Early Years and Key Stage 1
(Click here for Key Stage 2 further down the page)
At our school, we use a structured, synthetic phonics approach to teaching pupils to read. The scheme we use is called ‘Read Write Inc’
Our pupils begin their RWI journey in nursery, following the Ruth Miskin programme. From Reception, pupils have daily RWI lessons until they complete the programme. We would expect most pupils to complete the program in Year 2 by the end of the Autumn term.
Please refer to these useful links to support your child at home
- Encouraging reading at home:
Raise a Reader (Oxford Owl)
- Understanding phonics and how you can support at home
Phonics (Oxford Owl)
- How to say the sounds
Parent video: How to say the sounds (YouTube)
- RWI phonics: A guide for parents
Parent guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics (Oxford Owl)
- Phonics screening guidance (Year 1)
Parent video: The Phonics Screening Check (YouTube)
- Reading for pleasure
This link gives excellent recommendations of age-appropriate books to share with your child:
The Reader Teacher (Children’s Books | Reads, Reviews & Recommendations)
Fred the frog
This is Fred the frog. He is our RWI mascot and supports the children with learning how to blend. Fred often talks in ‘Fred talk’ where he breaks words down (segments) into chunks for the children to build back together (blending):
- c…a…t = cat
- d…i…g = dig
- f…r…o…g…s = frogs
Once pupils are confident with their grapheme-phoneme correspondence for single letters, they will begin to learn sounds that are made by 2 letters together or 3 letters together. We call these special friends:
- Sh…o…p = shop
- b…a…th = bath
When looking at an unfamiliar word we use these 3 steps to support our pupils with reading:
- Special friends (which special friends can you see? What sounds do they make?)
- Fed talk (make the sounds each letter/special friend makes)
- Read the word
- Here are some fun games to support your child with practising their Fred talk at home:
Fred-Talk games (RuthMiskin.com)
Our RWI overview
The aim for this overview is to ensure a consistent approach to RWI across the school and to list how we teach, assess and monitor the development of all pupils within the program.
Reading books are matched to our pupil’s phonic reading ability. We actively encourage parents and carers to ensure their child reads at least 3 times every week. Pupils that read 3 times a week will wear a ‘reading champion’ badge. There is also class rewards and incentives for classes that achieve 80%+ of pupils reading three or more times at home.
When pupils complete the RWI they consolidate their phonic knowledge and comprehension skills. Our teachers skilfully plan comprehension lessons based around our book spine books to develop the pupils’ skills across the reading domains. These reading lessons extend pupils’ comprehension ability and prepares them for the challenges of reading as they move into KS2.
We are excited to be launching ‘Fresh Start’ for our KS2 pupils requiring support with their reading.
This will launch in the Autumn term 2023.
Fresh Start is used for upper KS2 and secondary pupils and has been highly effective with supporting pupils to develop their reading skills.
- Here’s some information regarding the program:
Read Write Inc. Fresh Start programme – what is it? (YouTube)
Key Stage 2
Years 3 to 6 have four whole class reading lessons each week.
In these lessons, pupils explore a range of different texts, from poems to short stories, non-fiction texts and novels. They develop their reading skills of predicting, inferring, summarising, retrieving and vocabulary.
Texts are chosen to be challenging and engaging and are linked to our writing lessons as well.
Vocabulary is taught specifically and practised through our reading sessions.
Those children in Key Stage 2 in need of additional phonics support receive support through the Fresh Start programme.
Independent ReadingChildren in Key Stage 2 are allocated a book band. They will choose a book with the colour sticker of their band from our ‘Book Bank’. This ensures they are reading a book of the appropriate level. Within each book band there is a range of different text types and genres. We want our children to read ‘widely and well’. Children will be heard read in school by an adult regularly. Those children in receipt of pupil premium or who find reading most difficult will be heard more frequently.
Reading for Pleasure
Each class has a ‘class library’ of books for reading for pleasure. These are not book banded and there are no restrictions on which books the children can choose. They may choose a book which is more challenging or a book that is fun to share with friends, a magazine or a book of poetry. We provide a diverse selection of age-appropriate books which reflect children’s interests. Once a week in school each class will have ‘class library’ time when they can swap their class library book and enjoy looking at and talking about books together.
We also arrange visits to our local library for story sessions and encourage children to take out membership so they can borrow their own library books.
We encourage children in KS2 to read at least three times a week at home and sign their reading diaries. Children who read three times a week or more are rewarded with a ‘reading champion’ badge to wear in school for the week. If 80% of a class meet their 3x a week target, the class earns a book on their reward shelf to build towards a whole class reward.
Free access to books online
Watch our video below to find out how to sign up for the library online. You can then download the BorrowBox app on any tablet or phone and sign in with your library details to get free access to online e-books and audio books for your children to enjoy.