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In the eyes of God, every child matters, every moment of every day

In the eyes of God, every child matters, every moment of every day

Oracy, Phonics and Reading

Oracy, phonics and reading are at the heart of what we teach here at Buckden CE Primary.  They are the foundations of all good learning and will enable our pupils to reach their full potential.  We have taken a considerable amount of time to research and work with various external partners to ensure that our provision is the very best that it can be. 

What can a high-quality oracy education achieve?

Evidence shows that a high-quality education can:

  • Improve academic outcomes, developing learners who can think critically, reason together and have the vocabulary to express their knowledge and understanding.
  • Improves literacy development.  The EEF literacy reports show that through structured classroom talk students, and particularly pupil premium students, literacy outcomes improve. 
  • Increase confidence and wellbeing, empowering students with the belief that their voice has value, developing the ability to articulate thoughts so others will listen. 
  • Equip students to thrive in life beyond school helping them to progress, access employment and engage in civic life. Successive employer surveys and reports from industry bodies such as the CBI, CIPD and IoD have highlighted the value businesses place on employees’ communication skills.
  • Narrows gaps enabling disadvantaged students to fulfil their potential and shrink the language gap between them and more advantaged peers. 

We have worked on developing Oracy in schools, our plans can be found here.  We have considered the following research when developing our plans for Oracy across the school inlcuding working with Voice 21.


We also appreciate the importance of early language development and we are involved in Nuffield Early Language Intervention. The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is a programme for children in Reception (4-5 years) which has been found to improve children’s language and early literacy skills. The programme involves a trained teaching assistant providing short small-group and individual teaching sessions to around 3-6 pupils for 20-weeks. Robust evaluations found NELI children made on average 3 months of additional progress in language.
More information can be found on the button below:


Phonics & The Teaching of Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics teaching is a vital part of English. At Buckden CE Primary Academy we aim to teach children fluent word reading skills and provide a good foundation in spelling from the earliest opportunity.

Phonics teaching involves teaching the children to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; to identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’  or ‘oo’ and to blend letter sounds together from left to right to make a word.

At Buckden, the Early Years and Key Stage 1 teachers use Success for All Phonics (SFA), which is a DfE-validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme, to teach phonics. The programme is underpinned by ‘Letters and Sounds’ and was developed by Fischer Family Trust, a not-for-profit organisation providing education data, literacy programmes and research to schools, local authorities and government. The goal of the programme is to inspire a lifelong love of reading amongst children.

In Foundation Stage, phonics is taught daily so that children can build up and practise the skills they need to use in reading and writing. Children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as 'igh' and 'ch'. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling.

In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as 'a' in 'ant' and 'was'. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge, using a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense).

From Year 2 onwards, children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses, using SFA's Spelling with the Jungle Club and Routes to Reading.

Please click on the button below explaining all about Success for All phonics

We have considered what we teach in reading, please see below for examples of research:

Buckden Reading Curriculum  

At Buckden CE Primary Academy, we aim to inspire and motivate our pupils to become enthusiastic life long readers readers; pupils who read for pleasure and enjoyment and who also have the necessary skills to acquire knowledge and conduct research. 

Pie Corbett says…

Great books build the imagination. The more we read aloud expressively, and the more children are able to savour, discuss and reinterpret literature through the arts, the more memorable the characters, places and events become, building an inner world. A child who is read to will have an inner kingdom of unicorns, talking spiders and a knife that cuts into other worlds. The mind is like a ‘tardis’; it may seem small but inside there are many mansions. Each great book develops the imagination and equips the reader with language.

Great stories speak to us as individuals and some children will return to certain books again and again. Great stories also build our language because around 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading. Reading develops the ability to think in the abstract; to follow lines of thought. Schools that have a reading spine, build a common bank of stories that bind the community together. These are shared and deeply imagined common experiences.

