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Reading in KS1

Intent - Why are we teaching this?

'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go'.

Dr Suesss

At Mevagissey Primary School we use a synthetic phonics programme to teach reading called 'Read Write Inc' produced by Ruth Miskin. RWI is designed to help all children learn to read fluently and at speed so that they can focus on developing skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  As children progress through the programme they will learn to decode words fluently whilst developing their sight word recognition, using tricky 'red' words.  The aim is for children to become competent and motivated readers who are able to talk and discuss what they have read by answering a range of questions that challenge their comprehension skills, in a fun and meaningful way. 


Read Write Inc Phonics is a method of teaching reading which is centred around learning the 44 phonemes  (speech sounds), and then blending (Fred talking) them together to read words.  The children also learn to segment (break down words) into individual sounds in order to write them using the graphemes (how they are written).


Implementation - What does it look like in our school and how does it work?


The children are assessed at the start of the academic year and grouped according to their reading ability.  The focus is on 'Stage not age'.  The children are then assessed every half term to ensure that the children are taught in the correct RWI group for their reading ability.  The emphasis is on 'keep up, not catch up'. In addition to half termly assessments the children are also continuously assessed during their daily RWI lesson and those that may start to fall behind are quickly identified and given 1:1 tutoring time in the afternoons as well as extra 'pinny time' in class.  This is where the sounds from each lesson are flashed throughout the day to help children remember them by having continued exposure to them.

The children work in small groups with a RWI trained adult and each day the children;

-  learn a new sound for the day

-  recap over previously taught sounds

- read green words that contain the new sound for the day

- read green words that contain previously taught sounds

- read nonsense words (alien words that are not real allow the adults to assess if the children have learnt the sounds by reading words that are unfamiliar to them)

- use 'Fred fingers' to help them segment to spell (children count the sounds they can hear in each word and write them down) 

- read books that allow them to use and apply their knowledge of the sounds they have learnt as well as reading tricky 'red' words.

- answer questions linked to the texts using 'find' it or 'prove' it questions.


Children will build up their knowledge of the different sounds by learning set 1 first.  The children learn a mnemonic rhyme that helps them remember the letter sound.  A few examples of the set 1 sounds are below.  For example for 'm' they will learn 'mmmmmmm' mountain as it is a stretchy sound while for 'a' they will learn 'a, a, a'  apple which is a bouncy sound.  All of the set 1 sounds can be found in the simple speed sound chart below. Once the children can identify some graphemes and the sounds they make they can then begin to blend these sounds together in sequence to read simple words. 

Help your child learn to read words by sound-blending e.g. c-a-t = cat

Encourage children to say the pure sounds, as quickly as they can, and then to blend the sounds together to say the whole word.

Once the children have mastered set 1 sounds they will progress onto set 2 and then finally onto set  3.  It is during set 3 that the children will be exposed to the more complex speed sound chart where they learn that sounds can be represented by different graphemes or combinations of graphemes.  For example the 'ay' sound can be written, play, rain, cake.   


The Year 1 Screening Check 

In the summer term all year 1 children will take the National Phonics Screening Check; this is a phonics-based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple decodable words including nonsense words.  This is a progress check to identify those children who are not yet at the expected level in their reading.  The results will be reported to parents.  Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level.


Impact - What is the effect of what we do?
At Mevagissey we aim for the majority of children to complete the RWI programme by the end of the Autumn term in Year 2. We do recognise that this may not be achievable for all children and they will remain on the programme throughout year 2 and into KS2 if necessary and will continue to receive 1:1 tutoring to help support them further.
Children are continuously assessed each half term and during daily lessons using the RWI materials to ensure that children make the best progress.  Those children who are below expectations for their year group are quickly identified, and carefully targeted 1:1 or group tutoring is put in place to help support them.
All the RWI trained adults at Mevagissey receive continued support and coaching via the reading leader and the Ruth Miskin portal as well as an external RWI trainer throughout the year. This ensures that we are update with any latest RWI developments and that we are continuously monitoring our RWI provision.
We have meetings throughout the year to help support parents so they can then support their children at home.  Children bring home RWI books that are carefully matched to the sounds they have been exposed to and the level they have been assessed at. They can then continue to practice and reinforce the skills they have learnt in class in order to further develop their confidence, fluency and accuracy.
In 2021/2022, our Year 1 pupils achieved 100% pass mark in their phonics screening check. 


Novel Study Shared Reading

In KS1, each class has a carefully selected Novel study that we use throughout the half term for our shared reading sessions. The children are encouraged to read out aloud, share exciting parts of the story with each other and discuss the novel as a group. Each session is guided by a supportive adult who encourages children to read by using their knowledge of sounds and blending techniques taught during Read Write Inc sessions. The novel is also used as our stimulus for our writing so we jump in with both feet to immerse our self in fantastic language and stories!


Guided Reading

During RWI the children have daily reading sessions where they will read the same book for either 3 or 5 days depending on the level of the book.  This allows them to build up fluency and confidence as well as learning new 'red' tricky words and understanding the meaning of new vocabulary.  The children answer questions about each story or text and develop their comprehension skills in order to find the answers but to also share their thoughts and ideas by really understanding what they have read.

We would normally expect the children to have completed the RWI programme by the end of Autumn term in year 2, however if children need longer to develop and consolidate their skills then they will remain on the programme until they are ready to move on.

Once off the RWI programme children will continue to develop their reading fluency, comprehension skills, vocabulary and grammar through whole class guided reading sessions. The sessions aim to enhance the development of reading skills taught through Read Write Inc. We use VIPERS (reading prompts) to ensure the children are aware the six different ways they can learn to comprehend what they have read. 


 Accelerated Reader


Once our children have completed Read Write Inc, they are introduced to the school’s Accelerated Reader Programme. Accelerated Reader offers children an additional reading challenge whilst tracking the reading of each child. Children select books at their targeted level and complete a quiz to assess how well they have understood the content.

We aim for children to achieve a pass rate of 80% on each quiz however, adults are always on hand to reassure children should this not be achieved. Each child’s progress is monitored by their teacher and English Coordinator to ensure they are reaching their full potential.



Click below for the parent’s guide to accelerated reader.



Home Reading

In school, we aim to instil a lifelong love of reading within our children. We therefore, encourage every child to read an exciting book or piece of text of their choice at home each night. Parents are kindly asked to record each time their child has read in there reading record which is rewarded with a sticker. Children are then able to move their name up our Class Reading Chart to record their home reads each term. The chart contributes towards a whole class reward – listening to our favourite stories whilst munching on delicious popcorn!


Reading at home not only supports children’s progress and development but also strengthens the bond with adults who are invested in engaging with their children.

Click on the Set 1 sounds below for helpful videos on how to pronounce the sounds correctly.
Click on the image below for the recommended book list for children in Reception.
Click on the image below for the recommended book list for children in Year 1.
Click on the set 2/3 sounds to see videos on how you can support your child with their reading.
Click on the image below for the recommended book list for children in Year 2.