The Pilgrim School



We are writers, we are readers,

      we are speakers and listeners      

.we are Pilgrim!


     Exciting news!!!  This year we will develop our Story Telling abilities in our brand new Story Tent....look out for further details in the Spring!    


Reading at Pilgrim

Reading at Pilgrim is not only one of the most important aspects of our learning - it is also one of our favourite!

From the first moment children prepare to attend The Pilgrim School, they are invited to share their favourite stories from home.  

We have two very distinct, but equally important, areas of focus in our reading:

1.  building the technical knowledge required in learning to read

2.  developing a love of reading which is adventurous, aspirational and lifelong

For our early reading programme, we have chosen to use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.  Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised policy

This provides our staff and children with a consistent structure and approach in teaching learning to read whilst applying the children's growing phonics skills.  Choosing Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised was a very considered decision for our staff team - we are very proud of our successful reading experiences at Pilgrim and actively chose a system which would embrace this.                                                                                                             

                                     "Little Wandle Letters and Sounds is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools.  

                                   Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations

                                         of the National Curriculum, the Ofsted Deep Dive into reading  and preparing your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check." 


Little Wandle believe - as do we - that every child can and should learn to read.  Their system also prioritises - as do we - reading for pleasure.


Little Wandle also structure their phonics and reading lessons using Review, Teach, Practise, Apply - a process which we already have embedded in our teaching and learning systems of every subject at Pilgrim.

All of the school's teachers and teaching assistants have been trained in using Little Wandle.  This means that we all use a standard and consistent routine for teaching reading, which the children become very familiar with very quickly  - this aids their confidence, builds their knowledge and allows them to focus on new learning.

In Acorns class, children develop the love of sharing a story together, experience the language of stories and recognise that books can provide us with information.

In Oak Trees, as the children begin to secure early phonics, each child is assessed regularly and grouped for reading.  We work together to enable the children to read confidently and fluently, using appropriately matched decodable books, as part of adult taught groups, at least 3 times a week. 

This reviewing, teaching, practising and applying of reading skills continues in this way throughout FS and KS1 until the children have become secure, confident and fluent readers. 

Children with Specific Educational Needs might continue with matched decodable books for longer through targeted intervention support to enable them to practise and develop their reading skills at a pace which is right for them (parents will be informed and involved in this process). 

When children have finished Little Wandle books - they can read anything - but they have not finished with reading instruction.  These children will need to continue to work on fluency, intonation, reading for meaning and so move forward into our highly valued (and very enjoyable!) Guided Reading groups where they will encounter more challenging literature and are taught to identify, analyse and be inspired by authorial techniques.


Learning to Read with Little Wandle

Each of our Learning to Read groups will meet at least three times each week. 

Each reading session has a very specific focus: 1. Decoding, 2. Prosody, 3. Comprehension. 

In every session, every child reads the same book to themselves with the adult listening in and prompting as necessary. 

Reading should be confident and almost totally fluent. 

Also in each session, children will recap and review sounds, words and tricky words; they will also be introduced to new words and discuss the meaning of any new vocabulary relevant to their book. 

The child could then read the same book a further time at home to secure and illustrate their progress to an audience, on occasion using a digital copy.

  • Day 1: Read the text independently, with increasing fluency,  using phonics knowledge only. 
  • Day 2:  Focus on where the text tells you how to say it e.g. speech bubbles, exclamation marks, 'shouted', 'happily'.  
  • Day 3: Answer questions about the text e.g. author's choice of words, infer about characters, places and actions,  sequence events and plot, think deeply, predict, deduce, skim and scan. 

Continuing to Learn about Reading - and loving it!

Reading in KS2 builds on the growing mastery of the automatised essential reading knowledge, developing it to become powerful knowledge.  This is a much-loved learning opportunity and past-time. (You'll even find us reading on the playground at playtime and lunchtime!)

Children mix in groups and focus on the analysis of a complete book - which might not be a book they would choose to read at home - whilst being scaffolded, supported and challenged to spot themes, patterns, details and techniques used by authors.

Children are taught how to articulate their views and how to listen to the opinions and responses of others.  They discuss and gather vocabulary and ideas to apply in their own compositions, all the while broadening their horizons, experiences, knowledge and enjoyment. 

These times are very much a Pilgrim favourite - shown below are some of our favourite reads!

Class books and Curriculum Subject-based Reading

Each of our classes enjoy spending time listening to and reflecting on their adult reading them a class book.  These books allow us to take a moment, to challenge our thinking and vocabulary, to discuss, debate and reflect on our thoughts of our place in the world.  This provides a safe space and time to consider some of the more sensitive and challenging aspects of our lives - or just to have a giggle together.  It is highly valued by Pilgrim adults and children alike.  Some of our current favourite class books include: 

Our curriculum subject learning is given context and interest through carefully selected books.  Each new unit of learning provides an opportunity to investigate and explore, to gather knowledge, information and understanding; books provide the inspiration and reference to find out more and to consolidate learning.  We use books to support our subject vocabulary acquisition and understanding as well as to complete detail on our subject knowledge organisers.  The Year 6 PE team even go to each class to read their subject's book - they are keenly anticipated!

 Reading Rewards

 As our children begin at Pilgrim, they are given a reading record (digital or paper based) in which to record a dialogue between home and school about their journey with reading.  From school we will use it to share how the children are progressing with their Learning to Read knowledge and we love to hear from home of books and stories that you have enjoyed sharing together.  As children grow, we encourage and guide them in completing their reading record for themselves and to share with us their own thoughts on the books they are reading - some of these debates can be very passionate! As a way of acknowledging their effort and keeping reading a fun and positive experience, children can earn a number of reading related rewards throughout their progress.  They love nothing more than a secret trip to the staffroom to select a reward book!  

Reading Café

We have a wonderful team of Reading Café staff who host our prestigious Reading Café on a Tuesday and a Thursday lunchtime.  Two children from each class are invited to attend  - there's often a queue at the door to see if we have room for any more - where they can share a story with one of the team and then enjoy a milkshake and biscuit.  It's a favourite time of the customers and the voluntary staff!  Year 6 apply each year for this important position of responsibility and work with great commitment and encouragement alongside our lovely volunteer Reading Team members, Mrs Larney and Mrs Newman.  It has been so lovely this year to be able to invite parents to join in this special part of our day too!

Reading Buddies

Year 3 and 4 Book Club

World Book Day


Pilgrim Progress