Arkwright Primary School

English - Reading

"Reading can take you places you have never been before."  (Dr Seuss)

Intent- Why is English so important?

Reading is of key importance and is at the heart of our curriculum: we want every child at Arkwright Primary School to love books. We prioritise reading in our curriculum from the moment they arrive in Nursery up until they leave in Year 6. We aim for all children to be able to read fluently and competently by the time they leave us so that they become avid readers and learners for life. To do this, we aim to develop decoding, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge and comprehension strategies whilst promoting a positive culture of reading.  Each classroom has an inviting reading area and our library is at the heart of the school. The children are welcome to browse here to find a book to enjoy. 



Early Reading at Arkwright Primary School

The first step for all of our children to becoming fluent and competent readers begins with phonics and early reading. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. 

We teach early reading right from the start of Nursery children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One and Two to ensure children become fluent readers.

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. Children make a strong start in EYFS: teaching begins in the Autumn term. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (please see below for the progression). Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.

Half termly assessments take place through Reception, Year 1 and 2 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.

Reading Practice Sessions

Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, read fully decodable books with an adult 3 times per week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. These books are then sent home for children to build their reading fluency and showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge to their parents/carers. These 3 reading practice sessions each have a different focus; decoding, prosody and comprehension. Our reading books in Reception, Y1 and Y2: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Big Cat books.

To read our phonics and early reading policy CLICK HERE.  

To find our full Reception and Year 1 teaching programme overview to see what your child will learn and when CLICK HERE

If you have any questions about our implementation of phonics and early reading you can also email our Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised leader.

Beyond phonics and reading in Key Stage 2

At Arkwright Primary School, we have chosen to adopt Ashley Booth’s guided reading scheme for our Key Stage 2 children. This provides children with wide ranging opportunities to read and enjoy high quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts.

During whole class guided reading sessions, children work to develop and hone their key reading skills: decoding, vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarising.

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



The children are assessed during each reading session through their verbal contributions. The reading journals that the children use also provide regular assessment opportunities for the teachers. In addition to this, teacher assessment is validated through termly summative assessments. In Key Stage 2, the children also take part in a scheme called Accelerated Reader where they are assessed regularly and given an appropriate reading band to allow enjoyment and suitable challenge.