Call 01268 699305


Please click on this link to find the ‘Intent’ for this subject. The ‘Intent’ is our school aim for what we would like the children to be able to do, know and understand.

Reading Intent

How we Teach Reading at Winter Gardens Academy

Developing Pleasure and a Love for Reading

At Winter Gardens Academy, we believe that reading is the key to effective learning and development. All adults at Winter Gardens believe in the power that literature brings; ensuring knowledge can be acquired in all subjects, which is fundamental to be successful in adulthood. Everything depends on reading and it is the scaffold for ensuring children acquire new knowledge and can engage in new experiences. As a result, we place reading at the heart of our practice and believe that this begins through our children developing love and enthusiasm to read a range of texts, including: comics, magazines, newspapers (FIRST NEWS – children’s weekly newspapers in the library), poetry, fiction and e-books).

We encourage the children to appreciate all books available to them. To achieve this, we begin by placing reading ‘Everywhere’ within the curriculum. For example, all classrooms have an inviting and vibrant book corner which have a range of fiction and non-fiction books and also baskets with books by a range of well-known authors. This ensures that by the time children finish their learning journey in Year Six they will be familiar with at least thirty significant authors.

To develop a love for reading and allow children to enter new worlds through developing their imagination, novel time – where the teacher reads aloud to the whole class – is timetabled into the curriculum every day. The children say they love this time as it is peaceful and calming. We alternate between fiction and non-fiction texts so that ‘Book Talk’ allows new opportunities for discussion.

All children are provided with a colour banded/stage book which they are assessed on and move through the scheme (Oxford Owl). Please click on the link to see the colour/stage appropriate to the year group.

Reading Reward Scheme



When children read at home, please comment and sign their diary as this helps them to earn their academic reading badges which are presented in assembly. These include: bronze – 50 reads, silver – 100 reads, gold – 150 reads, platinum – 200 reads, 250 reads – a book and 300 reads – a special prize.




In Key Stage Two, all classrooms have a ‘Starbooks’ display/library where  the children can sign books in and out. Each time they read one of these books, they complete a book review then they receive a stamp on their ‘Starbooks’ card, which can be found in their reading diaries.




A Year 5 class library where children can sign books in and out. A range of authors – age appropriate level and books just for pure enjoyment! What a cosy place to read!


“Reading is good because it’s fun and you can learn lots of facts and share imaginative stories.

Our book corner is Harry Potter. When you finish a book you sign it in and then sign it back out”. Zachary, Class Mexico Year 5)






A Year 6 class library where children can sign books in and out. A range of authors – age appropriate level and books just for pure enjoyment!

“I really enjoy reading. The book corner is magical. You can pick a book from the class library and if you don’t like it, it’s okay because you can just sign out another one. You can even go to the library and choose one – different authors and genres.”

Faith, Class China Year 6      


A Year 2 class library where children can relax, share and enjoy a books including: poems, stories, factual books, play scripts and comics.

“Our Book Corner is a jungle because we are learning about animals. Our topic is: Who lives in a house like this?” Teddy, Ethan and Myah, Class Italy, Year 2



One of our aims is to support our children to become language rich so that they can speak and write using high level vocabulary. We believe that this can be best achieved through reading widely and reading ambitiously through a progressive, structures and consistent approach.

The Start of the Reading Journey

From preschool, we encourage ‘Book Talk’. The children learn to handle books, they engage in conversation about what is happening and they begin to recognise a few key words. The children develop their phonological awareness through listening games which  supports sound discrimination and this in turn helps them to hear initial sounds and blend orally. This works alongside the children learning a sound a week (initial sounds – all twenty-six in the alphabet) so that they can apply these skills to the reading opportunities available during the free-flow learning provision.

As the children are preparing for their transition into reception they will begin to be taught phonics through our whole scheme theme which is called Read Write Inc. (RWI). Please see the link below for an overview about RWI phonics.

Please see the link below to see some of the games that children play from preschool age to develop their phonological awareness skills.

Please click on the link for an overview about how reading is taught through phonics and the sounds the children are taught during their learning journey to ensure they become fluent readers. They also explain the terminology that we use with the children.

