Holbrook Primary School, Trowbridge

Inspiring, Nurturing, Challenging every learner to achieve their full potential




We follow the Government approved, systematic synthetic phonics programme: Sounds Write for our phonics teaching. Sessions are taught daily as a whole class for 30 minutes from the first full day children attend in Reception through to year 2 and in year 3 until pupils are secure in their phonic knowledge. Children are taught to recognise sounds, the skills of segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation.  As pupils move through the programme they also learn that a spelling can represent more than one sound and that some sounds can be represented in more than one way.  Children have opportunity to learn and rehearse these skills daily through a range of lessons within the session.  Staff delivering and supporting phonics lessons are all trained in Sounds Write and receive continuous professional development.  Children’s progress in phonics is closely tracked and children are regularly assessed.  Pupils who require additional support are quickly identified and targeted intervention put in place.


Click here to find out more about Sounds Write

Sounds Write and reading in Early Years

Guided Reading

Guided reading in EYFS and year 1 take a different format to the rest of the school with Reception children starting this from the Summer term in preparation for year 1.  In year 1, children work in small guided groups with an adult to read and explore a text closely matched to their reading ability and rehearse their phonics skills.  Purposeful reading activities are also planned to support reading proficiency.   We use a whole class approach to guided reading in Year 2 and KS2.  Texts on our reading spine are carefully selected by genre, theme or Author. In all guided reading lessons children read aloud and reading is modelled by an adult.  Comprehensions skills such as skimming, scanning and text marking in order to answer questions related to vocabulary, inference, prediction, evaluation, retrieval or summarising known in school as VIPERS. These lessons consist of explicit teaching using model questions and practice questions, guided practice and independent practice. Other written tasks and drama techniques may be used to further their understanding of the text e.g. book reviews, story maps, hot seating etc. One session a week is given over to reading for pleasure, allowing pupils extended time to engage with their text.  

Story Time

Daily story time in all classes is a non-negotiable of the school day. Teachers are supported by the reading leader to ensure they have access to a wide range of books to ignite a love of reading in their class. These books ensure a wide range of genres, cultures and diversity are included in the children’s reading ‘diet’. 

Reading enrichment

Every child at Holbrook has visited the library at least once this year; our children love the library and we have worked hard to form close links with Trowbridge Library.

Our Year 5 & 6 children help the younger children with their reading and to foster a love of reading.  We have fortnightly paired reading sessions where the children read to one another and enjoy books together.