Teaching our children not only to become proficient readers, but to develop a love of reading is of vital importance at Wheatlands. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.


We teach our children to read using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. Synthetic phonics refers to an approach to the teaching of reading in which the phonemes [sounds] associated with particular graphemes [letters] are pronounced in isolation and blended together (synthesised). For example, children are taught to take a single-syllable word such as cat apart into its three letters, pronounce a phoneme for each letter in turn, and blend the phonemes together to form a word. Synthetic phonics for writing reverses the sequence: children are taught to say the word they wish to write, segment it into its phonemes and say them in turn, for example d-o-g, and write a grapheme for each phoneme in turn to produce the written word, dog.’

We follow the Read, Write, Inc. Phonics scheme, which the children begin upon arrival in Reception or sooner if children are ready. The children in Reception and Key Stage One actively take part in a daily phonics session. The children are grouped according to their ability. Reading is assessed half-termly and analysed by the Phonics Leader. This data informs future planning and groupings. More information on RWI can be found in the parent leaflets below.

RWI Phonics Parents Info book 1
RWI Phonics Parents Info book-2


Children who are able to read independently will have access to books in our school library; our library contains a range of texts across a number of levels from various authors. All books in the library have been given a level according to the Accelerated Reader programme: this is based on the text’s length and complexity. At the start of each term, the children will complete a STAR reading test: this will provide each child with a reading range in the form of a ZPD level. Children will then select a book from the library according to this range. This book will be taken home to practise reading, and will also be read during independent designated daily reading time in class. Once the children are confident with the text, they will complete a short quiz. If they score over 85%, they have passed the quiz for that book. They are then able to choose another book from within their ZPD range. Each quiz score is recorded in the child’s reading record; the aim is to score an average of 85% across the quizzes taken. Information from these quizzes, and from the STAR tests, will support staff in making judgements about next steps in each child’s reading journey. More information can be found on the Accelerated Reader website.


As part of our whole class reading sessions, the children will be introduced to a range of texts which are chosen for their genre, and their ability to inspire both reading and writing. For each text they encounter, the children will be encouraged to read repeatedly, to support their automaticity and fluency, whilst strategies such as echo and choral reading are used to support their prosody. During these sessions, once they are confident in reading the text, the children will have the opportunity to experience a range of different strategies to deepen their understanding. The children are taught how to infer, predict, explain, retrieve and summarise, as well as explore the rich vocabulary that the texts offer. These sessions take place daily and last approximately 30 minutes.


At Wheatlands, we celebrate independent reading by rewarding children who read to an adult both at home and at school. They have the opportunity to earn a reading sticker each time they read to an adult 20 times.  Success is recorded on charts within the classroom.  Children can also earn a certificate for every 50 reads to an adult.  These certificates are awarded in our regular class reading assemblies.  Children should aim to read to an adult 200 times over the course of the school year.