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Oakwood Infant and Nursery School

Teaching with Compassion

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At Oakwood Infant and Nursery School we use the Pie Corbett Core Stories to support the development of both reading and writing.  The core stories are supplemented by additional stories, non-fiction and poetry to give our children the widest possible diet of reading.


The development of reading skills follows the VIPERS approach.  This is a progression of skills developed by the Literacy Shed and stands for

V = Vocabulary

I = Inference

P= Prediction

E = Explanation

R = Retrieval

S = Sequencing


These are all skills children need to develop to be effective readers.


VIPERS Progression

Phonics and Early Reading:

In school, we teach children to read using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. This phonics scheme has been designed and sequenced to support the early reading journey from Early Years to Key Stage 1. Children are provided with high quality teaching and reading books that help them decode successfully and confidently in order to become fluent readers.


As children progress through the Read Write Inc. programme they will learn three sets of phonic sounds, beginning with set 1 sounds. They will also learn to blend and segment using ‘Fred talk’ for blending and ‘Fred fingers for spelling’.

Read Write Inc. Phonics, is a highly successful literacy programmes for 4-7 year-olds created by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. The training and support from Ruth Miskin Training, rated Outstanding by the Department for Education, ensure the programmes have the best chance of success in schools.

The Read Write Inc. programmes are carefully matched to the new curriculum, aimed at developing a love for reading and giving your children the best chance of success in the national tests. They show teachers, teaching assistants and parents step-by-step how to teach all children to become fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

Our school uses:

  • Read Write Inc. This programme is used by over a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. It is a comprehensive literacy programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Rigorous assessment, tracking and fast track intervention ensures that schools guarantee progress for every child.
  • For information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read go to:

RWI in Practice 

Regular assessments help to identify children who are making consistent progress and they are placed in a group where the books may be a bit more challenging.  On the other hand, regular assessments also help identify children who may need extra help.  This is provided on a 1:1 basis, at least three times a week.

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions as taken from the Teacher Handbook:

  1. Participation– As they are in small groups, children participate fully in every session. They are able to maintain high levels of concentration and they do not miss key elements of the teaching.
  2. Praise– Children work together as partners. They take turns to teach and praise each other. They are motivated by praise from their teachers and teaching assistants.
  3. Pace– Sessions never drag. The lively pace keeps every child fully engaged and on task.
  4. Purpose– Every instructor has been trained in Read Write Inc. methods. They know the purpose of each activity, and how it leads into the next.
  5. Passion– Instructors, too, become passionate about their teaching as they see the children enjoying the progress they are making.


Through the Read, Write Inc programme children are taught to recognise sounds and then to ‘sound-blend’ them into words for reading.



The trained teachers and teaching assistants will support children to use their phonic knowledge in everyday life, to enrich their reading for both pleasure and information. To ensure children have the opportunity to practice and apply the phonics they have been taught at school, ‘red’ words are sent home alongside accurately matched phonetically de-codable books. The books sent home will be a reading book they have already read in school to continue to build reading confidence, fluency and expression. These books will be supplemented by a further practice book to challenge children's reading skills.  These books are matched to the RWI colour level the child has attained.

Children are assessed regularly to ensure they are progressing through the programme at the expected pace. We deliver a daily morning Read Write Inc. lesson and an afternoon speed sound lesson. For children who risk falling behind, trained adults redeliver the sound/s in smaller groups.  Children at Oakwood Infant and Nursery School are continually supported to be successful in gaining the solid base of the phonic code to further develop their reading, writing and access learning opportunities in KS2 and beyond.


  • By the end of Reception we expect all children to know the single sounds in Set 1 and know some of the double digraph sounds, for example sounds like; ch, sh, th, ee, ng, nk.
  • By the end of Year 1 we expect all children to know Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds. By the end of Year 1 children will undertake a phonics screening check to assess their reading ability of 40 real and nonsense words containing these sounds.
  • By Summer term in Year 2 we aim for most children to be moving off the Read Write Inc. program but children will remain on the programme until they have secure phonological knowledge and are reading fluently.

Order of the programme

The programme is ordered through a series of colour-coded books, each progressively introducing new letters and sounds. Children are assessed every six weeks to review whether they are ready to progress onto the next book colour. Below, you can find the progression of book colours and the typical age-range that children will be exposed to them. You can also find, below, documents to download which identify exactly which new learning is introduced in each book colour phase.

Phonic Screening Check

The Phonics Screening Check usually takes place at the beginning of June when children are in Year 1. This check consists of 40 words that children have to blend and read. If your child is unsuccessful at passing the phonics screening check in Year 1, they have another opportunity to take the test in Year 2.

What is the phonics screening check?

This is a quick check of how the children have responded to phonics as a strategy for developing their ability to read. It is a statutory requirement, and it involves your child decoding words using only their phonic knowledge. It helps us to confirm whether they have met the expected standard for a child at the end of Year 1.

How does the check work?

  • Your child is asked to read 40 words aloud to a teacher who is known to them.
  • Your child may have read some of the words before, while others would have been completely new.
  • The check should only take a few minutes to complete; however, there is no time limit.

Meeting the expected standard

The check is scored out of 40 and the pass mark in the past has been out of 32. This can vary year on year.

All children, regardless of their mark, will continue to access phonics learning until the end of Year 2 at least. If your child did not achieve 32 marks or more, they will be given additional support in phonics to help them to improve. The nature of this support will vary depending on how close to the threshold they are.

Reading Intention

Whole School Core Stories

Whole School Reading Progression