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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

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Gillshill Primary

Phonics & Reading

Our approach to reading

Our aim in teaching children to read is for each child to be able to read a range of materials for enjoyment and information, understanding and responding to what they have read, whilst developing an aesthetic appreciation of the nature of language through literature and discussion.


Phonics is taught using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme. Read write Inc is a comprehensive programme that teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.

All staff in EYFS and KS1 have received training and are supported in using RWI to maximise progress and develop confident readers and writers.

All Read Write Inc lessons are based on the 5 Principles:

PRAISE – Children learn quickly in a positive climate.

PACE – Good pace is essential to the lesson.

PURPOSE – Every part of the lesson has a specific purpose.

PASSION – This is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers put into the lesson that brings the teaching and learning to life.

PARTICIPATION – A strong feature of Read Write Inc. lessons is partner work and the partners ‘teaching’ each other.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In the EYFS children receive a daily 20-minute Read Write Inc. session. In Nursery, timings of sessions are at the teacher’s discretion given the age of the children and are introduced when appropriate. In Reception sessions take place in the morning. They are led either by a class teacher or by a trained member of support staff. Reception children are assessed at least once per half term.

Key Stage 1

Read Write Inc. sessions take place in the morning. Children are streamed into attainment groups to make sure teaching and learning is at the correct level for their current achievement. Groups are led by class teachers and trained members of our support staff. KS1 children are assessed at least once per half term.

Within each Read Write Inc. session, children have the opportunity to learn how to read and write new sounds, as well as revise previously-taught sounds. When children reach the appropriate level, they will also practise reading alien/nonsense words to ensure they are using their decoding skills effectively. Once children have sufficient phonics knowledge, they also read a story as part of their phonics lessons, which matches their phonetic ability and helps to develop their comprehension skills.


Children have the opportunity to read everyday across the curriculum. During focused reading lessons, children learn through guided reading sessions and through reading class texts. Guided reading involves small groups reading books matched to their ability level, discussing the events and characters in the book and completing a task to show their understanding. Class texts are generally linked to the overall theme and provide lots of opportunity for discussion. Children are able to learn a wide variety of vocabulary and understand the impact of language and structure on the audience.

We continually promote a love of learning through the wide range of books we have to offer the children, whether reading together as a class or taking books home to share with their family. We have a library that the whole school is able to use, as well as each class having their own set of books, often linked to the overall termly theme. Teachers choose books carefully for their reading lessons to ensure children are engaged in the text. Children read a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry each year. Teachers also read a story to their children each week to promote a love of learning.

Children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 learn to read through using Phonics, following the Read Write Inc. scheme of work. They read books closely matched to their phonics knowledge; this helps them to develop speed and fluency. Children in Key Stage 2 have access to Reading Plus, which is an online programme designed to embed reading skills and improve speed.

Our Reading Reward System ensures children’s reading achievements are celebrated. Each week, teachers monitor the number of times each child has read. This leads to them receiving rewards if they meet the weekly, termly and yearly expectations.

Weekly Expectations

KS1 – 4 times a week

Y3/4 – 4/5 times a week

Y5/6 - 5 times a week

If children meet the weekly expectation, they will receive 2 merits (KS1) or golden tickets (KS2). If they meet these expectations every week within a term, they will receive a prize and a certificate. If they meet the termly expectations throughout Autumn, Spring and Summer, they will take part in a reward afternoon such as a film or a visit to the park!

Helping your child with reading

Here at Gillshill Primary School, we believe reading to be very important.  A great deal can be done in the home to help your child with reading.  The link below gives tips on how to inspire readers and share books with your child.


Phonics & Reading Documents:

Phonics Intent, Implementation and Impact Statements

Reading Intent, Implementation and Impact Statements

Reading Progression of Skills

English Policy Sept 2020