'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go' - Dr Seuss
7 Aspects of Reading
How do we prioritise Reading?

Learning to read is a life-long achievement and one of the most important thing your child will learn at our school.

Reading is essential to access not just the primary school curriculum, but is also preparation children for learning at secondary school and beyond. As a skill necessary for life-long learning, it provides endless possibilities and opportunities for improvement and as a pleasure, it feeds imaginations and takes us to people and places that we can only dream about.

Cressida Cowell (Children’s Laureate 2020-21) reinforces the importance of reading as a school priority: “Study after study has shown how reading for pleasure is vital for academic success, mental health and even later economic success. By sparking growing imaginations, stimulating critical thinking and helping to develop empathy, reading gives children the very skills they need to succeed at school, at work and in life”. 

At Tywardreath we are passionate about giving our children the very best life chances we can, therefore we are relentless at making reading a school priority. It consistently forms a part of the school development plan which ensures that all elements are monitored, their effectiveness evaluated, actions reviewed and necessary professional development provided.

With competent reading skills, children are better equipped to access all that we have to offer.

Most importantly, we aim to give children the best start on their reading journey with a consistent and successful approach to Phonics.

It is our intention to ensure that children can read fluently and confidently in all subjects as well as having a real love for reading.

The teaching of reading at our school, is based on the five essential components needed to develop fluent, confident readers.

-       Phonemic awareness - the ability to hear, identify, move or change sounds (phonemes), in spoken words

-       Phonics – recognising the link between sounds (phonemes) and letters (graphemes) to decode words

-       Fluency – the ability to read accurately, quickly and with expression

-       Vocabulary – knowing the meaning of words to help in order to understand what they are reading

-       Comprehension – understanding and interpreting what they have read.


The key to unlocking the mystery of the written word is phonics and we make this a high priority in our Early Years Foundation Stage and throughout Key Stage 1.

At Tywardreath, we use Read Write Inc phonics programme.

 Phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter groups into sounds that are then blended together into a word. The scheme is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.

The use of Read, Write Inc in  Early Years and KS1 provides a rigorous and systematic approach to the teaching of reading based on synthetic phonics, which research shows to be the most effective approach to the teaching of reading.

 Daily Read, Write Inc sessions develop children’s ability to decode by focusing on phonemic awareness and phonic skills enabling children to meet or exceed their Early Learning Goals in reception and the expectations of reading outlined in the National Curriculum as they move through KS1.

Alongside the teaching of phonics, children in EYFS and KS1 read individually to an adult to develop early skills of fluency and comprehension with priority readers (our bottom 20% pupils) reading daily.

All Teachers read daily to their pupils selecting books from Pie Corbett’s book spine and texts that include the protected factors of race, gender, disability, age, marriage and civil partnership and religion/belief.

All pupils continue to develop their fluency by reading materials matched to their ability. Initially books are matched to pupil’s phonic stage based on their progress through Read Write Inc, once completed each pupil transitions to our Accelerated reader programme.

Accelerated Reader focusses on fluency and comprehension and pupils are assessed after each read through low stakes quizzing and given a ‘zpd’ (zone of proximal development). This ensures pupils from Y2 to Y6 choose high quality texts at the right level and continue to feel successful in their reading.

In KS2 a whole class novel approach is also used on a daily basis. We use a set of generic question categories known as VIPERS to structure the learning and practise comprehension, inference and retrieval skills and encourage a focus on vocabulary discussion and application.

 How do we promote a love of Reading?

All classrooms have a reading nook where children can enjoy reading in comfort. This area is resourced with a range of texts and recommended books for children to read for pleasure.

All classes take part in  ‘DEAR’ time  sessions (drop everything and read) where children can engage with reading material of their choice individually or with their peers. Pupils take part in discussions about their books with staff and pupils and consider why they have enjoyed the text and whether they would recommend their book.  Pupil voice discussions have supported the texts/ reading materials available in each class.

