Please see all of information for reading below.

At Upperwood Academy we use the Read Write Inc Phonics programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading! Phonics is an approach of learning to read focusing on the letter sounds and blending them together, we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
At Upperwood we insist that children learn to decode the words effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

All children in Early Years and Year 1 are taught phonics daily for 30 minutes in order to develop their ability to decode texts by reading written words. At Upperwood Academy we use the Read Write Inc phonic scheme. Children in Year 2 and above requiring additional support with their phonics also access phonics teaching daily. 

Early readers are taught:

  • graphemephoneme correspondences (the sound that is made by the written version of a letter or group of letters) in a clearly defined sequence 
  • to blend sounds in order all through a word to read it
  • to segment words into individual sounds for spelling

Teachers follow a carefully designed curriculum which teaches all word knowledge and skills in the Alphabetic Code. Children are taught in groups according to their phonic knowledge and their ability to read words. The groups are flexible and led by both Teachers and Teaching Assistants.

All lessons follow a defined structure using Read Write Inc planning. All staff undertake training to deliver phonics. Phonics Assessments are undertaken by the Phonics Coordinator on a 7 weekly basis.

Your child will be provided with a reading book which they will be able to decode using their current level of phonic knowledge. We encourage this to be read and re-read at home to develop their reading fluency. Your child can change this book in their classroom every few days or more often if needed. We do encourage children to re-read their book to develop fluency. 

Below is a link to a video clip which shows the programme in action and explains everything, including ‘Fred talk’!


This is the order in which we teach the sounds in our phonics lessons:

Reading in Foundation Stage focuses on the development of: 

  • Listening, enjoying and joining in with stories and rhymes
  • Learning basic book/text conventions – cover, title, left to right, top to bottom
  • Talking about characters, setting and plot (prediction and recall)
  • Learning letter sounds and begin to blend them together through daily Phonic lessons
  • Developing knowledge of wide range of vocabulary and high frequency words 

By the end of Foundation Stage we aim to ensure most children can:

  • Read and understand simple sentences
  • Use phonic knowledge to decode simple words and read them aloud accurately
  • Read some common irregular words 
  • Demonstrate an understanding, when talking with others, about what they have read

Activities used to develop reading skills:

  • Story telling which is fun and exciting 
  • A number of core stories which are shared regularly and linked resources are added to provision
  • Talk for Writing used to develop familiarity with texts, vocabulary and language features
  • Read Write Inc daily phonics lessons
  • Small group/individual phonic intervention
  • Shared reading sessions to reinforce skills
  • Drama activities and provision enhancements linked to stories/rhymes

From Years 2 to 6, when children have completed the Phonics programme and are able to decode a text well, we ensure that all children take part in reading and associated activities every day through 30 minute daily reading comprehension sessions. The teaching of reading focuses upon the meaning of words in context and how these contribute to the meaning of the text, retrieving information from a text, making inferences from the text as well as summarising information and making predictions. Each day has a structured approach to the teaching of reading and has a clear focus on the teaching of vocabulary. Reading and answering written reading comprehension questions is modelled and taught explicitly. 

Your child will be provided with a reading book which will be matched to their current level of ability. We encourage this to be read and enjoyed at home to develop their reading fluency. Your child can change their home reading book in their classroom.  

If your child needs extra support with their reading, we will regularly assess them to find which area of reading it is that they need extra support with. Some children require extra support with reading accuracy (their ability to know and blend sounds in words) while other children require additional support with reading fluency (the pace and rhythm of reading taking into account of the punctuation.) Many children may also require additional support with reading comprehension (answering questions about the text they have read.) If your child receives extra support in reading, this will usually be through short bursts of additional reading throughout the school day. 

We promote and celebrate reading for the whole school through book weeks each year which include a number of exciting activities e.g. dress up as a book character, competitions and quizzes, visiting authors and book fairs. Paired reading with children in other classes and year groups is also enjoyed at key times throughout the school year. In school, every Key Stage Two class has a top 20 books to read in each class and associated rewards for reading at home.  

A core spine of Reading books has been identified for each class to ensure all children are inspired by and hear the work of good quality authors. Daily story times throughout school are a feature in all classes. 

All children are encouraged to read at home from the Early Years up to Year 6. Your child’s class teacher will tell them which colour reading band to choose a book from to take home. Children are free to change these books as they finish reading them. In addition to this we encourage children to read widely at home, whether it be a good book, comics, magazines or websites. Please record any reading your child does in their reading record.