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Hunts Grove Primary Academy


Early Reading & Phonics


As a school, we teach synthetic phonics as the initial, and most important, approach to the teaching of reading. Our pupils learn to read and write effectively using the Read Write Inc. (RWI) Phonics Programme which is a systematic programme for the teaching of phonics, reading, spelling and writing. We want all pupils to begin their journey to read with confidence, develop a love of reading and apply their skills competently to writing.

We aim to ensure that all 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
  • Learn letter formation and handwriting skills.


The RWI programme is delivered to:

  • Pupils in EYFS to Year 2 who are learning to read and write
  • Any pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch up rapidly
  • Individuals in years 5 & 6 with individual needs.

Pupils are taught to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and ensure that all children are making progress and have a support mechanism through paired reading.

We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing (Spring term for Reception.) In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code from week 1 of Reception. 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 in reading. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.

Alongside this, teachers regularly read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils.

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 have opportunities to 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 by Year 2, Spring term 2. 

Children with slower progress or SEND will have specific 1:1 or small group intervention and/or teaching to support their Phonics.

Children are assessed at least half termly and those who are at risk of falling behind the programme’s pace and expectations are identified early and additional 1:1 Fast Track Tutoring is put in place to ensure that these children keep up and don’t have to catch up. The effectiveness of these sessions and the impact on progress is regularly evaluated by the Reading Leader.

Key Stage 2

By the time children complete the transition from KS1 to KS2 we intend that they will have completed the RWI phonics programme. Their phonic development will continue to be explicitly taught through the school’s spelling programme.

Those children who have not reached the expected level by the time they leave KS1 will continue to access the RWI programme and receive additional targeted intervention to ensure they catch up with their peers.


We assess all pupils following Read Write Inc. Phonics using the Assessment 1,2 or 3, at least half termly and the Reading Leader rearranges groups accordingly. Regular assessment ensures that all children receive targeted teaching quickly according to their needs. Children who are progressing through the programme quicker than their peers are moved into a different group and those who are at risk of falling behind the programme’s pace and expectations are given additional support through scoop groups or 1:1/small group tutoring.


We endeavour to involve and train parents/carers in supporting phonics and reading at home through workshops, information sessions, newsletters and online resources. Through the rigorous assessment of pupils through this scheme, we ensure that pupils select appropriate books to take home for.

Shared Vision

A key element of the Read Write Inc. Programme is consistent whole-school practice. This is underpinned by continued professional development. The school ensures that all teachers and teaching assistants are trained in this approach to teach phonics and reading. All staff receive regular Development Days throughout the school year supported by a consultant from the Ruth Miskin training team; attend fortnightly phonic CPD sessions where an element of the RWI programme is discussed, taught and practised in a supportive way; receive in lesson coaching for the teaching of the RWI programme from the Reading Leader and have access to training videos and additional support materials via the Ruth Miskin school portal. The Reading Leader ensures that the RWI phonics programme is taught with consistency and fidelity.