- Teachers read to children daily to promote a love and enjoyment of reading and provide opportunities to discuss texts, themes, and ideas. They class reads are plotted to ensure children are exposed to a range of authors and themes.

- Children choose their own texts to read based on their reading interests. The selection of texts that are phonetically progressive or part of our accelerated reader programme, include many books that the children have requested themselves.

Children in KS2 are able to access MyOn library, which is an e library of books, in school and at home. This is linked to their ZPD on Accelerated Reader and offers all children a fantastic range of texts to choose from. This provides children the opportunity to enage with fiction, non fiction and poetry books.

-  We celebrate reading on all levels with individual reading rewards for exceptional progress and effort, classroom rewards which motivate and encourage regular reading at home and in school, and as a school in assemblies with our reader of the week awards. Our ‘Remarkable Readers’ are displayed around the school each week.

- Inviting and relaxing spaces are being developed around the school to encourage pupils to just sit and enjoy reading.

- The teaching of reading is a true partnership that develops between school, pupil and home.

We support and encourage our parents to listen to their children read every day and to understand the importance of spending time reading to them. We hold reading workshops for our parents and carers, and post useful video clips to support the teaching of reading at home.

How do we make sure pupils make progress?

At Tywardreath we use The Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with Reading on Day 1 in Early Years. RWI is a phonic based approach to teaching reading. It involves children learning to read sounds and how to blend them together to read words through a successful reading programme that enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader.

This systematic approach starts with sets of sounds then moves on to Ditty books. Children then progress through groups with associated sounds and accurately matched reading books.

Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply each time. Planning includes assessment of the graphemes taught. Phonics progress is assessed at least every half term to inform progression through the groups and to identify gaps in learning that may need to be met through intervention or additional teaching. An adult is allocated to each group on a half-termly basis and we ensure that all children have teacher led sessions through the year. Our school’s phonics lead coordinates and quality assures the assessment of phonics.

Phonics is taught every day and children who require it receive additional phonics lessons.

The quality and consistency of phonics delivery is monitored by our school’s phonics leader every two weeks via a learning walk that includes coaching and feedback. Regular staff meetings are held for all staff who deliver phonics to share good practice, new initiatives and coaching points.

In Shared reading and Whole Class Novel lessons, the VIPERS approach to teaching reading is applied from Year 2 to Year 6.

Using V.I.P.E.R.S (Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise / Sequence) as our method, we are able  to explicitly teach each skill. These whole class or group reading comprehension sessions are used as a powerful tool to allow all children to make progress in reading and provide regular and supportive opportunities for children to encounter engaging texts that will resonate with their interests and capture their imagination. Carefully graded questions allow children to develop their comprehension skills at an appropriate level.

Regular assessment through comprehension indicates strengths and areas for development within these 6 areas and informs teachers planning of learning of reading.

Tywardreath School uses Accelerated Reader to structure progress in reading beyond phonics. As soon as children have completed the levels of RWI they transition to our  Accelerated Reader programme. Children are assessed using a baseline test to establish a starting point. They then read books and complete quizzes online. The quiz scores indicate the child’s level of comprehension and when a child is confidently and consistently attaining 80% in all quizzes they are reassessed and moved up to the next level of books.

- We are able to identify pupils who are reading below the National expectation. Children who are identified as being in the lowest 20% for reading are prioritised for daily reading as well as additional catch-up interventions.

- Those KS2 pupils struggling with decoding are taught phonics through the RWI programme. At this stage, the steps will be small and precise so that our pupils continue to experience success in their reading.

- We encourage reading at home with individual ‘sticky bug’ rewards in EYFS,  class treats in KS1 and individual badges in KS2 . This includes all engagement a pupil may have with a reading text be it with someone at home, individually, in a shared reading sessions or with a member of staff at school.  Recording each read in individual reading records, that are checked daily, helps us to monitor participation and identify pupils who need additional opportunities to read and discuss texts at school.

