Phonics & Reading

Phonics & Reading

At Cottingley Primary Academy we believe that reading is the key to unlocking learning. Our vision is to make reading exciting and engaging for the children in our academy thus creating a love of reading which will last a lifetime. Research has shown that reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success (OECD 2002).

We are committed to providing children with the skill, the will and the time to read.


Daily phonics lessons

In school we follow Read, Write, Inc for our phonics lessons. Every class teacher in Early Years and KS1, and some class teachers in KS2, along with some of our Learning Support Leaders, deliver streamed daily phonics lessons. If your child takes part in Read, Write, Inc and you'd like to know more about it, please speak to Miss Cater who will be more than happy to help.

Phonics catch up

We also use the RWI 1-2-1 tutoring programme in KS1 and LKS2, along with the Fresh Start intervention in Years Five and Six, to help any pupils catch up who are finding phonics difficult. We use our in school assessment systems to identify children who need these programmes but if you feel your child may benefit from extra support then please speak to Miss Cater, Mrs Snowden or Mrs O’Carroll who will listen and try to build in the extra help that your child needs.

What happens next?

As your child completes their work on phonics (expected by the end of Y1) they will move on to the Read, Write, Inc spelling programme, called Language and Literacy, to learn more about spelling strategies, patterns and rules.

Parent workshops and helping your child

We run a series of workshops throughout the school year to help you to be able to support your child with their phonics and spelling - please keep your eye out for letters and Marvellous Me messages regarding this.

We understand that it can be tricky to know how to support your child with phonics, especially if it isn't the strategy that you used when you learned to read, so, for help with phoneme pronunciation, and guidance on some of the terminology your child might use, please log on to:

The phonics screening check

At the end of Y1, each child is required to sit the phonics screening check. If your child is in Y1 you will be provided with lots of information regarding this throughout the year but to support with any questions you might have now then please check out the link below:


Following the end of Read, Write, Inc phonics (usually at the end of Key Stage 1), the children move on to the Read, Write, Inc spelling programme.

In Key Stage 2, children will complete spelling activities to learn about different spelling rules and patterns in class. At the end of each half term, the children will have a Spelling Assessment based on the rules that they have learnt throughout the half term.

For the National Curriculum Years 3 and 4 and Year 5 and 6 spelling lists, please see the links below.

All children in school have a personal login for Spelling Shed ( This is a great website full of lots of games for the children to use to practise their spellings. Children in KS2 access Spelling Shed weekly as part of their Personalised Learning Time (PLT). This helps them to remember previous spelling learning and fill any gaps that they might have. The website is available at home too so please encourage your child to get involved!

Home Reading Routines

Whole School

Reading for Pleasure is at the heart of our reading curriculum as we develop children’s love of reading. In every classroom and shared area, there is a dedicated reading area where children can get comfy and enjoy a text. In the class reading area, the teacher specially selects and organises a variety of texts including: recommended reads, classic texts, poetry & plays, non-fiction, magazines and specific authors.

Reading for Pleasure happens in all classrooms each day. During this time, the children can read independently or with a friend; they can read at their table or get comfy somewhere else; they can read a picture book, poetry, explore non-fiction or get hooked into a novel. Teachers facilitate this by engaging in discussions about books, recommending books, sharing books or getting stuck into their own novel.


Storytime takes place in every class every day. This is a chance for children to relax and listen to an age appropriate text being read in an exciting way to get them hooked on books! In KS2, the class novel (which links to the English lesson text) is read during storytime. In EYFS and KS1, the teacher chooses a range of texts based on the current topic, the children’s interests and their own favourite stories. We also have Class Story Chests - which contain age appropriate novels and picture books- that can also be read during storytime.

The Library

Our brand new library is a bright, inviting space full of books! Every class visits the library at least once a week and every child can choose any book from the library- fiction, poetry or non-fiction- that they can enjoy alone or with an adult at home. The library books are not levelled in order to allow the children freedom to enjoy a range of different texts.

Home reading

  1. EYFS and KS1 Home Reading


In Nursery, the focus is on developing a love of books, seeing books as a social activities and understanding “book behaviours”. There is a sharing library of books which children can choose with their parent/carer and borrow and swap as often as they would like. We encourage you to take at least one a week.


Children in reception will take home two books each week: one book will link directly to their phonics teaching, the other will be free choice from the “Bedtime Story Box”- this is a book to share with a grown up at home. .


Each child will take home two reading books a week (in addition to their library book):

  1. RWI phonics book: This book will be given and changed by the child’s phonics teacher each week. This will be a book that is at the child’s phonics level and covers the sounds they have already learnt and they can therefore read independently.

  2. Sharing book: This is a colour banded book that has been matched to the child’s ability by their teacher. However, because this book is not phonically decodable, the child may need to read it with an adult.


Children in KS2 will take home one book a week (in addition to their library book)- this is an AR book.

Accelerated Reader: Accelerated Reader begins with the children completing an online Star Reader test which provides them with a ZPD; this is the range of books which they may choose from.

For example, ZPD: 2.1-3.4: they choose books between B.L 2.1 and B.L 3.4

The children read their books during dedicated Accelerated Reader time (between 15 and 30 minutes each day) and take their book home to read independently or with an adult.

After reading a book, the child takes a quiz on their book; the quiz may have 3, 5, 10 or 20 questions depending on the length and level of the book.

If the child scores 85% or more on their quiz, they receive a stamp on their card. When they have 5 stamps, they are awarded with a book to keep.

Project X: Some children in KS2 will need additional support with phonics. They will choose a Project X book which is phonically decodable and matched to their level. They will still be able to do a quiz on this book. If the child scores 85% or more on their quiz, they receive a stamp on their card. When they have 5 stamps, they are awarded with a book to keep.