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St Clement's and St John's

CofE Infant School

to inspire learning for life; to give you a future and a hope


Reading including phonics

At St Clement’s and St John’s Infant school, we aspire for all of our children to become fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want all of our children to develop a lifelong love of reading, language and literature.


The Reading 'Big Ideas'

The knowledge and skills children learn must be co-ordinated and coherent. In order to achieve this in our curriculum, we have identified the key concepts or overarching ideas within each subject. To enable the children to access them, we call these the ‘Big Ideas’.

In Reading these are:

  • Enjoyment and engagement
  • Phonics 
  • Fluency and accuracy
  • Comprehension


Through skilled teaching and opportunities to share quality texts together, we want the children to gain a good knowledge of a range of authors and text types and to learn more about the world around them through the knowledge they gain from stories and texts. It is our aim for all of our children to meet age related expectations in reading by the time they leave us at the end of Year 2.


At St Clement’s, we know that English has a pre-eminent place in education and society and that the future success of our children is linked directly to a broad vocabulary, love of reading and an ability to effectively communicate through text and written language. We strongly believe that all children should have an equal opportunity to succeed in learning to read, regardless of their background or previous opportunities.


A high quality education in English, reading in particular, provides children with invaluable opportunities to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. The language skills that the children develop during reading are essential in enabling them to participate fully as a member of society in later life. 


The aim of teaching Reading at our school is:

  • To develop pupils’ confidence in their ability to read words and understand a wide range of increasingly more complex texts and a broad range of vocabulary.
  • To develop the children’s compassion and empathy skills. The sharing of stories and the reading of fiction provides the children with valuable opportunities to understand what others are thinking and feeling, and the importance of understanding those who are different to themselves.
  • To inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the world through the reading of high quality texts.
  • To develop the children’s creativity and imagination by provoking their sense of fantasy and exploration, which, in turn will support the children in becoming strong, independent readers and writers.




Read Write Inc (RWI)

At St Clement’s, we use RWI as our phonics programme, as this programme was developed predominantly in schools with high numbers of EAL children. RWI was selected as our synthetic phonics programme due to its focus on repetition, fluency and consolidation, which benefits all learners and is particularly supportive of EAL children learning English.


Our phonics progression map has been informed by prior Early Excellence generated EYFS baselines. Previous baselines have indicated that a significant proportion of pupils beginning FS2 (Reception) are below typical age-related attainment in skills such as recognition and generation of alliterative sounds, correct articulation of voice sounds and accurate oral blending and oral segmentation.


Within RWI sessions pupils develop sound knowlegde and word building skills, paired reding of texts, common exeption word (CEW) reding and writing as well as comprehension and group discussions. Teaching Staff and Teaching Assistants receive numerous training and development sessions to support high quality phonics teaching and high quality reading sessions.


Once the children have completed the RWI phonics programme (after passing the National Year 1 Phonics Screening), lessons follow the RWI 'Comprehension' program. These lessons focus on developing comprehension skills, enabling children to develop skills such as retrieving information, making inferences and predictions and developing vocabulary.

Reading in School

Staff reading individually with pupils regularly within school. Early readers have 'phonics flashes' to develop their word reading skills so that once they are assessed at Yellow RWI level, they are able to read books with adults to develop fluency and comprehension skills. 


To support the teaching of our reading curriculum, we also have 'resourceful reader' sessions within the week. These enable staff to model and develop reading skills such as expression and fluency plus develop vocabulary and comprehension skills through carefully planned modelling, discussions and teaching points.


Reading at Home and Parent Partnership

We understand the important role of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop a love of reading, as well as their word reading and comprehension skills. We aim to encourage a strong home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to support and enhance the skills being taught at school.


Children's home reading books are matched to their assessed phonic knowledge and reading level. For children working within the RWI program these match the colour levels used for teaching. These books provide the children with a wide selection (fiction and non-fiction) of fully decodable reading books to read at home which support their RWI phonics learning within the classroom. The books are sent home once the sound set is secure. Therefore, the home reading books are consolidatory and aim to improve children’s confidence and fluency. The books range from Red Ditty through to Grey and include notes for parents and carers on how to help their child at home. A support card is also sent home to the parents to inform them of the sounds and red words (the words that should be sight-read without blending) that their child will be using within their current set of books. Before a child has secured the first sound set, Lilac Book Band Books are sent home to encourage positive book behaviours and development of oracy skills through discussion of picture books.


Once children complete Grey RWI level they continue their reading journey using the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) colour bands.










(Gold ORT)

White ORT

Lime ORT



Silver/Grey ORT




Expected for end of YR




Expected for the end of Y1


Expected for the end of Y2


Expected Start of Yr3



We set an expectation of at least 3 reads per week of their levelled reading book. This 'repeated reads' approach allows children to develop as decoding readers to fluent readers. 

  • First Read: Decoding - using phonic knowledge to decod and read words
  • Second Read: Fluency - story becomes more familiar. Children have the chance to read again and show less reliance on phonics. readiing more words by sight.
  • Third Read: Fluency and Oral Comprehension - re-reding the book with expression, pace and understanding. 


Children also have opportunities to take books home from the school library and from their classes ‘Bedtime Story Box’ to read with their parents or to have read to them.

Phonics and Reading Workshops

We lead workshops for parents each year. These are a great opportunity for parents and carers to learn about how we teach reading & phonics and join in with practical activities. All resources are saved on the website (please use the link below to access these) as well as being emailed to all parents. 


Celebrating success in Reading

At St Clement’s, we love to celebrate the success of all of our children. As a school, we have a reading reward scheme which aims to encourage the children to read regularly at home. The theme of the challenge changes each year to keep the children motivated from planets, to gems and colours of the rainbow. By reading at home and completing challenges such as reading a book online, reading a recipe, creating fact files and book reviews etc, the children work through the stages of the reading challenge earning prizes such as badges, bookmarks and certificates. At the final stage of the challenge, the children win tea and cake with Mr Poole and a friend! These successes are celebrated each week in our whole school family worship.


Reading at St Clement’s is progressive and is planned to meet the needs of all our children. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure that the children are receiving the correct level of support, as well as being challenged in their learning of reading. Assessment procedures used to assess progress and to measure the impact of our curriculum are conducted in the following ways;

  • Regular RWI assessments to assess the children’s positioning within the programme
  • Termly Assessments where applicable (e.g. SATs papers in Year 2)
  • Standardised Assessments (SATs and Year 1 Phonics Screening)
  • Pupil progress meetings
  • Performance management meetings
  • Moderation - in house, across Coastal Learning Partnership and at BCP moderation events (Year 2).

For more information about reading and how to support your child at home click this link: