Hayesdown First School

Striving for excellence together

Phonics and Reading






At Hayesdown First School our aim is for every child to become a fluent reader. We want children to become CONFIDENT, fluent readers in order for them to reach age related expectations or make accelerated progress from their starting point. As well as this we want to help nurture a love of reading in our children, so they will be ENTHUSIASTIC readers and read for pleasure on a regular basis.

Our curriculum is designed around the needs of the pupils in our school and there are a variety of approaches to enable the pupils to make good progress.

The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:

  •  show high levels of AMBITION and achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
  • rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently;
  • read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
  • acquire a wider vocabulary;
  • participate in the teaching of phonics knowledge, skills and understanding in a systematic and enjoyable way;
  • develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
  • develop a love of reading;
  • are HAPPY to read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
  • through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually;
  • develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge.


Our school follows the Read, Write Inc phonics program from Reception into Key Stage 1. When pupils complete the phonics programme, learning and embedding all the Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds, they move onto the RWI spelling program that then runs through Key Stage 2.

Phonics is taught daily in Reception. Year 1 and Year 2 so that all children become fluent readers and can access their learning. Children are taught in small groups according to their reading development – so that teaching can be targeted and specific to children’s needs. Children will bring home a reading book linked to their reading ability and while they are on the RWInc phonics programme they will also have a booked linked to their phonic level.

Regular assessments are carried out by the teachers and the groups are changed accordingly.

Reading in our school is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are accessing books that are the correct level of challenge and content for them. At the same time, we provide books to ensure that children read for pleasure, which help to foster a love of reading.

If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making expected or more than expected progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Phonics assessment;
  • Phonics screening results;
  • Book band colours
  • Summative assessments each term;
  • End of Key stage SATs results.


Reading Comprehension

Once children have “learnt to read” they move on to “reading to learn”. We teach a variety of reading skills including retrieval, inference, author’s choice and intent, links between texts as well as scanning and skimming. We encourage children to read for pleasure and to read a range of texts – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play scripts.

We teach reading every day, ensuring their are opportunities to develop and use reading skills across the whole curriculum. Our whole class guided reading sessions are called RIC sessions ( this stands for Retrieve, Interpret and Choice). Children will read a text which is linked with their project, or chosen by the teacher for interest, and will explore new and challenging vocabulary as well as answering questions about the text. Sometimes pictures and video clips are used to support our RIC sessions.

Throughout the year children also participate in a range of experiences which enhance the reading curriculum such as:

  • Drop and Read with parents
  • World Book day events
  • Book week
  • Wild reading – reading in unusual places!
  • Book fairs
  • Trips to the Frome Library


Early Reading and Phonics Policy April 2021