child will be given a reading book containing words which can be sounded out. You can help at home by running your finger under each sound in turn to encourage this blending and then sweep under from left to right as your child says the word.

Now is the time to enjoy your child’s steps to success, but don’t forget to keep talking about the story and have fun sharing the book together!

Moving On - Reading for Understanding

In Key Stage One, children continue to progress through the Oxford reading Tree colour book bands as directed by the teacher. In Year Three, children will move on to the Accelerated Reader programme. Children complete an online Star Test to assess their reading age and are then given a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) number that they can choose their reading books from. If a child is not yet ready to begin the Accelerated Reader programme, then they will read an ability-appropriate book regularly in school, with adult support. After each book, the children will complete an on-line reading quiz and this will register how much of the book they have understood. Readers will then move through the levels on their individualised reading programme, where they are placed appropriately on the programme in line with their level of understanding.

7 Top Tips to Support Reading at Home

Shared reading is a great way to develop children’s language and communication and to boost their reading skills. Regular reading routines can offer lots of opportunities for learning during school closures.


Alt Lane, Oldham, Lancashire OL8 2EL

Mrs Cooper, Mrs Bulmer or Mrs Bone: Main Contact

0161 260 0622

Part of The Harmony Trust
Alderson Street,

CEO: Antony Hughes