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Crane Park Primary School

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Reading - The Crane Park Way

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 parents 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. In 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 small guided reading groups. Pupils are organised into reading attainment groups and share a set of the ‘same’ books pitched at their level 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.


Reading for pleasure


There is a strong emphasis on reading for pleasure. In EYFS and Year 1, children have regular story times to get to know great books really well. All year groups have class readers where teachers chose books to suit the interest of the children in their class. There is a well-stocked library and children in every year group have special reading challenge books appropriate for their age to encourage them to widen their reading. There are regular events, such as author visits, to further inspire the children to read.


Reading at home


We expect all children to read at home 5x each week. These reads are noted in children’s reading records. In each class, staff monitor the reading that has happened and employ age-appropriate techniques to help children who struggle to read as often as they should. SLT members monitor this and work with families to improve parental engagement in children’s reading.

There are regular reading sessions for parents to enable them to support their children at home.


Which books do children take home from school?

If a child is engaged in the RWI system, they will be provided with a phonics appropriate book or assigned e-books through the Oxford Owl website which match their phonic knowledge, to come home with and practice reading independently.

Once children finish the RWI system, they begin to bring colour book banded books home with them- these too are closely matched to the child’s reading ability and should be independently decodable. All children also get to bring home a library book as well as access to the year group challenge books. 




Teachers use a range of strategies to assess children and to make sure they are reading at the correct level.

These include: Phonic and red word checks. Teacher assessment. From Year 3, termly reading tests (Pixl) are used to identify any gaps in reading.

At parents evenings we give parents a termly update as to their child’s progress in reading, this is covered is also covered in the annual report