Teaching of Reading

At Windy Nook Primary School reading is a priority for all children. We are determined that every pupil will learn to read. We believe reading is the key for future learning, and that ensuring children are proficient readers will enable them to access the entire curriculum and avoid falling behind. At Windy Nook Primary School we are sequential in our approach to the reading curriculum.

How do we teach reading in Early Years and Key Stage 1?

Throughout the primary school journey, we teach pupils all the basic skills needed to enable a child to read independently.

We want your child to love reading, and to want to read for enjoyment. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. We start in the Nursery by providing quality experiences of listening to and retelling stories, and singing nursery rhymes, developing vocabulary and encouraging children to talk about stories and relate to experiences. Children are also a program of pre-phonic skills which develops aural and oral sound awareness and discrimination. This ensure children are ready to access more formal phonics teaching when they move to the reception year.

In Reception and Key Stage 1 children are taught high quality phonics using the RWInc program. This program quickly develops skills essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know.

Children are assessed half termly so that they are grouped according to their phonic ability. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress. Children who are not making progress will access intervention and in some cases have one-to-one support

Teachers read to the children every single day so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information texts. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.

How do children learn to read?

Learning to read does not happen all at once. It involves a series of stages that lead, over time, to independent reading and to high levels of fluency. Each child will also engage in focussed teaching of reading during phonics. They will also read with a teacher or TA each week. Once children take reading books home, they are expected to read at home at least three times a week to an adult. Teachers, TA’s listen to struggling readers more frequently.

How long will it take to learn to read well?

Every child is different and children will learn to read at different speeds. By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for their age.

In the summer term of Year 1, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the children. We will let you know how your child has done. Children who do not pass the phonics check in Year 1 retake the assessment during Year 2 to ensure that they have made progress.

How can I help with Read, Write Inc?

Within the first half term of your child starting Reception, you will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading and show you the resources we use. During the meeting, there are lots of suggestions on how you can help your child to read. Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress!

You can help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly by searching on YouTube for ‘Read Write Inc. Phonemes Pronunciation Guide’.  These ‘speed sounds’ are used throughout school – even in upper Key Stage 2 –  and also link into spelling work, a good understanding of these sounds really does make a difference!

These golden rules will help you:

  • Practise sounds from an early age.
  • Teach sounds rather than the alphabet.
  • Use Fred talk when reading words.
  • Use Fred fingers when spelling out words.
  • Make reading fun with the use of predicting and questioning.
  • Read books of a higher level at home, together.
  • Help to teach your child the 44 sounds.
  • Help your children develop new vocabulary.

Please find attached the Early Years Reading and Phonics Policy

Early Reading and Phonics Policy Windy Nook Primary School

For information about supporting your child with phonics please visit the Read write Inc website  or click on the link below or scan the QR code to watch videos that support parent and carers.

RWI Parent Information Videos

We host a Early Reading / Phonics meeting for parents every year in the Autumn Term. Click on the link below for a copy of the Reading Meeting Power point. Current Reception parents will have received a copy of this document via ping in the Autumn term.


Other resources that you may wish to download to use and support your child at home.

rwi phonics formation mat updated 2022

rwi-set-1 flashcards – letter and rhyme hook

rwi-set-2 flashcards – letter and rhyme hook

Simple & Complex Speed Sounds

How do we continue to develop reading skills in KS2?

As children’s reading skills develop, they access a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, to give breadth and balance in developing their independent reading skills.

In addition, and to enable children to become confident readers with a love of reading, we have a variety of initiatives in place across the school.

  • ‘Must Reads’ – are a set of quality classic and contemporary texts that are age appropriate for each phase throughout the school. They are shared with the children at story times and as ‘reading for enjoyment’ and can also be found on the school website’s virtual library.
  • Whole-class reading comprehension – as the children develop their basic reading skills and become more fluent, whole class lessons with a reading comprehension focus look at, for example, inference and deduction. These are teacher-led lessons with peers supporting each other. These sessions happen daily in Years 3 & 4, to support children in their comprehension of more challenging texts.
  • Reading Interventions – to give those children who may need an extra boost with their reading we have put in place BRP (Better Reading Partnership), FFT (Fischer Family Trust) and Fostering Fluency for where and when reading intervention is required.
  • Reading Plus – is an online reading program used by Year 5 and 6 pupils.
  • School libraries – we have two school libraries which operate on a simple borrowing system and are run by staff and Upper Key Stage 2 pupils. This is to promote a love of reading from an early age and give the children access to a range of texts free of charge.
  • Book Fayres and World Book Day – Windy Nook Primary School celebrates World Book Day every year, with a range of book-based activities, as well as hosting a week-long book fayre in school. WH Smith also visit our school and kindly donate a book to each child.