How do we match the pupil’s reading books to their phonic ability?

Pupils are assessed daily in RWI sessions and more formally each half term. This informs which set of books children choose from.

Children’s  reading books reflect their phonic stage or ZPD.

In EYFS and KS1 children have 2 books. One closely linked to their phonic ability, which is kept for three to five days until the child can read it fluently and one book for reading pleasure. This is selected by the child and will be reflective of their interests and ability.

 Staff in EYFS and KS1 check children’s reading record comments daily and adults in school listen to children read as often impossible. Although children choose their own books to read, staff monitor the choices made and ensure each text is an appropriate challenge or uses the appropriate set of sounds for children to develop their fluency and recognition of common exception words.

Children using Accelerated reader will have a book from their ZPD and a library book of their choice.

How do we teach Phonics from the start?

 Phonics teaching begins with the youngest children in their first few days at school. Children are immersed in a sound rich environment through learning activities and the classroom environment.  Baseline assessments in Communication, Language and Literacy identify children’s prior knowledge and their next steps.

Children are taught phonics from EYFS using the RWI teaching scheme. This systematic approach to teaching phonics provides a clear teaching structure to recognise sounds, blend and segment.

 The children learn to recognise the shape of letters and the sound they make. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.

 Children are taught to:

  •  say the pure sounds (‘mmm’ not ‘muh’, ‘sss’ not ‘suh’ etc. see link below to hear pure sounds) to decode letter/sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly and use their phonic knowledge and skills to see a letter, or group of letters and say the corresponding sounds.
  • say words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. m-a-t = mat, sh-o-p = shop. Children then learn to read words by saying the sounds in a word then blending them together to say the whole word.
  • read ‘tricky’ (red words) on sight such as ‘come,’ ‘was,’ ‘said’ and ‘you’. These are word where one part of the word is trying to trick the children. We teach them to look at the word and spot the part that is trying to trick us.
  • understand what they read.
  • read aloud with fluency and expression.
  • spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words. They use ‘Fred Fingers’ to say each of the sounds they can hear in a word before they attempt to write it.
  • develop pencil control, form letters correctly and acquire good handwriting.

The children practise their reading with books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘red words’. This is so that, early on, they experience success and quickly begin to see themselves as readers.

We encourage parents and carers to help their child to practise reading for at least 10 minutes every day at home. This support at home is invaluable, particularly during children’s early days of learning to read. Parents can make a huge difference to children’s reading success by showing they value the importance of reading, by providing opportunities for their children to read in different environments and by reinforcing feelings of success.

Phonics is taught daily to all children in Year R, Year 1 and 2 . Our aim is for most children to be finished Read Write Inc Phonics by the end of the Spring term in year 2.   They will then transition through fluency and multisyllabic words to accelerated reader.

Read Write Inc Progression of sounds
How do we support pupils to catch up?

Children’s progress is regularly monitored through half-termly assessments with the Read Write Inc. Children are grouped into phonics groups depending on their ‘stage and not age’ to allow them to work at their level. Children who are not making expected progress are identified and intervention sessions are put in place to ensure they make progress. Children who are identified as being in the lowest 20% for reading are prioritised for daily reading, focusing on their particular needs. 

How do we train staff to be reading experts?

All teaching and support staff in EYFS and Key stage 1 and KS2 are trained to deliver Read Write Inc. School uses face to face and online training resources to deliver intervention. We invests in development days where the Read Write Inc team from the Cornwall English hub visit school to quality assure provision, coach staff and assist with planning and development. School has its own phonics leader who coaches and quality assures provision in all areas of phonics.

Cornwall English Hub has also provided training for all Teachers in delivering ‘Whole Class Novel’ sessions successfully.

Teaching staff have all received Training in the Inclusive Classroom including how to use scaffolding up to remove barriers to learning.

As children are taught new sounds they identify them on the speed sound chart. They are then able to make links and comparisons between alternative graphemes.

Handwriting – Letter Formation Chart