Pupils learn how to read and pronounce individual words. This is a major part of the Key Stage 1 curriculum. They should initially decode (read) a text using phonic knowledge i.e. by saying the sounds in the word and blending sounds together to read the whole word. They also learn some common words by sight (as they are challenging to decode using phonics). Familiarity with these strategies should lead to the ability to read with fluency. Pupils re-read texts to develop fluency and confidence.
Undoubtedly, pupils will also rely on their sense of what the text is about to make some assumptions about words.
As pupils move through primary school, they should become more fluent and rely less on word reading skills. They will still be taught the more uncommon ways that sounds can be written and will be expected to know more common words by sight.
They begin to look at where words have come from (etymology and morphology) and what they mean.
Although this is taught throughout both key stages, there is a greater emphasis on comprehension in Key Stage 2 as the children will have mastered the word reading skills.
Through hearing and reading a wide range of stories, poems and information texts, children develop an interest in reading. They understand the pleasure to be found in books and the need to be able to read for other purposes. They explore patterns and similarities in what they have read and appreciate common themes and structures. They begin to discuss what they have read and relate it to what they already know, sometimes drawing on meaning in the texts that is inferred, such as characters’ motives or point of view.
This enables pupils to develop more vocabulary and the ability to read with more fluency and expression.