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Welcome to Woodfield Infant School

Happily learning together. Be Kind. Be Responsible. Be Hardworking. This is the Woodfield Way.

Phonics and Reading


We believe that reading is a fundamental life skill and that a genuine love and lasting passion for reading is something we must instil in every child. This belief is supported by evidence from OECD. (2002) who found that reading enjoyment is more important for children's educational success than their family's socio-economic status. Furthermore, becoming a fluent reader is essential to accessing the wider curriculum and becoming a successful learner.


At Woodfield Infant School, the systematic teaching of phonics is given a high priority and is delivered daily, through the Read, Write Inc programme. This programme ensures that all learners can progress. 


We start teaching phonics in the EYFS. This ensures children make a strong start and build upon their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. 


We have a strong focus on oral language development for all of our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.


Our reading curriculum is planned to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum:

  • ‘Word reading’ - The ability to recognise words presented in and out of context. The ability to blend letter sounds (phonemes) together to read words.
  • ‘Comprehension’ - The ability to understand the meaning of the words and sentences in a text. The ability to understand the ideas, information and themes in a text.


Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading (RWI) programme in our school. They are highly skilled at teaching phonics, and monitor and support all staff delivering RWI, so that everyone teaches with fidelity to the scheme. Furthermore, all our Senior Leadership Team are champions of reading because they have responsibility for different aspects of the reading culture within out school. We believe that this is paramount as it demonstrates our commitment to reading. 



In EYFS, we provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

  • sharing high-quality stories and poems
  • learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
  • activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
  • attention to high-quality language
  • in the summer term before starting Reception our nursery children begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and oral blending.


Daily phonics lessons in Reception and KS1

Daily phonics sessions throughout school follow the RWI Programme. The RWI Programme follows a metacognitive approach and the evidenced based teaching model of I do, we do, you do.


In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games (Fred Talk), to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins early (by week 2) of the Autumn term.


Following the RWI Programme, children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using set 1 and some set 2 sounds, so that they can use these to blend and read simple words with fluency and accuracy. Children in Year 1 continue with set 2 sounds and move onto set 3, in order to read and spell words a greater range of words with fluency and accuracy.


Daily Fast Track Tutoring

Daily Fast Track Tutoring ensures every child learns to read. Children who are not working at age related expectations are identified from regular assessments and receive additional regular practise taught by a fully trained adult. Short, sharp sessions use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.



Teaching Reading Through Daily Reading Sessions

We teach children to read through daily reading practice sessions which are part of the RWI lesson. 


  • are taught by a fully trained adult in groups
  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the RWI structure
  • are monitored by the class teacher and are overseen by the Reading Leader, who regroups the children according to regular RWI assessments


Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text


In Reception these sessions start once children are working at Red group level. 


In Year 2, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books. This is indicated by their RWI assessment placing them in Grey group or below. 


Home reading for RWI

The decodable reading practice book (core book) that the children access in school, can also be accessed at home online via the Oxford Owl Hub. Each child is provided with login details and they are assigned a new matched phonics core book on a weekly basis. Alongside this, they also take home a Book Bag Book, which is phonically matched and changed weekly, in order to develop fluency in reading. 


We use the RWI parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online via our website, through workshops, letter home and through the SeeSaw app. 


Ensuring consistency and pace of progress

Staff across our school have been trained to teach reading, including our approach to phonics, so that they have the same expectations of progress. All staff use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.


In addition to this we have:

  • RWI Handbooks which map out each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme
  • Lesson templates and RWI ‘how to’ videos to ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson
  • The Reading Leader and SLT, who audit, support and monitor teaching, and use formative and summative data to identify children who need additional support
  • Coaching sessions that take place throughout the week from the Reading Leader
  • Weekly staff CPD sessions that are led by the Reading Leader
  • Annual development days and training sessions that take place with RWI external trainers


VIPERS Reading Comprehension Group


Once children have mastered the RWI knowledge and skills, they are able to read fluently and with speed. They can use their sounds knowledge to decode unfamiliar words and read known words by sight.


As a bridge between RWI and Reciprocal Reading delivered in KS2, we use a VIPERS reading group.  VIPERS is a comprehension approach to reading, which focusses on the six reading domains of the national curriculum: vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieving, sequencing. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.


These reading comprehension sessions are used as a powerful tool to ensure all children continue to make progress in reading and provide regular and supportive opportunities for children to encounter engaging texts that will resonate with their interests, capture their imagination, and ultimately promote a love of reading.


Children’s reading is regularly assessed, and they take home banded reading books matched closely to their developmental reading stage. They can self-choose a book of interest and change these books as regularly as they wish.  


The document ‘KS1 Reading VIPERS: Questions to ask at home’ document helps parents to carry on this approach when listening to their child read at home.


Children within this group work on handwriting joins. They also work on Oxford Owl spelling sessions, which is a proven approach, underpinned by phonics, ensuring spelling success for children who are fluent readers.


Ensuring reading for pleasure

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to develop the practice of reading for pleasure.

  • A love of reading is fostered throughout school by a carefully selected choice of texts that are read to the children during daily story time. This helps to develop the habit of reading widely, often, for pleasure and information.
  • We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Woodfield and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has a book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • In EYFS, children have access to the book corner every day in continuous provision. Some of the books are linked to the current theme and some are previously shared class books.
  • Children from EYFS onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults in school will write in this when there are any particular points to communicate. 
  • Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events: World Book Day, Pyjamarama, Buddy Read with KS2 children and a 1/2 termly book sharing afternoon where parents/carers are invited into class to share books with their child.
  • There is a twice - weekly book swap where children can come and donate pre-loved books and choose one to take home and keep.
  • Each class has a Reading for Pleasure Library - children are able to borrow a book from this each week to share at home. 


All children access a carefully considered reading spine throughout their time at Woodfield Infant School, linked to Pie Corbett’s T4W, to ensure exposure to rich and varied texts. These are texts that are read to the children, and by children, throughout the year. Books which have been particularly enjoyed by a class are then moved up to their next classes reading corner the following year. 


Use of our Learning Powers

While being taught to become confident readers, children will be encouraged to use our ‘Learning Powers’. For example, they will be shown how to be resilient in working out challenging vocabulary, how to co-operate and work together in guided reading sessions and how to concentrate and follow the signals used in Read, Write, Inc sessions. By employing our learning powers in reading, as we do throughout the curriculum, we aim for the children to become independent, fluent readers.



Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.


Assessment for learning is used:

  • daily within class to identify and address any children with misconceptions or gaps in knowledge


Summative assessments include RWI assessments and Phonics Screening Checks. They are used:

  • every six to eight weeks by teachers to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the fast track tutoring that they need.
  • by the Reading Leader and SLT to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children by ensuring that any additional support that is needed is monitored for impact.


Regardless of any reading scheme that the children may or may not be following, we ensure that we regular assess children against the National Curriculum reading criteria. We use NFER reading tests to assess pupils’ attainment in regards to pupils’ ARE.


Statutory assessment

Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check resits it in Year 2. The result of this screening check are shared with parents and carers in July.

Writing and Reading Spine

Improving Reading Comprehension-The Reading House Model


Click here

Progression in Reading