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Our Intent

At Shay Lane Primary School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.

At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading through carefully selected texts and teaching activities.

Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent approach to the teaching of reading; we are highly ambitious for all our children and do all we can to ensure children ‘keep up’ and succeed.

We have high expectations of all children and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always demonstrating our core values.


 Our Reading Policy: 

    * RWI Policy *

* Reading Policy*



Our aims for all children at Shay Lane Primary School are for them to:  


• Become fluent, confident and expressive readers

• Read with enjoyment across a range of genres

• Read for pleasure as well as for information

• Read and respond to a wide range of different types of literature

• Understand the layout and how to use different genres and text types

• Understand and apply their knowledge of phonics and spelling patterns and use this to decode words with accuracy

• Build their bank of sight words to enable fluent reading

• Have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a rich and varied vocabulary.

• Understand and respond to literature drawn from a range of cultures and literacy heritage.

We aim to develop, through our teaching of reading, the following attitudes:

• Curiosity and interest

• Pleasure and thoughtfulness

• Critical appraisal

• Independence

• Confidence

• Perseverance

• Respect for other views and cultures

• Reflection



Reading for Pleasure

coming soon...

Our Implementation


Early Reading

At Shay Lane Primary School, we use a systematic, synthetic phonics programme called Read, Write Inc as an approach to teaching early reading.


In Nursery, pupils’ early reading journey will begin through engaging in a vocabulary rich environment. Speaking and Listening skills will develop through interactions in role-play areas, as well as in child-led discussions and planned sessions where pupils will observe and take part in talk and sentence building exercises. Pupils will develop a love of reading through a variety of exciting and engaging core texts and an environment that enables pupils to retell stories and express their opinion towards the different books they hear. Gradually, Nursery will move onto learning initial sounds through the Read, Write Inc programme and will link sounds to their letter shape.

In Reception, pupils will move onto learning how to blend and segment sounds in words to become confident and fluent decoders. Spelling rules and techniques are learnt alongside the teaching of reading ‘red words’ and ‘green words’. The Reception learning environment will work alongside Nursery to ensure vocabulary is regularly modelled and comprehension skills are strengthened.

Gradually and in conjunction with pupils’ progressing phonic ability, children will develop through the Read, Write Inc stages throughout Year One, becoming confident and skilled readers. In addition to Read, Write Inc, Year One will engage in a variety of core texts and an environment that allows pupils to immerse themselves in the story. Pupils will practise retelling the story, developing their oral fluency and learning new language features and patterns from the text. By the time pupils reach Year Two, they should be confident decoders. Year Two will continue their phonic journey to becoming fluent and skilled readers.

The stages of the Read, Write Inc programme are set out into colour bands, consisting of a variety of books in each stage. Pupils accessing the Read, Write Inc phonic approach will read a book on a particular colour band, closely matched to their progressing phonic ability. These books are sent home in a book bag to consolidate and further improve reading ability. Books will be changed regularly and accordingly. Parents are fully involved in their child’s journey in reading and understand that children can bring home a library book to read aloud with the child.

Where appropriate, the teaching and learning of Read, Write Inc continues into Year 2 and Key Stage 2, as necessary and target RWI interventions will take place for these pupils.


Please find more information in our Early Reading Plan:

 Early Reading Plan *



Continuing Our Reading Journey

In Year 2 and Key Stage Two, all classes follow a structured five-day approach to reading activities. Sessions are interactive and teachers facilitate speaking and listening opportunities, with children working hard individually. Disengaged learning is minimised and engagement promoted through regular use of think-pair-share, responses on mini-whiteboards and collaborative tasks.  At least one session is dedicated to listening to children read throughout every year group.

High quality texts and passages reflecting our topics are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of children, and teachers use this to model the application of the agreed reading skills. Children are taught to notice breakdown in reading - identifying words/phrases they don’t understand and strategies to fix breakdown in meaning. Children are taught to relate the text to themselves, previous reading experiences and the world around them.  This is enhanced further with carefully chosen story time texts to deliberately incite excitement, curiosity and a love of reading.

Further to modelled sessions, children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the wide range of domain questions. More complex questions are evaluated between wider groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard.