The English curriculum at Buckden  is delivered using the National Curriculum English Document. The Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Early Years Foundation stage through to the National Curriculum. It is interwoven through the Buckden School Curriculum and delivered through many vehicles including the Power of Reading. 
Click on link for more information:

Through our curriculum and reading provision, the pupils have the opportunity to experience a wide range of high quality and carefully chosen texts. This selection includes a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books which are often linked to our Enquiry curriculum

Having engaging and challenging core texts is one of the ways we encourage our pupils to develop a love of literature and to read for enjoyment. Evidence from research shows that ensuring our children develop all the skills of language is essential to unlocking access to the rest of the curriculum. Therefore, opportunities to read and write are embedded across the curriculum. This approach also expands our children’s knowledge of the world in which we live. When children encounter words in their reading that they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech, we can systematically teach our children new vocabulary. Therefore, rich and lively vocabulary instruction is an essential component of all our reading lessons. We know that by explicitly teaching vocabulary, we will encourage students to become interested and enthusiastic about words, curious and keen to explore relationships among words and use them in a way that they come to ‘own’ the words.

Children explore texts as part of a daily reading session. These are generally taught in whole class reading sessions or in guided groups, depending on the age/experience of the children and the texts themselves. These daily reading sessions provide opportunities for the pupils to explore texts in depth and further develop their word reading and comprehension skills. Building on their early reading learning, we continue to teach our children to decode unfamiliar words and increase the number of words they can read on sight. We focus on comprehension and teach our children skills such as summarising, posing questions about what they have read and making predictions and inferences. Children are also given time for independent reading and shared reading of class texts as well as regular book talk with adults.  Research which supports our approach to reading 



We encourage the children to also read at home regularly whether that is to an adult (for developing readers) or independently (for fluent readers). We provide a reading record book for this reading to be logged and we encourage children to discuss and talk about their reading at home. We have provided more information on how to listen to your children read on the following link:

At Buckden CE Primary Academy, we believe that all children should have access to education and that the knowledge gained from education will serve our pupils in all areas of their life, not just within the walls of our school. We believe that reading is key to this. It allows us to learn about countries we have never visited, to imagine worlds that only exist in our minds and to discover extraordinary people, both real and fictional, that we admire… or that we despise. Through books we can learn fascinating facts and we can see ourselves reflected in the pages – who we are or who we dare to dream to be.

At Buckden CE Primary Academy, we recognise that children who read well and often, excel at school and beyond.  It is our belief that every child should be able to read for pleasure and to a high standard.  Reading opens up a world of possibilities, including developing language and vocabulary. 

We employ a range of strategies to enable the children to decode, but we employ different strategies to encourage a love of reading.  Reading and books are the golden thread of our curriculum, which is built upon quality texts that challenge and inspire our children as well as our staff.  

Strategies to support reading for pleasure 

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is one of the most important things our staff do and is a frequent and regular part of each school day. Reading aloud enables children to experience and enjoy stories they may not otherwise encounter.  At Buckden CE Primary Academy, reading is a priority and everyone understands its importance. Reading aloud is a non-negotiable and has a dedicated slot in our timetable.  By reading well-chosen books aloud, teachers, teaching assistants and midday supervisors help classes to become communities of readers -- ensuring that they can share in experiences of a wide repertoire of books they enjoy, books chosen to deepen and broaden the children's vocabulary as well as appeal to their curiosity and interests. 

Dedicated Reading Areas 

There is a reading area in each classroom that is accessible to all children in the class. The area is calm and inviting with a selection of books from a variety of genres and covering a range of potential areas of interest.  There are also front-facing shelves in each classroom.  On these shelves are quality texts that are linked to different areas of the curriculum.  We also have a well-stocked library that the children visit regularly. 

Inspiring Reading 

Books are displayed attractively in classrooms and the library and illustrations from well-known books line the corridors.  Reading is at the heart of our curriculum, with quality texts underpinning the curriculum to further inspire our children.  We are committed to developing our children as readers across the curriculum, nourishing a culture of reading throughout school. 

To inspire children to read we also: 

  • Invest heavily in reading resources that children will want to read and re-read. 
  • Have members of staff who are excellent reading role models.  They lead by example, creating an environment that promotes reading as a socially engaging activity that is highly valued. 
  • Promote books that we think the children might enjoy or that staff are currently excited about reading.
  • Welcome reading volunteers to provide children with more opportunities to share a book with an adult.
  • Encourage parents and carers to spend time reading with their child. 

Celebrating Reading 

We celebrate reading during our Celebration Assemblies and by organising events with our village library as well as observing an all-day reading extravaganza for World Book Day. We also participate in the annual Summer Reading Challenge with our library, giving awards to our most voracious readers and encouraging our new readers to discover the wonders that await them in the library.