Reading and phonics

Reading Intent  

At Fairstead Community Primary School and Nursery School, we aim to encourage children to develop a love of books and a desire to read accurately, fluently with understanding and enjoyment. We feel children thinking positively about reading and identifying themselves as readers supports and develops children’s cultural capital. It also allows them to access the curriculum and prepares them for their next stages in learning. We encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction, and also for pleasure.  

Across KS1 and 2 we have a spiral, knowledge based curriculum model in place to teach reading through the threshold concepts of reading words accurately and understanding texts. Children develop their understanding of these concepts through the first year of learning, securing and deepening their knowledge through the second year. Progress measures or milestones are set out for the end of each phase. Teachers plan half termly or termly topics, and children have repeated opportunities to experience these milestones in different contexts and through different texts. We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material across the curriculum.  

Our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. Reading is a daily lesson within our curriculum, with phonics taught through Read Write Inc. at EYFS and KS1, and shared reading at KS2. Children are supported by our expert reading team to become skilled at word reading, through daily, engaging phonics sessions in EYFS and Key Stage 1. In KS2 shared reading lessons teachers use a range of age appropriate, challenging texts to specifically develop reading knowledge and understanding across six key skills referred to as VIPERS. 


Up to 15 minutes phonic teaching using Read, Write Inc. strategies  


An entry level record is completed at the beginning of Reception year and used as a starting point for phonics teaching.  

Term 1    20 mins teaching per group,  

Term 2    30 mins teaching per group  

Term 3   40-60 minutes teaching per group  


1 hour per teaching group  


Shared reading lesson 30-40 minutes 

Consistent and regular assessment informs teaching and identifies children who may need swift, effective intervention and 1:1 support to address gaps in learning or to provide additional challenge. SEND learners are supported through specific intervention programmes and tailored support plans.  

Reading at home is encouraged and promoted, and we value the support parents/carers give at home by reading with their children. Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home.

Through KS2 children have access to a range of levelled reading books to support reading at home – children take a ‘Star Reading Assessment’ each term which gives them a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and from this they can select a book that matches their reading age and level. All children at Fairstead are encouraged to also choose free choice  (Reading for Pleasure) books from the school library to widen their reading experiences and interests. 

Reading Implementation  

Teaching of Reading in EYFS and KS1  

The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1. At Fairstead, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc.’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Our staff teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. All children in EYFS and KS1 have daily ‘Read, Write Inc.’ sessions in small ability groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling, reading and writing activities that are matched to their current needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension.  

Each group follows either a 3 day or 5 day session timetable linked to their phonic level. This always includes a speed sound lesson.  

All children read aloud daily during their ‘Read, Write Inc.’ sessions. Children in EYFS and KS1 have daily ‘Talk through Stories’ sessions, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. During the summer term in Year 2, there are planned opportunities for children to begin shared reading activities linked to VIPERS to aid their transition into Y3. 

Teaching of Reading in KS2 

In KS2, the children take part whole class shared reading sessions, children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS).  


Which word tells you that….?  

What does this word or phrase tell you about…?  

Find one word in the text which means…?   


How do these words make the reader feel?  

What was …..? thinking when….? 

How can you tell that…?  


What is happening now? Before this? After this?  

What does this paragraph suggest will happen next? What makes you think this?   


What structures has the author used?  

What affect does…. Have on the audience?  

How does the author engage the reader here?   


What can you learn from ….in this section?  

Give one example of …  

What happened to…?  


(KS1 use of sequence) 

What happened after…?  

Can you summarise the opening/middle/end of the story in a sentence?   

Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills.  

All books shared with children are age appropriate and matched to the level of the class. A majority of the books are selected from ‘The 5 plagues of Reading’ which are:-  

  1. Archaic Language 
  2. Non-Linear time sequences 
  3. Narratively Complex 
  4. Figurative/Symbolic Text 
  5. Resistant Texts 

The children also access a range of non-fiction texts and poetry. 

Reading Impact  

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. By the end of KS2 and as our Year 6 transition into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that an enjoyment and love of reading is the key to all learning. 

In EYFS and KS1 the impact of phonics teaching is measured through regular assessments, tracking of progress and PSC (Phonics Screening Check) at the end of Y1. The expert reading team regularly use these assessments to tailor groupings to suit children’s needs and understanding.  

Through Y1 to Y6, termly summative testing and analysis are used to measure the impact of reading teaching, along with teachers’ ongoing formative assessments during lessons. 

Regular monitoring takes place through observations, book looks and by gaining pupil voice. 

Related Documents

Fairstead Reading Offer 2023




Contact Us

Headteacher: Daniel Farthing
Address: William Booth Road
Kings Lynn
PE30 4RR

Tel: 01553 774666


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