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At Hollingwood Primary School, we believe that Reading is the heart of the curriculum. Our creative and highly engaging curriculum inspires and supports learners to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills; thereby enabling them to become interested, effective and active lifelong learners. Our use of carefully selected high-quality texts, ensures that learners are exposed to a range of texts, including those from different cultures, during their time at Hollingwood Primary. 


Reading is encouraged to ensure we promote a culture of children who love to read. Learners are immersed in vocabulary-rich learning environments which support language development, and help to expand their own vocabulary.  

Early reading begins in Nursery where the adults promote a love of reading and listening to stories alongside laying the foundations of their phonics learning journey.  


By the end of Key Stage One our children are fluent readers who enjoy the delights of reading for pleasure and to learn and those children who are continuing to develop these skills are given the support they require through effective interventions.  

Our challenging and inspiring English curriculum, which is aligned to the National Curriculum, nurtures creative thinking to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills when reading and writing a range of age-appropriate genres.


At Hollingwood Primary School we recognise that reading is a key life skill and that the ability to read brings life-long pleasure. The teaching of phonics and early reading throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 is of the highest priority. Our intent is that all children quickly become enthusiastic and motivated readers. They have the ability to recognise, blend and segment sounds, in order to read words, as well as reading sight words, in order to become confident, fluent readers, who show a good understanding of what they have read. Our children read a wide range of high-quality genres and texts, promoting a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure and for information, as well as using reading to promote reflective thinking. 


At Hollingwood Primary School we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly, following. the Read Write Inc programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. 


We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. 


Our intent if for the children to be knowing more remembering more, understanding more. 



'The most important starting point is to read to children. Reading to children is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading.

By reading stories aloud to children every day, you are forming a link for them between reading, comfort and love. When you love a book, your children will want to hear it again and again! Children thrive on repetition, so when you’ve read Room on the Broom for the hundredth time, remember you are hard wiring their brains for success.' (Ruth Miskin, 2020)


At Hollingwood Primary School, we follow the systematic synthetic phonics programme, 'Read Write Inc'. Phonics is taught on a daily basis throughout the EYFS and KS1 and targeted interventions are delivered using Read Write Inc Fresh Start in KS2. We are committed to every child learning to read as quickly as possible with the strongest start to reading in the Foundation Stage. We follow Ruth Miskin's 'Read Write Inc Phonics' programme daily in EYFS and KS1 and follow the programme rigorously.


Read Write Inc sessions take place every morning for all Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children, as the pace and consistency of the programme is a key element to developing reading skills for all children. This is integral to allowing our children to effectively learn the rest of the school curriculum using their knowledge and skill in reading.


Our ultimate aims and objectives within the Read Write Inc. programme are for the children to be able to learn and apply sound blending skills and to learn to segment words in order to be able to create skilled and confident readers. Children also learn to read and spell words that do not conform to regular phonetic patterns (High Frequency Words) and decode both fiction and non-fiction texts through discussion, performance and teacher led activities. 


Following a short series of Read Write Inc. lessons, children are then given accurately matched, fully decodable Read Write Inc. books that allow the children to apply their phonic knowledge and practice reading at home with their parents. This means that the books contain only the sounds in which the children have already been taught so far and leaves nothing for the children to 'guess' when reading (which can often lead to errors). It is therefore important for the children to experience success when reading these books and they must be celebrated for reading these fluently at home. Allow them to show off their reading ability to you at home and share the joy of reading together!



Weekly Phonics Workshops


Every Tuesday from 3.15-3.45pm we offer workshops for parents to help them understand the way we teach phonics at Hollingwood Primary School. We start with teaching parents how to say the pure sounds of letters through teaching set 1 sounds then moving on to teaching special friends and oral blending. 


EYFS – Nursery



We have the highest aspirations for our children to learn to read and make reading a priority at Hollingwood Primary School. The most important starting point is to read to children. Reading to children is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading. By reading stories aloud to our children every day, we hope to form a link between reading and comfort and love. When adults love a book, children want to hear it again, and again, and again…! Children thrive on repetition, so when we read books over again, we are hard wiring their brains for success. Often, the more we read, the more the story ‘belongs’ to the child. When children know the story well they will want to ‘read it’ over and over again, joining in with the actions and expressions that adults use.