Developing Reading in Reception

In Reception, the children continue to be taught phonics through the RWI scheme, and after the first half term are grouped according to their ability. These are flexible groupings and children will move around throughout the year based on their progress and attainment. Once the children have learnt a few sounds – e.g. s, a, t they will be continue to build on their skills of oral blending so that they can begin to read words. Each sound is associated to a picture which comes with a rhyme. The children learn these alongside learning the sound. The rhyme helps them when forming their letters, as all adults working with the children will say the rhymes as a prompt to help the children to segment, (sound out to write the sound they hear). Please click on the link to see the rhymes for all 26 sounds in the alphabet. chart.pdf

After the first few weeks in school, all children go home with a picture book (lilac band) to develop Book Talk. This is very important to develop children’s language and curiosity, encouraging them to ask and answer questions about what they see. All children will be heard read to by an adult at least once a week.

Please see the link below to watch a video that demonstrates a phonics session being taught in Reception where the children are learning to read words through oral blending based on the initial sounds they know.

Please click on the links to watch Miss Allison and Miss Edmunds, the Reception class teachers, deliver a phonics workshop to show how we teach phonics and reading in Reception:

Part 1:


Moving on through Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2):

In year one and two, as well as the teaching of phonics, there is also a focus on comprehension and reading for pleasure.

During the children’s time in Year one and two, they will continue to build on their phonic knowledge through the RWI scheme. Each half term the children are assessed one to one using the RWI assessments, (please see the RWI Individual Assessment Tool). However, groupings are flexible so children may move groups throughout the half term. The groupings are by colour and consist of: ditty, red, green, orange, pink, yellow, blue and grey. We aim for children to come off of the RWI Programme by the end of Year 2 – Spring 2, where children then access the RWI Comprehension programme, which focusses on developing the children’s fluency and comprehension skills, (reading a section of the text independently and answering questions about it).

In Year one and two the children learn to develop their comprehension skills through ‘Reciprocal Reading’. There are seven roles that the children become familiar with by the end of Key Stage One. Each role is represented by a character with a name. These include: Predicting Pip, Vocabulary Victor, Inference Iggy, Summariser Sheba, Cassie the Commentator, Rex Retriever, Arlo the Author (available on the website under the Reading tab). You can find a copy of these roles and the questions they ask on the website too. In year one the children spend a whole half term learning the following roles in depth: Predicting Pip, Vocabulary Victor, Summarising Sheba and Rex Retriever so that the questions become embedded in their long term memory which they can then apply when reading any text type. In year two, the children build on this knowledge and become familiar with all roles throughout the year. The children will be heard to read in a group at least once a week with an adult. The power of Reciprocal Reading is that children are taught the skills, which then allow them to develop independence and lead the groups themselves. This underpins our core value: collaboration, perseverance, challenge and innovation.

Moving on through Key Stage 2 (Year 3,4,5 and 6)

Children who are yet to consolidate their phonic knowledge or read at a minimum of 90 words per minute continue on the RWI phonics programme.

The teaching of comprehension is continued in Key Stage Two through the Reciprocal Reading approach. Children work on one learning objective for the week that progressives in skills and the answers they ask and provide. Focusing on one learning objective a week, allows the children to deepen their understanding of the literature presented to them, looking to the mastery level. Furthermore, complexity in the reading materials provides challenge in vocabulary and the deepening of comprehension style questions.

Developing Comprehension

Our aim is to ensure the children’s understanding of the texts they are reading is in line with their ability to read fluently. Therefore, children work on their comprehension skills throughout their time in school.  In Year 3 to Year 6 children work with their teacher to learn comprehension skills that they then apply in other texts. This is delivered to the whole class and the children enjoy a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. The texts are read along which the children love! As a class, they unpick new vocabulary and phrases and learn how to answer comprehension style questions and record them.

Please click on the link below to see an example of a text and comprehension style questions.

Additional Support

We have support in place to provide further help to children, if required. Specific LSA’s are trained to deliver 1:1 RWI which is specific to an individual. The benefit of this is to allow all children to be working at their age appropriate level and by the end of their time in Key Stage one be a fluent and confident reader.

Mrs Exley, our Librarian, spends quality time hearing children from Year two – six reading in our cosy, well-stocked library, which always has new lines added! This helps to boost children’s confidence, develop their language and interest to engage in a range of high quality literature/books.

“It is very exciting and there are lots of fun stories. I have read some of the Harry Potter books and Horrid Henry books in there. I go to the library at lunchtime with my friends. It’s quiet”. Nicole, Kenya Class, Year 3