At West Boldon Primary we aim to develop the full potential of all of our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. We aim to teach the children to read fluently and accurately and develop skills which promote understanding and interpretation of texts to support the curriculum. We use a wide range of material to promote home school reading. The main core of the scheme is Oxford Reading Tree but this is well supplemented with other material to ensure a variety of engaging texts are available to all children.

Phonics Statement

Our school uses Read, Write Inc. for the systematic teaching of phonics. Daily sessions are taught in Reception and Key Stage One classes. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their prior learning, be taught new skills and practise and apply what they have learned.

The principles of Read, Write Inc. Phonics

This is a full teaching programme proven to develop

  • Confident speakers,
  • Fluent and enthusiastic readers,
  • Keen writers

Children are taught to

  • Learn to read and write letter sound correspondences quickly
  • Decode effortlessly
  • Spell and handwrite easily
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Comprehend what they read
  • Write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • Work effectively with a partner to articulate their learning at every step.

All Reception and Key Stage One staff have been trained to deliver this synthetic phonic programme.

 Intervention and Support

Any pupil who is not making expected progress receives additional support and intervention through Read, Write Inc. one to one sessions or bespoke intervention to suit the individual’s needs.

Tracking and Assessment

During daily sessions of phonics there are opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding of letter-sound correspondences. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions there are opportunities to observe the application of phonics skills e.g. during guided/shared reading. During each Read, Write Inc. Phase there are judgements to determine if a child is secure at each level.

At West Boldon Primary we use the Read, Write Inc. tracking sheet to track pupils and monitor the progress they make. Any pupil who needs additional support can therefore be quickly identified and appropriate intervention and support is allocated.

Year One Screening Check

Every Year one child in Summer term will take a phonics screening check. In this test the children are expected to read 40 decodable words including some nonsense words. This progress check identifies children who may need additional support in their reading. The results are reported to parents and are published in Raise Online. Any child who does not achieve the pass mark in this test will be retested in Year Two.

Reading Statement

At West Boldon Primary School children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading.

Children read in school independently, in guided groups, with reading buddies, and as a shared class session. They listen to adults and other children read, taking part in paired reading with their own and other age groups.

Our Reading Aims 

  • To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately and fluently.
  • To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
  • To develop their vocabulary and comprehension of what they have read.
  • To encourage good home/school partnerships.
  • To enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
  • To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies e.g. Reading Age tests, on-going reading observations, monitoring against end of year assessment criteriaTo support those children who require additional support with their reading.

Reading In School

Many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children. As children gain phonic knowledge they start the process of decoding.

Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book with no words with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually as the children’s knowledge of letters and sounds develop they begin to phonetically decode words.


Our reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands.  Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book Band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. Children move through the Book Bands until they reach the required standard to become a Free-Reader.

Developing Reading for Pleasure

To encourage children to read widely our English curriculum is based around a text to captivate pupil’s interests and motivate and inspire children to read a variety of authors and for a variety of purposes. Each class chooses a selection of age appropriate books by a variety of authors which are studies by children over the course of the year.

We try to encourage a love of reading by holding book themed days and events both as individual classes and across the whole school. eg Reading Challenges, World Book Day, Buddy Reading, video conferencing with authors such as Berry Hutchinson and Reading Breakfasts. We have strong links with East Boldon library and several children participate in the summer reading challenge as well as having workshops and trips throughout the year.  A Scholastic Book Fair is held every year to allow all children the chance to look at new books of all genres and hopefully purchase a new book of their own to take home!

Children’s suggestions for new books are encouraged and purchased. The School Council recently visited Waterstones to purchase books for their class which were chosen by their class.

Assessment of Reading

Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system.External tests for Key Satge One and Two are completed in Summer term and reported to parents and in Raise Online. In KS2, optional SAT reading tests are also used to monitor progress. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.