Early Reading and Phonics


We believe that reading is at the centre of learning. We base our reading on well-known authors and children are given the time to immerse themselves in stories.


We ensure that early language development is key to opening up a whole new world of vocabulary, provide age-appropriate phonics provision and promote a love of reading by immersing children in books and bring reading to life



At Brierley CE Primary School,  pupils are taught phonics using the Read Write Inc (R.W.I.) programme. Pupils work within ability groups which are defined by their performance on R.W.I. phonic assessments.


Pupils are re-assessed every 5 weeks and the groups are reorganised accordingly. The RWI lead ensures that specific sounds are planned for all staff delivering phonics and by using the teacher’s handbooks, set routines are followed to ensure consistency and continuity.


All staff are responsible for organising their R.W.I groups, with the support of the R.W.I lead as required.


Delivery of Phonics

Initial sounds are taught in a specific order.

Sounds taught should be ‘pure’ ie ‘b’, not ‘buh’ as this is central to phonic teaching and ability to recognise sounds in words.

Children are to be taught that the number of graphemes in a word always corresponds to the number of phonemes. This greatly aids spelling.

Set 2 sounds are to be taught after Set 1 (initial sounds)

Letter names are to be introduced with Set 3.



Assessment and Recording

Children are assessed throughout every lesson. Every time partner work is used the teacher assesses the progress of the children. The teacher assesses how children:

read the grapheme chart

read the green and red word lists

decode the ditty/story

comprehend the story


Each group leader identifies pupils that need extra reinforcement of a particular element that has been covered and they are supported by ‘Pinny time’ after the session so that they keep up.


Monitoring and Review

The R.W.I. lead organises the assessment of all pupils accessing phonics and designates pupils to the correct groups, assigns leaders to groups, ‘drops in’ on R.W.I. groups to give advice and to informally check that pupils are in the correct groups.


Where necessary the R.W.I. lead models lessons, directs staff to the appropriate teaching spaces and is responsible for reporting to the governors about the quality of the implementation of R.W.I. and the impact on standards.

Discrete comprehension lessons: At Brierley Primary, we teach lessons which focus on developing pupils’ level of understanding of the text, through discussion, written and oral tasks; and the exploration of new vocabulary. Pupils will be taught to retrieve, infer, predict, summarise, analyse and evaluate a whole class text. The texts that teachers will use will be linked, as much as possible, to the topics being studied in class. For example, Year 1 study My Body in science and comprehension tasks can be linked to the study of the human body to support subject knowledge and reading comprehension skills. To supplement and enhance the reading curriculum, we link both fiction and non-fiction comprehension texts in order to provide a context for children's reading, build subject knowledge and immerse them in a variety of text types. In turn, this will support their understanding of the text and allow them to answer questions with increased independence and skills.

Reading for pleasure: At Brierley Primary, we encourage our pupils to read for pleasure and to read widely. During this time, pupils explore a book of their choice, developing their reading skills and links to their own experiences. Children will be able to change their books regularly. In EYFS and Y1 a love of reading is instilled through shared reading, using large print books and picture books. Pupils learn that words and pictures have meaning through a range of practical activities and familiar stories. Pupils are encouraged to explore sequences in stories and how to make simple predictions. Children also benefit from shared reading sessions with their class teacher each day, during which they hear reading being modelled using lively intonation and expression.  

Each classroom has a reading corner and children are able to choose a book from it that they may read for pleasure. Within the reading corner, there are a range of genres to support and enable children to read a range of different texts. The school library is available for children to use as a reference tool for supporting their learning in the curriculum. For example, if children are studying rivers in geography, they can borrow a book to help them learn about the different stages of a river, current and/or natural disasters such as flooding.

Accelerated Reader Programme

Once children have successfully completed the RWI scheme and are achieving Age Expected reading levels, they will be base lined using the Accelerated Reader programme. This baseline will ensure that each child is given a book that is specific to their level of reading and understanding. Accelerated Reader will also assess reading ages so that this can be closely monitored throughout school.

How Accelerated Reader works

Once the baseline assessment has been completed, the children will be assigned a ZPD code and signposted to the appropriate books for selection. This ensures the children are reading within their correct level for support and challenge. Once each the child has finished reading the book, they will complete an online test that will assess their progress in word recognition, fluency and understanding. If the child achieves 80% or more, they are able to select a new book within their ZPD code or move up if deemed appropriate.  Accelerated Reader encourages children to earn points and rewards for completion of these online tests and other interactive comprehension based quizzes.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.


Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.



Supporting documents for teaching and learning Early Reading and Phonics:

Phonics Progression and Teaching Sequence in Early Reading.

Read, Write, Inc Programme Expectation of Progress.

Speed Sounds lists for Set 1, 2, and 3.

Parent Guide to Read, Write Inc 1

Parent Guide to Read, Write, Inc 2