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Colham Manor

Primary School

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What does Phonics and Early Reading look like?

RWInc daily phonics lessons


We teach with fidelity to the Read, Write Inc. (RWI) programme in a whole school approach to the teaching of phonics. This is a systematic way of teaching synthetic phonics and is a highly successful way of ensuring that children learn to read and write quickly and confidently. From Nursery, children are introduced to our programme for phonics: ‘Read Write Inc’. They are taught to read letters, or groups of letters, by saying the sound they represent and then blend these sounds to form words. Phonics lessons are taught in small groups to ensure that learning is targeted to children’s individual needs. All staff are fully trained and children may be taught in mixed year groups. During daily RWInc , lessons, children are introduced to a new sound daily and practise reading and spelling words. Each RWI lesson is split into three parts: 

  1. A speed sound session to learn to read and write Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds
  2. Reading a story, practising decoding and comprehension skills
  3. Writing task linked closely to the book read that week. These tasks develop vocabulary, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation

(See more information on RWInc under the “our approach” tab)



English curriculum


We have developed an English curriculum using a book-based approach, from Nursery onwards, children are exposed to a wide range of texts that are used to support their understanding of literature and develop their comprehension skills. At the beginning of every English lesson, children are immersed in their focus text through a hook and exploratory point which is aimed at getting children engaged in the text throughout the unit. We choose books to cover a range of genres from a range of diverse authors; the texts we choose allow our children to explore books which are relevant to our school community, include a variety of cultures, ethnicities and faiths through stories and allow our children to see the world from a different perspective.

Through this approach, the children are exposed to high quality texts which aim to stimulate and aid their vocabulary, comprehension skills and understanding of the English language. 



Accelerated reader


When children have completed the RWInc programme of study, they progress onto accessing accelerated reader. Children access a wide range of age-appropriate ebooks on accelerated reader using school devices. Here they are able to read books of their choice and complete reading quizzes based on what they have read and understood. Each term, children complete a star reading assessment to determine their level and monitor progress as well as provide them with a ZPD code which then allows them to select a book from the library reflecting their level of fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.



Library visits


Each class has a weekly library slot where they are able to select a book of choice to take home. During the library visit, children are able to enjoy stories with friends and staff and this supports their enjoyment of reading, making the most of the rich variety of texts on offer. During this time the reading advocate might join and share a story with the children using a story sack.

The library is also open for lunch time visits, for children to use the quiet space, read with friends or change books.



Talk through stories and vocabulary time


From reception – year 2, children are exposed to a wide range of picture books. These sessions happen for 25 minutes daily, during these sessions’ children will get to know the story well and their vocabulary is deepened and extended. Words are chosen that children are unlikely to hear in everyday conversation but are likely to come across in stories, this supports their vocabulary and understanding of each word so that they can use it in their everyday lives. Talk through stories supports our children’s enjoyment and understanding of a range of stories, developing their comprehension skills in an enjoyable way.



Reading advocate


At Colham Manor, we are lucky to have a reading advocate who supports all things reading! Our reading advocate helps to organise reading events such as world book day, author events and organising parents to come in as readers. She runs the library at lunchtimes and is always welcoming to children coming in during sessions, she has also made this space extremely welcoming for the children. Our reading advocate utilises her time wisely to support children with their individual reading needs, this includes: 1:1 reading with story sacks to engage children, tailored support with children in years 2 – 6 to support their reading stamina and fluency and working with groups of children. 

Our reading advocate has strong links with our local community library which she has worked closely with to enrol as many of our pupils as possible. If you would like support with this, please contact the office and request to speak with the reading advocate.



1:1 reading


Children have the opportunity to read books that match their level throughout the week, this allows children to develop fluency when reading aloud. Adults use questioning and discussion to engage children with their understanding and enjoyment of books. Adults use this opportunity to formatively assess pupils, identify their achievements and those in need of additional support.



Whole class reading sessions


As your child develops from the systematic synthetic phonics program (RWInc) they will take part in whole class reading sessions. During whole class reading sessions, children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail. Reading helps to develop vocabulary, comprehension and information processing skills (see English curriculum page for more information).


Extra support for reading


We have established systems to support some children with improving their reading over time.


Support structure

How does this work

Reading recovery

Reading Recovery programme is an effective school-based literacy intervention for five or six year olds who are the lowest attaining in reading and writing. It enables these pupils to catch up with their classroom peers and reach age-expected levels within around 20 weeks. This intervention takes place one-to-one outside of the classroom with a qualified Reading Recovery Teacher.


Please see further information about the intervention on UCL's website:


Daily reading

Some children are identified in needing 1:1 daily reading. This regular practice allows personalised and consistent support to accelerate progress in fluency.


RWInc intervention for KS2

To address gaps in phonics knowledge from KS1, children will continue to learn to read by:

1. Reading letters (graphemes) by their ‘sounds’

2. Blending these sounds into words

3. Reading the words in a story

These sessions are done daily.


ZPD reading

ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD, or reading range after taking a STAR Reading test. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within his/her ZPD.


PIXL reading strategies



This is used throughout the school when children have progressed from the phonics programme and require additional support to develop their comprehension.