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Bowlee ParkCommunity Primary School

Knowledge...your passport to the world!

Reading and Phonics

Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the RWI (Read, Write Inc) programme. It is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words.


Read Write Inc. combines 5 clear steps to ensure real success in literacy:

  • A systematic and dynamic whole-school approach
  • High quality literacy teaching
  • Inspiring whole-school literacy training
  • Effective assessment and grouping
  • Keeps parents fully supportive

There are two elements to reading that your child will develop in phonics and comprehension. All of the teaching and activities around reading that the school puts in place will be aimed at supporting one of these elements.




In England, children are taught to read the words on the page using phonics. Phonics is an approach to reading that focuses on building words from sounds. A sound might be represented by a letter (such as ‘s’ or ‘m’) or a group of letters (like ‘ch’ or ‘igh’). In Reception, children will start by learning the letters and the sounds they make, and how to put them together to read simple words. For example, once they know the individual sounds for ‘s’, ‘a’ and ‘t’ they can blend them together to form the word ‘sat’.




Good comprehension skills are vital in reading as they help children understand the meaning of the words, as well as supporting their vocabulary and knowledge of the world. It is likely that children will be able to understand books and stories that are much more complicated than the books they can read by themselves, so most comprehension teaching will focus on children listening to and experiencing books that are read to them, or with them, and then answering questions and discussing them.


Reading at home.


In nursery pupils take home a story book that parents/ carers share with them.  When they have learnt sounds they also take home a sound blending book from RWI.  In reception the pupils take home a book with no words in to develop book reading skills.  Pupils are expected to discuss the pictures, developing their vocabulary. Once they have learnt enough sounds pupils take home fully decodable books from RWI to practise reading the words with sounds in that they have been taught.  These books also have a controlled number of ‘tricky words’ in where the decoding of which has been specifically taught. Pupils in year 1 continue to take home the fully decodable books to embed the sounds taught in the RWI lessons.   


In Year 2 pupils continue to use the RWI reading books until they can confidently decode words involving most common grapheme representation of all the phonemes.  Pupils will then read a selection of books that are age related.


In Years 3-6 we use the Accelerated Reader programme, reading is transformed into high-quality reading practice that fuels growth: Reading quizzes monitor comprehension, while literacy skills and vocabulary quizzes extend student learning and build skills mastery.

In addition to their reading book pupils in the Reception and Key Stage 1 take home a story book chosen from the class library.  These books are for parents / carers to read to their child to develop a love of reading. In Key Stage 2 pupils take home a non-fiction free choice book in addition to their Accelerated Reader book.


Do not compare the book level your child is on with those of their classmates. We wouldn’t expect all children to be the same height when they start school, so neither should we expect them to read at the same level straightaway. If you’re concerned about the progress your child is making, make an appointment to talk to the teacher about it. Above all, your child needs to know that you value their efforts. Children learn to read gradually over time, not suddenly over-night and it can take lots of practice and support from parents and teachers to become fluent. Remember to praise your child whatever level they are at.


At Bowlee Park we want all of our children to be confident and competent readers. As part of school policy we ask that you read with your children for at least 15 minutes per night. This small amount of time can have a big impact on your child's learning.

Thank you for your support with such an important matter.