Huntingdon Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 2RP

0121 556 0370

Hateley Heath Academy


At Hateley Heath, our priority is both the teaching of reading skills and the enjoyment of literature, enabling children to become lifelong, confident readers. As children begin to read, we focus on decoding, primarily through phonics in addition to other strategies, e.g whole word recognition, rhyme and content.

Through the foundation stage, early phonetic awareness is promoted and developed through every day activities and routines such as listening games, shared reading, singing and interactive planning sessions. Children are encouraged to identify familiar letters in their name and hear the sounds they are making, identify familiar words, to listen for sounds and to remember sounds.

In Reception and Key Stage 1 phonics is timetabled to be taught daily in planned sessions based on the "Letters and Sounds" programme. Children are taught to segment and blend words and apply their learning for reading decodable and tricky words. A wide range of activities are used by practitioners to help children achieve the goal of fluent word recognition.

Children are ability grouped in order to maximise individual learning.

Throughout school, children are assessed at the end of each half term and either move on to the next stage or repeat the same phase according to the level they have achieved.

Towards the end of Year 1 all children will take part in the national phonics screening test. They will achieve either a pass or fail. If a child fails the screening test they will retake it in Year 2.

As children build fluency, comprehension skills become our main area of focus and are taught through VIPERS focusing upon vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieval and summarising. We believe that high-quality literature is key to motivating children to read and instilling in children a love of literature and children throughout the school are regularly read to at the end of each day.

What does reading look like at Hateley Heath?

Reading is seen as priority and the teaching of reading at Hateley Heath is made up of the following elements:


  • The teaching of early reading skills begins in the Nursery through daily story, rhyme and song time alongside weekly individual reading of books children have chosen to take home.
  • A wide selection of early reading books are available from Reception and there are banded following the Collins Big Cat banded structure.
  • Phonics is taught daily in EYFS & KS1 for all children plus and Year 2 resits.
  • Whole Class Reading is based around VIPERS. These are separate but many compliment writing sessions.
  • 1 reading for pleasure session per week, for children to discuss with staff and peers what they are reading.
  • Pupils read books and stories aloud weekly.
  • Modelled and shared is a regular part of the English curriculum and across the wider curriculum.
  • Regular story time is timetabled, where the teacher models fluency and the process of making inferences when reading to pupils.
  • Opportunities for fluency development - reading of a text is modelled by an adult. Pupils have the opportunity to then read the same text aloud with appropriate feedback
  • Teachers extend pupils vocabulary across all subjects.
  • Pupils have access to high quality texts.
  • Each classroom to have a reading area/corner - showing reading as a clear priority.
  • Home Reading - Children ARE and above heard read once a week. Children below ARE every day.

Below is a reading at home guide to support you with reading at home. You can also view our staff modelling how to share a book with a child here - Click Here