The Federation of Briar Hill Infant and St Margaret’s C of E Junior Schools

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Briar Hill Infant School


Mrs Tester and Mrs Padro are our English Leads. 


At Briar Hill we value the importance of speaking and listening and provide many opportunities for children to think, discuss, plan, learn and reflect in an imaginative and collaborative way.  We use Letters and Sounds for our daily phonics teaching and learning. We will share this approach with you in a range of ways throughout the year to help you support your child when reading/writing at home. Please refer to the notes in your child's reading diary for further information about the importance of our phonetic reading approach.  Alongside our daily phonic lessons we also teach pre-cursive and cursive handwriting through the 'Letterjoin' scheme with excellent outcomes for children.  We promote a topic and text based approach to learning encouraging children to learn and remember more through meaningful, engaging and memorable texts.  We know that when we enable our children to become confident speakers, listeners, readers and writers they feel successful and are ready for the next stage of their learning. 

The importance of book talk.

When we hear children read in school alongside their phonic skills we also support their comprehension skills. Below you will find some ideas to help you when reading with your child. They are not intended to be used all at once or every time you read with your child, but to help you discuss the book and help your child. Please click HERE to see the video guide in our Learning in Action on the Federation tab.


Decoding and Word Reading 

Decoding is the skill of recognising the letters (graphemes) and knowing what sound (phoneme) they say when sounded out. To learn to read and understand the phonetic code children must learn to recognise each phoneme. Phonemes can be made with one letter making one sound such 'b' or in b-e-d or or two letters making one sound such a 'ai' in p-ai-n or r-ai-n (these are called digraphs) or three letters making one sound such as 'igh' in n-igh-t or h-igh (these are called trigraphs). 


Please encourage your child to read and decode using their phonic skills. Securing their understanding of the phonic code will enable them to access a broad range of texts as they are gradually developing their reading knowledge and skills.  


Developing a LOVE of reading and comprehension


Discussion before you begin to read with your child (you reading or them reading to you) 

  • Is the text fiction or non-fiction? How do you know that?
  • Who is the author of the text?
  • What could you do to find out what this book is about? (look at the blurb)
  • Can you look at the pictures and predict what you think will happen in this book?
  • What makes you think that?
  • What characters do you think might be in our story?
  • Do you think there will be a problem in this story? Why or why not?
  • Does the topic/story make any links to you or your family? How?



Further comprehension discussion

  • What do you think will happen next?
  • What can you tell me about the story so far?
  • Does the story remind you of any other stories you’ve read?
  • Can you predict how the story will end? If you made a different ending what would happen?
  • How do you think is this character is feeling?
  • Why do you think the character did _______?
  • What would you have done if you were the character?
  • How would you have felt if you were the character? (use different characters)
  • As I read____________, it made me picture________ in my head. What pictures do you see in your head?
  • Can you put what you’ve just read in your own words?
  • Was this a good book? Why or why not? 
  • If there was a problem, did it get solved?
  • Have you read any similar stories? How does it compare to .... story?
  • Have you read any other books by the same author?
  • What do you think was the most interesting part in the story? Why?
  • Is there a character in the story like you? Like someone you know? Like a character in a different book you have read? How are they alike? 

Examples of English at Briar Hill Infant School

'Shine!' A perfect poem for Briar Hill.


View Our Slideshow.

Welcome to Briar Hill and St Margaret's!...Our Federation vision: 'Flourish as a family, love to learn, make memories, shine!'...Our St Margaret's Christian vision: 'How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity.' (Psalm 133)