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Reading and Phonics

Our aim is to ensure that all children learn to read and spell accurately, so they can read for information and pleasure. 

At Castle Hill reading has a high priority and pupils experience a range of reading activities every day.  We teach reading through guided, shared, reciprocal and individual reading opportunities. Adults model reading for and to pupils and as readers become more confident they become role models to others. Each class has access to a variety of high quality fiction, drama, non-fiction and poetry texts, which are also available electronically. As children learn to read and develop in fluency they follow a colour banded reading scheme, once they are fully fluent they exit the banded scheme and select from a range of challenging texts and e-books, often joining our book clubs to explore their reading further. Parents are asked to work in partnership with the school in developing their child's ability to read.  All pupils should read to an adult at home each evening as part of their homework.  Parents are expected to comment/sign their child's reading record regularly and ensure it is returned to school each morning.


Phonics: Read Write Inc


We believe phonics are the building blocks that every child must master in order to become a confident reader.  We take a structured approach to the teaching of reading and pupils are taught phonics daily through the Read Write Inc Scheme.


We encourage children to:

  • read with confidence, fluency and understanding;

  • be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes;

  • understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately;

  • have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary;

  • have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading;
  • be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences;

  • through reading develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.


Read Write Inc is taught in ability sets across year groups and phases.  The majority of pupils exit the programme as they become more fluent with phonics toward the end of Key Stage One and early Key Stage Two, pupils then move on to target spelling, comprehension and specific reading sessions depending on their need - these groups are generally ability set although some teaching will take place in whole class situations.


Reading groups are generally set by ability within classes and Book clubs are generally set by ability and/or interest. In addition to the curriculum provided at Castle Hill we also provide opportunities for More Able readers in Year 6 to attend a local secondary school once a week to experience even higher levels of challenge and access a wider range of resources.

To find out more about Phonics and reading at Castle Hill please click on the links below, some sites are also available in the parents supporting children at home section.

Read Write Inc. Pronunciation Guide

This video from Ruth Miskin shows you how to pronounce sounds in a pure way.

Read Write Inc. Phonics lesson

This video shows a teacher instructing children to learn a sound, the associated mnemonic and how to write it using Read Write Inc. Phonics.