Parent video: Why read to your child?

Visit You Tube to hear more about reading

Parent video: Why read to your child? - YouTube

Stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs


Children need lots of opportunities to develop familiarity with stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs. As children grow, they build strong emotional attachments to the memories associated with learning stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs. They become an important link between past and present, as they are passed down from generation to generation.


As children chant the exaggerated patterns in the rhymes or songs, they develop a strong sensitivity to rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. On each repetition, they deepen their familiarity with the words and phrases. The more children know the rhyme, the more they ‘own it’. By reading aloud to our children, we hope to take them into a world that goes well beyond our typical everyday spoken language. Stories teach children to:


  • Sustain attention
  • Learn thousands of new words
  • Deepen their knowledge of words on every retelling
  • Hear exaggerated patterns in words and phrases- discrete sounds, rhyme and alliteration
  • Link thoughts from one part of the story to another
  • Become familiar with complex and compound sentences
  • Understand the emotions of others
  • Build pictures in their minds from the words on a page
  • Find out about new places, people and things
  • Understand the nuance of humour
  • Follow a plot with twists and turns
  • Understand suspense and predict what’s about to happen next


In the final term of nursery children will begin to learn the pictures for RWI and make links to sounds and letters. 



EYFS – Reception


Children are introduced to phonics within the first two weeks of the Reception year.

All children are taught phonics following Letters and Sounds, using Read Write Inc. This marks the start to a structured and systematic approach to the teaching of synthetic phonic work and grapheme-phoneme. The process of segmenting and blending whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught.  Read Write Inc speed sound cards and rhymes are used to enable children to form a concrete image of how to write letters. During this phase the children are also introduced to reading and spelling common and tricky words.  


Approximately 3 new sounds are introduced each week.

Set 1 sounds (Word time 1.1 – 1.7) are taught for approximately 12 weeks



Set 2 sounds (and set 1 recap) are taught in the Spring term and the first half of the summer term.


Set 3 sounds are introduced in the second half of the summer term.


Key Stage 1


All children in Year 1 continue to follow the Read Write Inc programme continuing with Set 3 sounds.


Key Stage 2


Children who have not yet mastered phonics continue on the Read Write Inc scheme through catch-up and Fresh Start Phonics sessions in Key Stage 2.


Planning and Lesson Structure


Phonics is taught daily. All staff teaching phonics plan lessons using the Read Write Inc structure, including speed Sounds, Words Time, green words, red words, alien words, reading books, and Hold a sentence. New sounds are taught on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday then the sounds are reviewed on a Thursday and Friday. 



Individual Reading Books


All children receive individual reading books to practise reading at home. Each week children will be sent some with either a Sound Blending Book and or a Book Bag Book each week which is matched to Storybooks to match the story that is being read in their phonics groups. Children will also bring home a library book of their choice to read for pleasure. 


Assessment and Expectations


Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and to plan interventions for those needing extra help using the daily Fast Track Tutoring programme. All children are formally assessed every six weeks.   The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 and receive additional intervention support to help them reach the standard. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring support with reading and spelling.


What should children know when?




All Read Write Inc phonics resources can be found in the phonics unit within the EYFS classroom. All members of staff teaching phonics have their own cady with all the resources required to teach RWI. 



Role of the subject leader

The subject leader is responsible for monitoring children’s attainment and progress to ensure that all learners complete their programme of study at each stage. In addition to this, the subject leader is responsible for supporting and developing staff’s subject and pedagogical knowledge to enhance the teaching of phonics. Evidence gathered from the monitoring process, will be collated in the subject leader folder, fed back to staff at an appropriate time and be fed into the Phonics action plan.



The impact will be that children will children to be know more, remember more and understand more.

They will have a passion and love of reading and that they are motivated and enthusiastic readers.  Our children will be able to use phonics effectively to decode book and read with fluency and accuracy and be able to discuss what they have read.