Our Approach to Teaching Reading

Our Vision

At Beech Green school we passionately believe in developing a lifelong love of reading in our children that stays with them long beyond their time in our school. We aim to provide lots of opportunities for our children to read for pleasure, establish good habits in reading, appreciate it as a subject in its own right and use skills taught to enable them to be successful learners in all aspects of the curriculum. Research has shown that the benefits of reading are limitless. In addition to academic success, reading for pleasure brings so many more benefits to our children. It provides comfort and reassurance, confidence and the building of self-esteem. It feeds imaginations, builds vocabulary, helps them to empathise and brings happiness and fun. Knowing the huge richness and wealth of skills reading provides, is the reason why we place it at the forefront of our curriculum at Beech Green.


‘Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.’ Barack Obama


Reading for pleasure.

In our school, we ensure we prioritise time to read for pleasure each day. The children have access to high quality texts from our recently re-stocked library and classroom book corners. Each class has regular opportunities to visit the school library, during which time children can change their books and often take a moment to sit back and enjoy listening to their teacher read them a story. Alongside this, teachers across the school ensure they read aloud to their classes at least once a day.        


Reading for pleasure at home

At Beech Green we acknowledge the huge importance and value of sharing stories together regardless of the age of the child. This encourages excitement and imagination, develops their understanding of places and people further and provides exposure to a wide range of vocabulary. Most importantly, it offers important quality time together.


Phonics teaching

The systematic approach to the teaching of phonics has a high priority at our school. At Beech Green, we use the ‘Read Write Inc’ scheme to deliver our phonics lessons. Read Write Inc provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching reading through the use of synthetic phonics. Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound. Children learn to make connections between the letters of written texts and the sounds of spoken language. Children are then taught how to break up words (or de-code them) into individual sounds and then blend all the sounds together as a way of reading the entire word.



How we teach Read Write Inc.

Children start learning phonics in Reception and continue through until they have reached the end of the programme. At Beech Green, children are assessed and grouped according to their phonic knowledge and each child reads books that match their phonic knowledge. As a result of this, children will often be grouped with other children from different classes or year groups. On-going assessment means that groups are constantly adjusted to ensure the best progress for each child. They are taught phonics by a Read Write Inc. trained teacher or teaching partner in small groups. Each child has a 30-40-minute lesson each day.

Children are taught the sounds in 3 sets. Set 1 sounds are taught with a picture clue and a chant to help the children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending. The children are then taught Set 2 sounds- the long vowels. When they are confident with Set 1 and Set 2 sounds, they are taught Set 3 sounds.

Based on your child's phonics ability, they will come home with a book that is matched to their level. This will start with a simple blending book and progress to a copy of the book they have read in school along with a book bag book. The books will only contain sounds that the children will know to ensure reading confidence is built quickly.

For those who need additional support with their reading, Read Write Inc. groups continue into KS2.


In Reception, parents are welcomed to a meeting to talk about the Read Write Inc. programme. As children are assessed on a regular basis, this information will be shared with parents at regular intervals throughout the school year.


Assessment of Phonics.

The National Phonics Screening Check is performed in June in Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age appropriate standard. Children who do not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1 will get the opportunity to take it again in Year 2.


Guided Reading KS2.

How we teach reading in KS2

Children are taught the skills of reading through the use of VIPERS. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the English reading curriculum. These are the key areas which we feel children need to understand and be secure in, in order to aid their comprehension of texts.






Sequence or Summarise


Levelled Readers

Once a child has completed the Read Write Inc. programme they are then given a levelled reader book appropriate to their reading ability. Children are then assessed at regular intervals and moved onto the correct level when necessary. As children develop in their reading skills, we still promote the importance and value of parents and carers listening to their children read. In addition to this it is still hugely beneficial to ask them questions about what they have read to develop their comprehension and understanding of the text. Examples of questions to use in your discussions can be found in the VIPERS posters above.


‘Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered as a precious gift.’ Kate Dicamillo