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Crane Park Primary School

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Phonics and early reading


Crane Park Primary School use the Read, Write Inc (RWI) programme to teach phonics. It is very systematic and supports children to read and write quickly and effectively. The children learn to connect sounds with mnemonic pictures, words with their meanings, and stories with the sounds that they know. They connect their own experiences to the stories they read and learn to lift the words of the page.


Our phonic strategy 


Formal phonics starts in the summer term of nursery with children learning the objects used in the mnemonics and playing games to hear initial sounds in words.

In Reception, Year 1 and where necessary Year 2, children are grouped after careful assessment to learn with children with the same phonic knowledge. 

There are daily phonics sessions five times per week. Children are assessed each half term and groups adjusted where necessary. Each lesson consist of learning and practicing sounds, reading a book at the correct level and using their phonic knowledge to write a sentence. Children are taught to read common exception words, which are not phonically decodable. These are known as ‘Red words’.  All children take home books to coincide directly with their level of phonic knowledge. In addition children are assigned e-books through the Oxford Owl website which also match their phonic knowledge.


Bridging the gap in phonics


Where children need additional support to catch up with their peers, we have a range of strategies. These include one to one tutoring and additional, short, sharp phonics sessions in the afternoons. Children in year 3 and 4 who may have missed out in their phonics learning, have afternoon intervention sessions to support them. Year 5 and 6 have afternoon sessions using the Fresh Start scheme.


Reading in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3


Children have a daily opportunity to practice and develop their reading in shared  reading sessions. Pupils share a set of the ‘same’ books/articles with appropriate challenge. All pupils will access narrative, non-fiction and poetry. Initially the focus is on decoding skills and comprehension. In year 2 there is a movement to develop the broader reading curriculum focusing on a range of reading skills such as retrieving information from the text, understanding the meanings of unfamiliar words, making predictions, inferring from the evidence of what they read and summarising what they have read. These are known as the reading domains. These are built on in Year 3. There is regular assessment to make sure the children are reading books at the correct level for them.


Years 4,5 and 6.


In Year 4 to 6 we continue to build on the foundations of reading that have been laid lower down the school and structure teaching around the reading domains. In these year groups, we employ a daily whole class reading of a specially chosen, high quality text. This approach allows every child in the class to access texts they may not be able to access independently. It also allows our children to work collaboratively with others, learning from their peers about how to best structure their book-related thinking and answers.