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At St Edward’s, we want our Reading Curriculum to not only teach children how to read but also to develop a love of reading, regardless of their background. We believe reading is a life skill and it allows children to live life in all its fullness by enabling children to become lifelong readers.  The children at St Edward’s not only learn how to read but also learn how to understand what they have read to provide them with new knowledge, ideas and curiosity about the world, whether that is the world we live in or one of fantasy and adventure.  By developing reading at the beginning of their education, our children build their confidence of reading aloud, which in turn, allows them to experience the joy of reading to others.   As our children become confident and competent readers, they are able to unlock the wide range of opportunities available for them throughout our school curriculum, which in turn, develops their love of learning further. We believe that reading is an invaluable tool which empowers our children to be able to access and explore the world that God has created for us.



EYFS and KS1

At St Edward’s, we understand that children need to be taught the skills of segmenting and blending during their early education and we teach this through the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme, whilst also encouraging children to read, and hear stories being read to them, for enjoyment.  RWI is a proven, consistent and rigorous method of teaching every child to read, regardless of their background, ability, needs or age.  It teaches the children to read accurately and fluently, whilst also developing their comprehension skills, letter formation and spelling strategies.

Phonics is taught daily to all children from the Summer term of Nursery up to Year 2, with assessments carried out every half term.  Following these assessments, Reception to Year 2 children are grouped dependent on their phonological knowledge meaning that all children receive phonics teaching appropriate to their ability levels, regardless of their age.  Our lowest 20% of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 also receive daily phonics tutoring, following the RWI Fast-Track Tutoring Programme, in addition to their daily taught group sessions in order for them to ‘keep up’ with their year group’s expectations.  Children in KS2, who did not pass the phonics screening check in Year 2, or who are new to English, also receive phonics tutoring, which enables the children to close their learning gaps; again, following the RWI Fast-Track Tutoring Programme to ensure that there is consistency across the school.

Children learn the 44 phonemes (speech sounds) and their associated graphemes (how these are written) through a system of synthetic phonics.  We also ensure that the children learn to read and spell appropriate high-frequency and exception words for their age group.

Each RWI session, delivered by a trained member of staff, gives the children an opportunity to:

  • Learn new sounds
  • Review sounds that they have already learnt
  • Develop their reading of green words (words that you can decode using your knowledge of phonemes and which build up their sight vocabulary)
  • Develop their reading of red words (words that you cannot decode)
  • Develop their ability to decode alien words (words that are not real words and uses their ability to apply their phonological skills)
  • Apply their phonetic knowledge to read storybooks by blending, whilst also developing their fluency of reading aloud
  • Segment the words for spelling

Word reading

All children are first taught to recognise each letter’s phoneme and grapheme along with a mnemonic of how to form this letter.  As the children develop their ability of recognising and saying these individual sounds, the children are then taught how to orally blend through ‘Fred talk’, repetition and continual practise through ‘MTYT’ (My Turn Your Turn).  Once the children can orally blend, they are then taught how to transfer these skills into being able to read 2, 3 and 4 letter words.  At this point, digraphs (special friends) are introduced to the children, with the explanation of how these two letters together produce one sound (phoneme).  Children learn a new digraph each day, which gradually progresses to split digraphs and trigraphs, all whilst developing their ability to read these digraphs in real and alien words.

All RWI reading books progress in accordance to the sounds the children already know.  They also take home a RWI book bag book, which continues to support their learning in the classroom.  All home reading books are decodable and are linked with each stage of the children’s phonic knowledge.  

Language Comprehension

At St Edward’s, it is important to us that we develop a culture filled with rich vocabulary and therefore story time is an important part of our school routine. From the beginning of Nursery all of the way through to Year 6, stories, nursery rhymes and poems are shared with the children to develop the exploration of language, intonation and love of reading through listening to storytellers.  We therefore ensure that the children also take home a library book which allows them to experience the enjoyment of story time with another person at home, and to show the importance of being able to read for pleasure.  It also allows them to focus on developing their comprehension of the language they are hearing.  In addition to this, each RWI story book includes key comprehension questions which are shared and discussed with the children.  From Year 1, we teach a skill-based curriculum for reading comprehension, whereby we explicitly teach the specific comprehension skills including retrieval, prediction, inference as well as the skill of skimming and scanning.   

It is important for our parents of St Edward’s to share in the love of reading, and therefore, parent workshops are planned to aid them to develop their own storyteller role at home in addition to how they can support their child’s phonological knowledge and comprehension of language further at home.

Year 1 Phonics Screening

During the Summer term of Year 1, the children complete the Year 1 Phonics Screening Test, which is a phonics-based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, decodable words including nonsense words.  This progress check is reported to parents and the children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level.


At St Edward’s, we aim for the majority of our children by the beginning of Year 3, to be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. It is expected that our children should be able to read these books accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. They should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, teaching should be directed more towards developing their vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. The aim of this is for our children to be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently. They should also be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction around a wide range of subjects and also be learning to justify their views about what they have read: with support at the start of Year 3 and increasingly independently by the end of Year 4.

By the beginning of Year 5, pupils should be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with accuracy and at a reasonable speaking pace. They should be able to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing confidence and fluidity. If the pronunciation sounds unfamiliar, they should ask for help in determining both the meaning of the word and how to pronounce it correctly.

By the end of Year 6, pupils’ reading should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in Year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject specific vocabulary. 

At St Edward’s our KS2 reading curriculum teachers our children the skills to be confident readers through reading sessions. During the course of a week, they will undertake sessions on skill-based reading comprehension, genre immersion, reading for pleasure and opportunities to make links between reading and writing during literacy lessons, when studying their Power of Reading core text.

We immerse our children in reading for pleasure opportunities throughout the day, so that they are able to read their appropriately challenging books to increase understanding and enjoyment. This enables the class teacher to listen to children and develop an understanding of their reading ability, habits and interests. It is essential that all children are supported to read regularly at home and bring their reading books between home and school daily. The expectation for children in Years 3 and 4 is to read for at least 20 minutes a day outside of school, with Years 5 and 6 reading for at least half an hour a day.



As a result of our well-sequenced and progressive RWI sessions, the children at St Edward’s build a secure foundation in early reading, in turn, developing confident, independent life-long readers.

All children have a bespoke, equitable reading target to achieve by the end of each half term.  Teachers regularly feedback to children regarding their progress against this target using standardised assessments as well as on-going teacher assessments. 

Our reading curriculum develops the reader in each child, by not only enabling them to read each word, but also to understand what they are reading.  In turn, this allows the children to continue to explore different genres and authors of books in KS2 and beyond. 

Our Reading curriculum helps achieve our vision of Life in all its fullness by…

  • Mind: being motivated and challenged to continue to progress their reading skills, whilst being able to explore their imagination.
  • Body: learning their blending and segmenting skills to be able to read words, building up to reading sentences and story books.  They learn how to retell stories through role play and the use of props and they can bring stories to life, with creativity and enthusiasm.
  • Heart: engaging the children in stories and developing a love of reading whereby they can explore different narratives and get lost in adventures from around the world.
  • Spirit: developing a joy for words and igniting the awe and wonder of the stories that these words can create.


For more information about our phonics scheme, please read our parent information leaflet.  

Please use this link to support your child's learning at home: Phonics Virtual Classroom