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Storrington Primary

Reading at Storrington


At Storrington we place reading at the heart of all we do.  From the moment children arrive in Early Years to Year 6 when they leave primary education, we make it our aim to foster a love of books so that children become lifelong readers and reap the rewards that reading widely brings.

On these pages, you will find further information about what your child’s reading journey will look like and ideas for how you can support your child at home.  There are also links to online resources we use in school which support home learning.

Our reading environment

Our school community is very lucky to enjoy a new, state of the art library which was partly funded by the fundraising efforts of our fantastic ‘Friends of Storrington School’ following a range of well supported school fundraisers.

As you can see, this bright space is perfect for curling up with a book, enjoying a story time or accessing a wide range of non fiction titles to support learning across the curriculum.  We know the children will really enjoy using this fantastic area, as well as their individual class libraries.

We enjoy close links with the Schools Library Service, who work alongside us, to ensure book stock is up to date and varied so it suits the needs of our school community.

Our team of Year 5 librarians support year groups to choose new books so that individual class libraries are also inviting and up to date.  They are currently cataloguing the books as we move towards an online reading system which we are very excited about.




Learning to read in Early Years and Key Stage 1

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc. Phonics, a program to help to your child read at school.
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school.
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home.

At Storrington Primary School we use Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy.  Miss Foggett  is our Phonics Lead, so if you have questions about RWI, contact Miss Foggett. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child as they learn to read.


What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at


How will RWI be taught?

In Reception, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short sessions, all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.


The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions


The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk*
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write


The children work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary

Year one and Year two children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for30 minutes. Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to guided reading sessions.


Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.


Key Skills:

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.


At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words.  We call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

Here are some examples of games you can play at home to reinforce your child’s ‘Fred talking’ skills’

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred

Blending with Fred 


Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending. 



Click here for the top ten tips and help with how to pronounce sounds correctly.

Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.


Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Nonsense words (Alien words)

 As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check will take place in June.

This check simply identifies the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.


Step 3:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short books. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences. There will also be time to talk built in to each session to support the children with their reading comprehension and language development.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.


To help at home:

We expect every child to read daily at home to reinforce the reading they experience at school. We know it makes a really significant difference to your child’s reading development and we encourage all families to make space in the day for children to show off their reading skills!  5 minutes in the car, while waiting for a club or when curled up in bed in the evening, every minute of reading counts.

Each child will bring home a new Read Write Inc ‘Book Bag Book’ weekly. This is to be read daily and returned on a Friday. The reason we encourage you to read the book repeatedly is because this enables your child to work on their fluency as their decoding becomes more effortless with each read.

In addition to this, children are welcome to bring home a book of their choice from their class library each week to share with you at home.  For further information about how you can support your child reading at home can be found if you follow the link below.


Reading to Learn in Key Stage 2

  • Children will be able to use their well-developed reading skills so that they are able to read to learn across the curriculum.
  • To explore suitably challenging texts with an awareness of how the writer engages the reader in terms of purpose, structure and vocabulary.
  • Reading Comprehension activities are planned for weekly within the English lessons and/or Guided Reading sessions in class.

Strategies used to teach reading

  • Teachers in Key Stage 2 provide on average five twenty minute sessions of shared reading/guided reading and book talk each week.
  • The texts chosen are linked to the writing activities planned for the children wherever possible. A ‘class reader’ is also read to the class daily. Reading comprehension continues to be taught throughout English lessons and reading skills are fostered throughout all areas of the curriculum.

As in Key Stage 2, we expect our learners in Year 3-6 to read daily and to read a range of literature, poetry and non fiction that will support their learning across the curriculum and open their eyes to both the real, and imaginary worlds around us.  Children will have opportunities to read in class daily and to engage in ‘book talk’ to assess their comprehension skills.  Working in partnership with school to ensure reading happens at home will benefit your child greatly.

Reading at home is incentivised in classes and celebrated in monthly reading assemblies where a reader of the month has the opportunity to win a brand new book.