Reading & Phonics

At Inkersall, our reading curriculum is made up of three strands that are all as important as each other in building our reading culture – pleasure, skills and knowledge.

Our School Reading Culture

Throughout school, we display the love that staff and children have for reading. Each classroom has an area for children to relax and choose a book and has a DEAR (drop everything and read) session to encourage reading for pleasure.

Our amazing library is used by classes throughout the week and helps us to promote the importance of choice in reading.  Our Year 6 Reading Ambassadors and Librarians work to promote a love of reading across school and create displays which help the children to make informed choices when they visit.

Staff are encouraged to read widely and always read their class reader before the children so that they can talk knowledgeably about it together. We have chosen to use the Education Library Service throughout school. Every half term, each teacher chooses boxes of books to support their classroom topics. This means the children have access to a huge variety of fiction and non-fiction texts to support their learning and knowledge building.


Our phonics scheme begins in nursery FS1 by developing those skills needed before learning letter sounds for example, speaking and listening, rhyming, oral storytelling and progresses through FS2. Reception children are taught whole class phonics with a group of children who are still at the pre-phonics stage receiving intervention to develop their phonological awareness.

In EYFS and KS1, we follow the Read Write Inc scheme for teaching phonics. This is taught in whole class or small groups across a year group, allowing for a targeted approach, which enables all children to be learning at the level appropriate to them, to ensure they make good progress. Alongside this, we use ongoing assessment to highlight where small groups or individuals may need extra targeted intervention to continue to move their learning on. Our phonics sessions are well paced, consistent and well-structured and our approach is embedded through the rest of our curriculum to apply knowledge and to be successful.

Where needed, children in KS2 have appropriate phonics sessions from Read, Write Inc to support their phonics development and are able to refer back to familiar resources from the scheme to support their reading and spelling. This includes the RWI ‘Fresh Start’ intervention for our upper KS2 children, where needed.

There are opportunities for parents and carers to attend phonics training and information sessions for advice on how to support children at home with their early reading.

Staff in school have been trained by Read, Write Inc in the teaching and learning of Phonics across the school.

Class Readers

Every class has a ‘real’ whole class book each half term which the teacher will read to develop their love and enjoyment for books. The books have been chosen to give the children access to a really wide range of styles and themes, including classic and more modern texts.  These sessions are very relaxed and the focus is on taking pleasure in books. Our reading curriculum is also planned to allow for extra sessions each week to support deeper discussions based around our text.

Whole Class reading

Whole class reading sessions encourage a love of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whilst working on the skills and knowledge strands of our school reading rope.

One of our sessions each week is based on our class reader and looks at specific reading skills to aid discussion and develop the understanding of a familiar text.

Our ‘linked learning’ sessions support our wider curriculum and begin in Year 1 from Spring and continue all through school to Year 6. The intent of these sessions is to give children access to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts which develop concepts from our GROW curriculum and increase the enjoyment and understanding of poetry and song. These use a whole text discussion approach as we recognise that this is the best way to develop children’s understanding of a text. During our whole class reading sessions, there is a strong emphasis on vocabulary and fluency skills in every year group as this feeds directly into reading comprehension. All other reading skills – retrieval, inference, summary and author intent – are developed within these lessons too.

Children access a variety of challenging texts, taking part in a ‘speedy start’ which develops scanning and retrieval, and in individual work, pair or class discussions which develop other reading skills.

In Key Stage 1, teaching allows the children to look at one text across the weekly sessions to allow for repetition and familiarity of the text, whilst developing vocabulary knowledge and fluency. Children begin to develop their wider reading skills through clear teacher modelling followed by pair and individual practise.

In Key Stage 2, children have 2 of these sessions each week – one that often focuses explicitly on fluency and vocabulary and another that covers the wider reading skills. Teachers model key skills and draw children’s attention to which skills the discussions are covering. Children record their ideas in their English book and add to their thoughts throughout the lessons using purple pen as appropriate.

Homework Reading

As reading is so important to all areas of our learning, we expect the children to read at home at least 3 times a week. The homework planners provide a place for adults and children to write about what they have read, alongside any tricky new vocabulary. Currently, children in F2 and KS1 take a book home which supports their phonic learning. We use the RWI scheme, but children also take a book home to share with their parents so that the children meet a range of characters and topics and get the chance to enjoy lots of different styles of books. Our KS2 scheme has been carefully colour banded to include scheme books and ‘real’ readers. As children progress through school they can choose their own book from within a colour band to encourage them to make decisions about books and see reading as a pleasurable activity. If a child is still on the RWI scheme their book will match their phonic ability.