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Reading at Wilberforce


Reading is a complex skill with many components. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading. We are guided by The Simple View of Reading, ensuring that children are taught both to decode and to comprehend. Children need to be taught a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning: they  first learn to read, then read to learn. Wilberforce Primary has a variety of schemes linked to PM benchmarking ability groups which includes E-learning.


  • To develop the strategies and skills so children become accurate, fluent, speedy decoders.
  • To develop comprehension skills.
  • To immerse children in a wide range of texts: fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry
  • To develop an interest in and a love of books, so children become attentive listeners and enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.


Children learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. This is for:

  • pupils in Year R to Year 2 who are learning to read and write
  • any pupils in Year 2,3 and 4 who needs to catch up rapidly
  • any new arrivals who are unable to read

Struggling readers in Years 4, 5 and 6 follow the RWI Fresh Start programme.

Children are taught to: decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills; read ‘tricky’ words on sight; understand what they read; read aloud with fluency and expression. (The programme also helps children write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar, spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words and to acquire good handwriting.)

Children are regularly assessed and grouped according to ability across Reception, year 1 and year 2 for accelerated progress. Progress is regularly assessed and the groups are fluid.  RWI is taught for one hour every day.

Our aim is for children to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.  Most children will complete RWI by the beginning of year 2, but some may need to finish during that year. Struggling children are tutored 1:1 daily, until they catch up.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Children follow the EYFS curriculum for reading. In Nursery they are introduced to the sounds according to the RWI programme as well as listening to and joining in with a wide range of stories. They take books and rhymes home regularly to share with their parents.  Reception children are taught all their sounds in daily phonics lessons and, once confident, join the streamed RWI groups for literacy lessons. Reception children are also heard reading individually once a week.

Guided Reading

There is a daily Guided Reading session in years 1 to 6.  In Reception, guided reading will start when the teacher feels children have the appropriate level of maturity and skill.

Children are taught in small groups on a carousel model, reading with an adult once or twice a week. Teachers plan carefully for the focus group, which has a clear objective and record children’s responses to the text and the skill being taught. We use the four-part lesson model (Introduction, Strategy check, Independent Reading, Return to text & Response).

Children have the opportunity to read fiction and non-fiction, to perform plays and poems, and to develop higher-order reading skills such as skimming, scanning, inference and deduction.

Story Time

Every class has story time every day. This is an opportunity to develop children’s enthusiasm for reading, build up a knowledge of myths, fairy tales and legends, and to develop their speaking and listening skills and vocabulary as they respond to what they hear through activities and discussion.

Home Learning

All children should be reading at home every day. This should be recorded in the reading journal and signed by parents. Teaching Assistants are responsible for checking these journals regularly and making sure that children are regularly changing their books.

Children on the RWI programme will take the relevant books home to practise as well as other books that can be read to them.

Parental Involvement

Phonics information meetings are held to advise parents on the reading strategies used in school and how best to support their children.

Parents’ coffee mornings are held to discuss various aspects of reading, such as reading for pleasure, and developing oracy with children.

The reading journal is a good way to communicate about children’s reading.

Reading for Pleasure

We do all we can to promote a reading culture and to inspire children to read for pleasure. Many things are happening:

Enticing book corners in classrooms

Poetry Ambassador performed for school and worked withKS2

Scholastic Book Fair twice a year

Breakfast club reading corner

Year 6 reading mentors support year 1 readers twice a week

Termly visits to Queen’s Park Library-library competitions

Making & Displaying class books

Teachers modelling and advertising own reading

Book week events, including story-book dance workshop

Developing Wilberforce library, with Junior Librarian.net system

‘The Great Race’ reading competition in KS2

DigiSmart reading intervention in Year 4


CEOP ChildLine Minded

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
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