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Phonics and Reading


Reading is central to our curriculum. Our Reading provision aims to equip pupils with the skills and knowledge necessary to read fluently and confidently while developing a love of reading that allows pupils to draw on knowledge of the world around them.

Our children progressively learn a range of key skills in reading using a variety of different strategies:

  • Word reading – systematic phonics, learning GPC (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence), developing skill of blending, sharing  high quality texts, developing fluency
  • Comprehension – drawing on linguistic knowledge and on knowledge of the world, read widely across a range of genres, develop a love of reading, increase pupils’ vocabulary, develop reading for pleasure
  • Making strong curriculum links – All pupils encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.


Our teachers have carefully planned out the books that they are teaching and reading with their children across the year to expose children to a variety of books and authors. Each half term, teachers are required to use at least one Power of Reading text (recommended by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education), have a range of reading for pleasure texts, a planned poetry focus and also provide children with exposure to other books which link to other areas of the curriculum. For further information on the books that our children read and why we have chosen them, please see the Overview and Synopsis documents below.


The Reading Journey at Shiremoor Primary School


Our children in the Foundation Stage begin their reading journey by exploring and sharing a wide range of books, poems and songs. Initially, they focus on their recognition of initial sounds and their ability to develop rhyme and rhythmic patterns. They are immersed in a wide range of reading experiences to develop a love of books and storytelling.

As they continue their reading journey, all children in EYFS and Year One complete the Read Write Inc phonics programme. Children continue RWI in Year Two and into Key Stage Two matched to their individual needs. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme. Phonics provides children with the building blocks needed to become successful readers.

All of our KS2 children participate in the Accelerated Reader program. Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Children pick a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they take a short comprehension quiz using the ipads and receive feedback on their progress.

Our Year 5 and 6 children also use a programme called Reading Plus to support them in their reading progress and development. Reading Plus is a web-based program that builds upon the foundational skills of phonics and phonemic awareness to develop silent reading fluency, comprehension (deeper understanding), and continued engagement and enjoyment of reading for pleasure.


Across KS1 and KS2, children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed). These break down the areas of reading into key areas:

  • Vocabulary
  • Infer
  • Predict
  • Explain
  • Retrieve
  • Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2).


For further information on any of these programmes, please see the additional links below