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Reading Curriculum

Reading Curriculum statement of intent

Subject Leader is Mrs Curtis.

Learning to Read – Reading to Learn


At Cherry Willingham Primary Academy, we want all of our children to be readers. We believe that a high quality curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, whilst developing crucial skills from decoding to fluency. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often.

The other key element of reading at Cherry Willingham Primary Academy is to ensure that all children develop a love of reading. We believe promoting a passion for reading is imperative to the culture of reading – they choose to read for pleasure and to gain knowledge.  We use a wide variety of quality texts (Pie Corbett Reading Spine and Poetry Spine) and resources to motivate and inspire our children.

Reading is at the heart of the curriculum, we know that for children to thrive they must be able to read, Our pupils learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. They progress onto using the gradual release of responsibility.


Early Reading

At Cherry Willingham Primary Academy we use Read Write Inc. Phonics The programme is for:

 · Pupils in Year R to Year 2 who are learning to read and write

· Any pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch up rapidly.


In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

· Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills

· Read common exception words on sight

· Understand what they read

· Read aloud with fluency and expression

· Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar

· Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words

· Acquire good handwriting.

In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.

We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing. This is because it is known that pupils’ progress in writing will lag behind progress in reading, especially for those whose motor skills are less well developed.

In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly. This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings – common exception words. We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.

Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves. Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently. We make sure they write every day. Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge. The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have heard in the books the teacher has read to them; they have also discussed what the words mean. Our aim is for pupils 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.

Following on from using Read Write Inc.

Reading lessons are taught through whole class reading which responds to the needs of the children and a specific skill using Literacy Leaves (Literacy Tree). 

The teaching of reading is rooted in a knowledge of the Simple View of Reading and the Scarborough Reading Rope, it is also delivered through the Gradual Release Approach. Teaching and learning is successfully planned to combine the different threads, ensuring that all children are able to read with fluency and then build on comprehension. This is achieved through the explicit teaching of key skills, monitored vigorously and implementing intervention to ensure the children have every opportunity to keep up.

Vocabulary is again a crucial part to our English curriculum.  Improving vocabulary directly affects children’s development in literacy. Research shows that 90% of vocabulary is developed through reading. Vocabulary is explicitly taught from Early Years through to Year 6. In Reception and Year One, vocabulary is taught through reading however, in Year Two through to Year Six vocabulary is mainly pre taught to the children.

The other key element of reading at Cherry Willingham Primary Academy is to ensure that all children develop a love of reading. We believe promoting a passion for reading is imperative to the culture of reading – they choose to read for pleasure and to gain knowledge.  We use a wide variety of high quality texts (Pie Corbett Reading Spine and Poetry Spine) and resources to motivate and inspire our children.


As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. They show progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills.

Assessing and tracking progress

We assess all pupils following Read Write Inc. Phonics using the Entry Assessment. This gives us a very good indication of how well they are making progress relative to their starting points. We do this for all pupils, whenever they join us, so we can track all of them effectively. For those on the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, we record their starting date and entry point on the tracker to monitor the rate at which they are making progress. We can also easily identify those who joined the programme later. We aim for all children to be accurate and speedy readers by the time they enter Key Stage 2. We have high expectations of our pupils’ progress. Pupils who are making slower progress usually complete the programme by the end of Year 2. We support pupils who have identified special educational needs for however long it takes until they can read. For example, we identify those who are at risk of falling behind their peers immediately – whatever their age. Highly trained staff tutor them for 10 minutes daily, using the Read Write Inc. One-to-one tutoring programme.

By the end of Key Stage 1, our pupils are able to read aloud age-appropriate texts accurately and with sufficient speed for comprehension. This means that we can focus on developing their comprehension, preparing them well for transition to Key Stage 2. Their good decoding skills mean that they have a sound strategy for decoding unfamiliar words when they come across them at whatever stage or in any subject.

Year 2 and beyond

We use a standardised reading test (PIRA) to ensure that the gains our pupils are making are age-appropriate alongside the use of the reading criterion scales as ongoing teacher assessment. Past SATs papers can also be used. Some children will require targeted fluency practice to aid their reading skills. These children will be assessed using The Multidimensional Fluency Rubric and Miscue. All children will read with an adult on an individual basis on a weekly basis and some will be more frequent if required.


Children who are working below age related expectations will be given specific reading intervention and specific targeted reading tasks or phonics (RWI or RWI Fresh Start) where reading sessions are not appropriate.


Reading from Y2 - Y6 is taught for 2.5 hours per week.

RWI is built up to 1 hour per lesson, including Get Set for Writing.

Please click Reading at Cherry Willingham Academy or Phonics and Early Reading at Cherry Willingham Academy for more information. 

English at Cherry

English Policy Statement