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Read Write Inc. Phonics – information for parents

The links below show how we teach children to read and write with Read Write Inc. Phonics.
If your child is in a Read Write Inc. school or if you have bought a parent pack, the films will help you and your child practise together at home.

Top tips to support your child’s reading

Books for Topics

For each year group from Reception to Year 6, you can access an online booklist of 50 recommended reads, a printable PDF poster and a printable PDF checklist. Please click on the link below to access.

Our Approach to the Teaching of Reading


At St Paul’s, our intent is to ensure that every pupil reads for pleasure. We provide a carefully structured, richly varied approach to the teaching of reading. The aim is to ensure that our pupils achieve the necessary skills to read with fluency and understanding as well as developing a positive attitude and life-long love of literature.


The journey begins in Nursery where stories and nursery rhymes form the basis of many areas of the learning experience. Children begin to learn stories and rhymes by heart and enjoy sharing books in class and at home. Pupils from Reception to Year 6 visit the School Library which is well-stocked and kept up to date with the latest titles.


The systematic teaching of phonics is delivered using the Read Write Inc Scheme. All books and resources are kept in a shared area and accessed by staff. The school subscribes to the Oxford Owl on-line resources to ensure Read Write Inc teaching has the best resources to support the books.

In Nursery, children are introduced to letters when it is deemed appropriate by the class teacher. They follow the Nursery Programme for Read Write Inc. In Reception, Year 1 and the beginning of Year 2, children follow the phonics programme RWI which we deliver in three weekly sessions of 40 minutes, focusing on the phonics, reading and comprehension parts of the scheme.

Vocabulary and Fluency

As soon as pupils start in Nursery, they are exposed to a vocabulary-rich environment. Throughout school, vocabulary is taught explicitly through the curriculum, topics and a rich variety of texts used in class. Children understand the value of using ambitious vocabulary in their written work and a lot of focus is placed on vocabulary during reading lessons. Y2-6 use ‘Magpie books’ and displays as part of their working walls. At the beginning of every reading lesson, vocabulary is the focus.

Guided Reading

In Reception, Year 1 and the beginning of Year 2, children take part in guided reading sessions in a small group, led by the teacher and teaching assistant. They use a range of resources including books and printed text. These sessions focus on vocabulary, building fluency and expression as well as comprehension. In Year 2, children experience a balance of small group and whole class guided reading sessions, using a wide variety of books and texts.

From Y3-Y6, Whole Class Guided Reading forms the basis of teaching and learning. Three weekly sessions of 40 minutes ensure quality of provision.

Progression of Skills

Guided Reading lessons are based on progression in Reading Vipers skills (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (Ks2). Teachers plan sessions using questions based around the VIPERS skills.

Reading Books

In Reception and Year 1, new ‘Book Bag Books’ have been purchased to ensure that children have a reading book to take home which is closely matched to their phonic ability (based on their Read Write Inc Level).

From Year 2-3, children access book band books, matched to their reading level. During Year 3, the majority of children begin to read freely and may choose from a wide range of appropriate texts to encourage reading for pleasure. Teachers are very knowledgeable about authors and children’s books and can guide pupils to try a variety of authors. Children from Reception to Y6 take home reading and library books to share at home.

Parental Engagement

Parents are encouraged to be a large part of their child’s learning journey across the curriculum and especially in reading. Reading Record Books provide a dialogue between teachers and parents and Parent Information Meetings and Transition Meetings always have an important focus on Reading.

First News

We value reading very highly at St Paul’s and therefore invest in the provision of quality resources. We are very proud to subscribe to the First News children’s newspaper. We receive six copies weekly of the printed paper which the pupils really enjoy. This provides a fantastic opportunity to develop speaking and listening skills as well as being an invaluable resource across the curriculum, keeping children up-to-date with world affairs. The on-line resources are an excellent source of comprehension and word-based puzzles to encourage children’s reading for pleasure.


We are also very proud of our school library and each year a group of Year 5 children work to support the library manager as librarians, taking care of the books and maintaining the library. They monitor the most popular books and promote new releases.

Reading Buddies

A small group of Y6 children are selected to become ‘Reading Buddies’. They have a special role to help promote reading for pleasure and encourage younger readers Y2. Children are paired up and work together weekly, sharing texts. The older partner is given special training as to how to support, encourage and question the younger partner about the book. Y6 pupils apply in writing for the role, explaining in detail why they feel they have the necessary skills.

Celebration of Reading

Throughout the year, Reading is celebrated and enjoyed in a variety of ways including World Book Day which is always celebrated with a real purpose for reading, rather than as a dress-up day. Parents are invited into school for events such as ‘Book Tastings’ where the children hosted a reading event to share with their families. We also work with the local public library to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge where children work towards a reading medal during the school holidays that is presented in school. Year 6 children take part in the Stockton Children’s Book of the Year Competition where they take on the role of book critics, writing reviews and voting for their favourite latest release

Each class celebrates and promotes reading in a variety of ways including:

attractive book / reading areas
updated selection of appropriate texts
Reading buddies (teddies to take home to share books with)
Rich variety of topic-related texts.
Impact Monitoring

Reading is assessed initially through the Read Write Inc Assessments to ensure that children are developing phonic knowledge and fluency. This also ensures their reading books that are taken home are precisely matched to their phonic ability. Groups are reassessed half-termly and pupil progress is closely monitored by the class teacher and English Leader. Children who are not making expected progress will receive additional 1:1 coaching to fill any gaps.

From Summer Term in Reception. pupils are also assessed using formal PIRA reading assessments. Pupils in Y2 and Y6 will also be assessed as part of end of Key Stage Statutory Assessments.
Teachers keep records of pupil progress in reading as part of Guided reading, whether whole class or group. The work children produce in these lessons also provides evidence of their progress in reading. This is monitored using the ‘Reading Profiles’ (Y1-6) at the front of English Skills books. These are updated termly to help provide a clear picture of pupils’ reading across the curriculum.

Pupils Requiring Additional Support

Teachers have a good understanding of their pupils’ progress in reading. Any pupils at risk of falling behind receive additional support to fill gaps in phonics or they may read to an adult daily. The Better Reading Scheme is also available in school and may be implemented following discussion with the Senco. Nessy is an on-line programme to support children with dyslexia or who may have additional difficulty in reading. This is suitable for children with a reading age of 5 years and above and is therefore usually appropriate from Year 2. In Reception and Years 1 and 2, children may be given an account for the programme ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’. Again, progress is monitored by teachers and discussed at Pupil Progress Meetings. Children can access both programmes at home to further support their progress.

For each year group from Reception to Year 6, you can access an online booklist of 50 recommended reads, a printable PDF poster and a printable PDF checklist. Please click on the link below to access.

Books for Topics

Reading for pleasure is more important to children’s successes than education or social class. The Summer Reading Challenge gets three quarters of a million children into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence during the long holidays while Chatterbooks reading groups help build a lifelong reading habit. Because everything changes when we read.

Click on link below for more information

Reading Agency