A current project has been developed after reading The Tin Forest Story Book ,inspiring lots of conversations and creative work.

How we teach reading


 Children are ready, phonics is taught daily in small groups. All phonics groups are planned for by the teaching staff, using the Letters and Sounds document.

Children are given the opportunity to consolidate the skills taught in phonics throughout the continuous provision.

Many of our children move to phase two of letters and sounds whilst at our Nursery School.

Children at this phase are taught to recognise letters by their name and the
letters phoneme.

 Children are supported at this time with a home reading book,which supports the development of  their phonics skills.

Our focus is on developing children's vocabulary ...Words, words and more words
 We know from the research cited below that  a low vocabulary will trap children in disadvantage.

  • When the daily number of words for each group of children was projected across four years, the four year-old child from the professional family will have heard 45 million words, the working-class child 26 million, and the welfare child only 13 million.(Hart and Risley)
  • Increased vocabulary depends on good parenting, particularly before the age of 7 (Biemiller 2003).
    Children mainly use words their parents and other adults use with them in conversation, and develop larger vocabularies when their parents use more words (Hart and Risley, 1995).
  • The fundamental instincts of good parents, whatever their social class, are usually correct.
    The word gap among those children has nothing to do with how much those parents love them. They all love their children and want the best for them, but some parents have a better idea of what needs to be said and done to reach that best. They know the child needs to hear words repeatedly in meaningful sentences and questions, and they know that plunking a two-year-old down in front of a television set for three hours at a time is more harmful than meaningful.(Jim Trelease )
  • When they start school, relatively high performing children know an average estimated vocabulary of 7100 words. In contrast, relatively poor performing pupils know 3000 words, acquiring only one word per day compared to the three words per day acquired by children with the largest vocabularies. This gap widens as children get older. And the wider the gap, the harder it is to bridge.
  • Vocabulary is a strong indicator of reading success (Biemiller, 2003). It was established in the 1970s that children’s declining reading comprehension compared to more able peers from age 8 onwards largely resulted from a lack of vocabulary knowledge (Becker, 1977), and that this was primarily caused by a lack of learning opportunities, not a lack of natural ability. Chall et al. (1990) also found that disadvantaged students showed declining reading comprehension as their narrow vocabulary limited what they could understand from texts.

 Books and reading are central to all that we do here at Staghills Nursery School and learning is regularly based around books immersing children in a language influenced by books.. We  immerse children in a language and print rich environment and we believe that this is the foundation to supporting children to read and to develop a love of reading.

Stories are read to children in a group session everyday as well as through the session within the provision or linked to a project or focus for learning.

Staff model reading and how to handle books with
care. They teach the children vocabulary such as “cover, author and illustrator” and model how to turn the pages in the correct order and reading from left to right.Children answer questions about the book. Through play the children learn to retell
stories, join in with repeated phrases and sayings, talk about characters and recognise familiar words.

The children spend the majority of their time learning in continuous provision within our Nursery Environment.There are spaces to talk and communicate, displays,pictures and resources support children to initiate conversations.Books are carefully chosen to match children's current interests and are embedded within our continuous provision plans.

Our project work is frequently linked to a book, this may be a  story book or we frequently use non fiction books.Last year Blue Planet was a favourite book and sparked lots of conversations and investigations.Projects have included recycling and sea creatures and we find that  the children  really thrive in their learning when projects are  linked to high quality books.

Songs and rhymes are used to promote language and to develop an understanding of rhythm and rhyme. A core rhyme is planned for children to learn as part of the our short term planning and this is regularly shared with families..

Books and rhymes are used as the central part to planning our curriculum. A set of  ‘core
books’ is used to support children to develop a love of books as well as ensuring that they learn new vocabulary.

 We plan a clear teaching structure for each book which supports every child to learn the story well,
alongside developing the comprehension skills to be able to talk about characters and events.

New vocabulary for the children to learn, use and understand is planned for and taught to the children during Key Worker Time. 


Our Bedtime Story Challenge starts on 15th November 2019...