Phonics and Reading Schemes


“If pupils cannot read, they will not be able to access the curriculum, and will be disadvantaged for life”

Research for EIF framework, p20, 2019

As a core curriculum subject, English is a priority at Outwood Primary Academy Woodlands. We encourage children to become resilient readers and confident communicators and reading is prioritised to enable all children to access the curriculum.

Our consistent and rigorous approach to teaching early reading enables children to master the key skills that research suggests is important early on.

To do this, we follow the Read Write Inc. programme; this sets out a sequence of lessons that teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They also learn to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas step-by-step.


Your child will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts.
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk) e.g. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop.
  • Read ‘red words’ these are words that have less common spelling patterns.
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'.


Your child will:

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds.
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).
  • Learn to write simple then more complex sentences.
  • Compose stories based on story strips.
  • Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.


Your child will learn how to:

  • Answer questions
  • Practise every activity orally.
  • Take turns talking and listening to each other.
  • Give positive praise to each other.

Home Reading

While a child is learning to read, they will be given the storybook that they have read in class so that they can practise re-reading it at home. This is done to help them build their confidence and fluency.

They will also be given a ‘book bag book’ which will be an exciting text that they will be able to read themselves; this is because they will have learnt all the letters and ‘red words’ already in class but parents or carers can offer some help if the child needs it.

It is really important that parents or carers listen to the child read at least three times a week.

Finally, a child will be given a library book; this book is for the parent or carer to read to the child and it is crucial at helping the child expand their vocabulary and develop their love for reading.

If you would like to know more about how your child is taught to read, or how you can support at home, ask to speak to the academy’s Reading Leader.

Developing reading throughout the academy

The study of English promotes reading as a way of acquiring knowledge and as a way of exploring the world in different ways which enriches childrens' understanding.

A major focus of our English curriculum is to encourage the habit and enjoyment of reading – whether this is to explore new fictional worlds and characters, to engage with unfamiliar experiences through literature, to learn about our literary heritage or to gain information from a variety of sources.

Children will be immersed in a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry throughout their primary journey. Reading is prioritised to allow access to the full curriculum offer, as it is our belief that reading is a necessity for children as it lays the foundations for many of the skills they will explore on their academic journey.

In order to teach children to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills further, we believe it is vital that children experience high quality modelling from adults in school.

They are given support where appropriate and the opportunity for independent practice of skills. As a class the areas of development are identified and focused intervention takes place during the lesson.

Across the academic year, all classes will cover the content domains as set out in the national curriculum. The aim of each session is to tackle questions in detail, with reference to explicit strategies for each area of focus.

The majority of children will access the same text, with support provided by the adults in the room. This text must be age-appropriate, but could also be an example of cross-curricular reading (either fiction, non-fiction or poetry).

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is a computer-based reading programme which quizzes children on the books they have read in order to recommend new books appropriate to their ability and reading age. This is used in Years 2-6 with books from a variety of genres across fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

These Accelerated Reader books will be taken home as a home reader.

The Outwood Primary Academies have agreed that home reading will be recorded in homework planners by an adult three times a week. Teachers will check these planners regularly, ensuring children are reading at home to consolidate and embed the skills learnt in school, including the development of reading fluency.

Developing writing throughout the academy

Our English curriculum provides many opportunities for writing with real purpose, including poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Children are actively encouraged to challenge themselves in writing lessons to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of different text types and genres. Across the study of English, children will be exposed to excellent examples of a wide variety of texts, and will be given many opportunities to explore the role of the author.

Across all writing activities, children will be encouraged to enhance and extend their vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, and will develop their ability to construct and manipulate sentences for effect.

The development of spelling, punctuation and grammar is also a key part of our English curriculum, and is embedded within our writing lessons. From letter formation at the beginning of their academic journey, to crafting sophisticated narratives in Year 6, teachers encourage children to have nothing but the highest standards in English.

Resources for Parents

The government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai

“The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller.”