We Are A Reading School

We therefore:

• Promote a love of reading and books at every opportunity. Our displays reflect this and are evident in classrooms and corridors. Our children regularly access the school library and are encouraged to join their local library. Our staff read to children every day – they are advocates for reading. Our children all have a reading buddy and share a text together every week for enjoyment.

Have a rigorous and a consistent approach to phonics. All our staff receive phonics training. We aim to ensure pupils master the phonic code as soon as possible using the Read Write Inc programme.

• Have a consistent approach for children who fall behind. We assess using PIRA tests and Accelerated Reader for Years 1-6; we ensure children only move up book-bands when they are ready.

• Have a ‘read it and understand it’ approach in Early Years and KS1. We plan comprehension activities as much as phonics because we understand that children need both skills to be an effective reader.

• Use VIPERS to promote children’s articulation of the key reading skills apart from phonics. We use a reciprocal reading strategy to deepen pupil involvement, improve  comprehension and develop spoken language

• Use a rotation timetable between guided sessions with differentiated texts and whole class shared reads with differentiated activities.

• Use a variety of high quality texts and resources.

• Keep detailed records which have comments linked to the skills. We have a consistent approach to reading records/guided reading books. Reading records are used to promote regular reading at home.

• Have a clear, sequenced progression of books for when children complete their phonics’.

• Link our reading explicitly to writing skills (this may be through displays, learning journeys and follow up activities which promote writing based on reading.

Reading in KS1

At South Petherwin School we use Read Write Inc. Phonics, a DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme, to support early reading. It teaches children to read accurately, fluently and with understanding.

In KS1 children will progress through their set 1, set 2 and set 3 sounds in phonics and read the following RWI book sets. This table shows the progress children may make as they progress through the RWI phonics programme.

When considering whether your child is ready to move up to the next RWI book colour (and set of taught sounds), we consider their word reading (recent phonics score, decoding) and their comprehension skills. This includes their ability to answer questions within their RWI book and their ability to answer VIPERS questions within whole class and small group guided reading sessions. Reciprocal reading roles are introduced in Year 3 when the children are ready, in preparation for their continuing reading journey in KS2.

You can find out more about how we use RWI to teach phonics at Blisland in the document below - Read Write Inc School - Blisland.

RWI games, resources and VIPERs reading comprehension documents can also be found at the bottom of this page.


Reading in KS2

When considering whether a child is ready to move up to the next book band we consider their decoding skills and their comprehension skills. In Key Stage 2 (once your child has reached the end of the RWI phonics programme), they will progress through the following accelerated reader bands - ....

In KS2 we also take on Reciprocal reading roles to further our understanding of the texts we are reading and to help each other as our reading comprehension skills flourish and grow. We do this during whole class and group guided reading sessions, with the following roles: Predictor, Clarifier, Summariser, Questioner, and Big Boss. A document explaining these roles can be found at the bottom of the page. 

Research shows that it is the combination of Guided Reading sessions, together with Shared Text or Whole Class Reading lessons that has the highest impact in terms of a child’s progress in reading.



The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

- transcription (spelling and handwriting)

- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

The teaching at South Petherwin Primary School develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing are incorporated into the National Curriculum programmes of study for composition.

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.

The skills and knowledge being taught in each unit are planned so that knowledge and skills in literacy are built upon over time. The planned skills and knowledge are taken from the National Curriculum and are assessed regularly against the progression of skills exemplified in the Babcock Planning and Assessment materials.

Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary

The two statutory appendices in the National Curriculum – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – which provide an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study, inform our teaching at South Petherwin Primary School.

Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing but in addition, Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary is also taught specifically across the curriculum. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.

Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They are taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed in the statutory appendices. These do not constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, but simply to provide the structure on which they can construct exciting lessons.

The school follows the definitions provided in the non-statutory glossary in the national curriculum. Throughout the programmes of study, teachers teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. Pupils therefore learn the correct grammatical terms in English and these terms are integrated within teaching.