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Phonics and Reading in Key Stage 1

Phonics and Reading in Key Stage 1


Northern Primary School follows the Read Write Inc programme for phonics and reading. Read Write Inc. Phonics is a complete literacy programme, for 3 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write and for 7 and 8 year-olds needing to catch up quickly. Although reading is taught using synthetic phonics, the programme also covers all of the new National Curriculum requirements for language and literacy.


In Reception the intention is for all children to:

  • Read storybooks and non-fiction books closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge
  • Take home Phonics storybooks to share
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Learn to spell using known sounds
  • Write confidently by practising what they want to write out loud first
  • Work well with a partner.


By the end of Year 1 the intention is for all children to be accurate and speedy readers and ready to move onto the next stage.


The programme begins with recognition of initial sounds but swiftly moves to blends and digraphs. Key words (frequently used words with irregular spellings which cannot be sounded out, e.g all, my, like) are introduced early. Children also learn that different letter combinations can make the same sound e.g. zip, buzz, rose.


Pupils will work in groups at a level appropriate to their skills and understanding. Assessments are conducted half-termly and children may regularly move to work with a different group.


At Northern Primary, Read Write Inc sessions take place for forty minutes, three times per week along with a daily twenty minute phonics session. Each group focuses on one book per week which includes repetition and consolidation of speed sounds and words. Writing activities are included. The children will then take the same book home for practice and consolidation. This is to ensure confidence which develops a love of reading. Other supplementary books are also sent home which include a Read, Write Inc Book Bag book as well as a book from a different reading scheme.


Once pupils have completed the programme, the Year 2 teacher will introduce "Talk for Writing" which uses a story book for study of all aspects of literacy (phonics, reading, writing, spelling, speaking and listening, drama, structure, sentence work etc.)


As the children move through the school, reading books from specific schemes are used with the main emphasis being on developing the skills, independence and enthusiasm towards freely choosing a quality book from the class library. Developing a love of reading is the driving force behind our teaching of phonics and reading.