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English Reading


Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK's primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child's progress.

Read Write Inc - Our Phonics Scheme

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.

Here at the Brightlingsea Primary School, we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and 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 can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant.


When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'


When using RWI to write the children 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)


When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:

  • To answer questions
  • To take turns talking and listening to each other
  • To give positive praise to each other


Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page).

 Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word. Click here for a guide to saying the pure sounds.

 Read Write Inc Books

Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page and then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. They should be able to read this book with fluency and expression and they should have a good comprehension of what the book is about. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child.

 Finally, don't worry if your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, they will get there in their own time. If you have time (we know it is very precious!), we would urge you to try and read stories to your child before they go to bed. This will help develop a wider vocabulary which makes a vast difference to their quality of writing, but it will also encourage them to enjoy a good story.

Reading Beyond the Read Write Inc Programme


Once children have finished the Read Write Inc programme, throughout KS1 and KS2, Brightlingsea Primary School uses VIPERS to explicitly teach the domains outlined by the National Curriculum which are the key areas which children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. VIPERS is the acronym (created by Rob Smith, The Literacy Shed) used to help the children remember the domains.






Sequence or Summarise


In KS1, children use the VIPERS and practise their reading skills during reading sessions. The teachers will work with each group (around 6 children) once a week where children are encouraged to orally answer questions specifically linked to the VIPERS and on the other four days, the children will work independently on a task based on the domain that they were working on in their groups. The sessions are tailored to suit the needs of each group whereby the teacher will choose suitable texts and will tailor the questions. This table shows how the domains are linked with each of the VIPERS. In KS1, there isn’t an explain domain; however, children are encouraged to orally explain their preferences or views around a text.

At the end of KS1, the children will be asked to complete a KS1 reading assessment. The table below shows the ‘weight’ of marks given to each content domain from the KS1 English reading test framework National curriculum tests from 2016.


In KS2, children use the VIPERS and practise their reading skills during whole class reading sessions. During these sessions, the teacher will explain which domain(s) the children will be focussing on.

The children will have a piece of text that they will be using and will read in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the children but also to develop fluency within the sessions:

  • Teacher reading aloud to pupils, modelling fluency and the thought process (where the children then re-read the same extract)
  • Children reading silently
  • Children reading aloud in groups
  • Children reading aloud in pairs

The teacher is able to hear some of the children reading within the session whether independently or in their pairs/groups.

The activities planned for the children will depend on the text type and the domain that the children are covering but may range from whole-class activities to independent activities. The teacher will model how to answer comprehension questions based on the domain(s)/VIPER(s) that the children are focussing on and then, the children will have a go on their own.

Children are encouraged to discuss their answers to questions. This can either be done before recording their formal answers but can also be done after where the children will be expected to edit and improve based on their discussion. Teachers are then able to assess the children based on the National Curriculum expectations and how they are performing relating specifically to the content domains.


Home reading

Children are encouraged to read at home and with adults to continue to build on their fluency and comprehension skills but also to develop a habit of reading for pleasure. In order to encourage children to read at home, each year group has reading incentives. The children are expected to read 3x per week and have their reading records signed by an adult. This is then converted into class pebbles.

 Or why not try....

Audio Books: There are many sites where you can listen to or download free audio books.  These can be a great way of getting children 'in' to reading, especially where they can follow the text is an actual book as it is read.

Scholastic have produced an interesting article on why you should use audio books and link to seven different sites where free audio books can be found.

Read it here: Free Audio Books and Why You Should Try Them

Try 'Storynory,' by clicking on the name.

 Storyline Online, have a wide range of stories that are read aloud for children to listen to.


This is a great site to explore with your children, which will help you to find books they will enjoy.

The following is an extract from their site, which provides top tips for nurturing a child's interest in reading.

Countless research shows the links between good reading skills from an early age and future success in life. However we also know it can be hard to get children really excited by books given the many other exciting leisure time activities fighting for their attention. Obviously having books they like is a great start but here are a few terrific tips for nurturing your child's interest in reading:

  • Reading should be a shared experience between parent and child in order to ensure a love of books from an early age.
  • Ensure your child sees you reading regularly whether it's a book, a newspaper or a magazine as it will instil a love of reading for pleasure.
  • Let your child help you choose the books you read together. If your child doesn't like a book, don't force him or her to read it. Let them put it down and come back to it after reading something else.
  • Read in a place that's comfortable for both you and your child. During and after reading a book talk about the story and take time to discuss the ideas in the book in order to ensure a greater understanding.
  • Give your child plenty of praise while reading. If they have a favourite book or author let them read them again and again but also introduce an author or book similar in style. Our Like-for-Like feature will help here.
  • Parents can enjoy online-time with children as much as watching TV with them. Specialist websites like Lovereading4kids are not only fun for online browsing, but have developed specialist tools such as the facility to download free Opening Extracts and search our author If They Like…They’ll Love function.
  • Many of today's parents are not aware that there are whole rafts of children's books written by great authors especially for them. These days, children don't have to be forced to read Dickens or Bronte. Harry Potter is not alone!
  • Above all, make reading fun.

Early Reading is taught using RWI phonics as well as regularly reading with the children and developing their love of a good book.  The link here will take you to 'Phonics Play', parent area, which will help you to understand how children are taught using phonics, what the phonic phases are and how you can help your child with this important early skill.

Phonics Play

The Importance of Reading

At Brightlingsea Primary School & Nursery, we really encourage children to read as widely as possible.  It is key to children's later success and because of its importance it is a requirement that children read regularly as part of their homework.

This is a useful document from the publisher Pearson, about how parents can help to establish their children as children who enjoy reading and read for pleasure.

Click here: Enjoy Reading

Read the article below about the importance of reading from Reading Rockets.

Click here:   Reading With Your Child

The School Reading List provide lists of suitable reading books for different ages.  If you aren't sure what to encourage your child to read, these lists will be very helpful.

Click here  Recommended Books 

Click here:  for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Award site.  These are the UK's oldest and most prestigious book awards. 

 Ten Reasons for reading!

1. Children who read often and widely get better at it.

After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading is no different.


2. Reading exercises our brain.

Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.


3. Reading improves concentration.

Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If they read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.


4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.

Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.


5. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.

Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.


6. Reading develops a child's imagination.

As we read, our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.


7. Reading helps children to develop empathy.

As children develop, they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.


8. Reading is  fun.

A book or an e-reader doesn't take up much space and is light to carry, so you can take it anywhere.  You can never be bored if you have a book in your bag!


9. Reading is a great way to spend time together.

Reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.


10. Children who read achieve better in school.

Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.