While maximising learning through a thematic approach, rich reading opportunities are provided across the curriculum, exposing children to a wide range of quality texts providing context to learning and facilitating opportunities to link learning and skills across different lessons. 

During the implementation of our reading curriculum, no child is left behind.  Interventions are organised using RWI and Fast Track maintaining a consistent approach for vulnerable pupils including KS2 as well as daily reading and specific targeted guided reading support for identified pupils.

At Shay Lane Primary School, we believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. Age-appropriate books are used for home-reading to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genres.

Our approach to home reading ensures children are offered high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world and also encourage a love of reading, without a reading structured scheme.


Further information can be found in our: 

 * Whole School Progression Document *



Read, Write Inc - Information for Parents/Carers


What is Read Write Inc?


At Shay Lane Primary School we believe that reading is the most important skill that children learn at school. Reading is the key to future success.

Read Write Inc. (RWI) teaches synthetic phonics in a structured and exciting way. Children will start the scheme during the final term of Nursery and will work through the scheme until they can read confidently, fluently and with good comprehensive understanding. The scheme also supports children’s writing, giving them the tools to spell and compose (Please see our 'Writing' page for more information on writing through our school). Further information about RWI can be found at


What is synthetic phonics?

When your child is learning to read there are two crucial aspects to learn:
– the sounds represented by written letters
– how to blend the sounds together to make words.

Synthetic Phonics is a way of teaching reading.

Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent; for example, they are taught that the letter 'l' sounds like llllll when we say it. Children can then start to read words by blending the sounds together to make a word. There are 26 letters of the alphabet but they make 44 sounds. Please take some time to watch the following video to ensure you have the correct pronunciation of each sound. 


Who is Fred?

Fred is a (toy) frog and Fred can’t read! He can only say words in pure sounds. We use ‘Fred talk’ to help blend the sounds together in words to help Fred to read. We then move onto ‘Fred in your head’ to increase our fluency.

The children can’t use the skill of ‘Fred Talk’ or ‘Fred in your head’ for all words, as some do not follow the phonics rule. For example, ‘the’ ‘are’ and ‘some’. Therefore, these are taught as Red words within Read, Write, Inc. We teach them as sight words and the more children are exposed to them, the more they are instilled in their long term memory.


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.


How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead.  From these assessments, children are grouped into stages where they work alongside their peers on the same stage. 


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.


Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.

Please see the attached file for Set 1 Sounds: 

* Set 1 *

At this stage we do not use the letter names

Use the link below to support your pronunciation of sounds correctly.


Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Please see the attached file for Set 2 and Set 3 Sounds: 

* Set 2 and Set 3 *

Nonsense words (Alien words)- What 'a load' or nonsense!       

As well as learning to read and blend real words, children will have many opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. 'These words provide endless opportunities for children to apply and practice their decoding skills, which will further aid their ability to read unfamiliar words they may come across in the future. 


Step 3:

In each RWI session/focus book, children will be exposed to red and green words. Red words are words that are not easily or not at all decodable, and will extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes your child may put under a word represent the sound each letter makes.

During the sequence of RWI sessions, children will read their storybook several times and at each new reading, they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.

At some point in your child's reading journey, you may have heard them repeating a familiar phrase: ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’. 'Hold a sentence' is a taught skill that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on key spelling and punctuation rules. The skill of holding a sentence acts as a preconditional skill to early writing. 

'Build a sentence' is the next step in learning to write and gives children the creativity to create their own sentence. This also allows children to consolidate the meaning of a word and put it into context. The children then complete a piece of independent writing at the end of a unit. Children are taught the importance of reading back their work to check for errors, along with the skill of editing their writing. 

Reading and writing work hand-in-hand in furthering your child's literacy skills. For more information about our whole school writing approach, please see the 'writing' curriculum page. 

Home Reading

Please watch the videos below to help you know how to listen to your child read their Read, Write Inc book.


Coming soon...

School Library

coming soon...

Classroom Reading Areas

coming soon...


Our Impact

As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.


As a Year 6 reader, transitioning 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 reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum is observed through the lives of pupils and not just statutory assessments.


In addition to this:

  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.
  • The % of pupils working at age related expectations and above age related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children.
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)