Reading & Phonics


One of the most important skills a child can acquire is the ability to read independently and for meaning. Books are the stepping stones of imagination and our aim at Furley Park is to instil in your child a love of books and a passion for the written word.

We read a range of quality texts throughout the day in all curriculum areas, as well as teaching discrete phonics and reading sessions every day.  Please help us to support your child begin their reading journey by reading, talking about and enjoying books every day.

Throughout the year, we have various book themed events, including story night, World Book Day celebrations and story themed after school clubs. Please come along to support these events, we love sharing our love of reading with our school community.


We use the phonics programme Read Write Inc (RWI) from the start of Reception.

From their first full week in Foundation, Children begin their reading journey using the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme.  All children are placed into homogenous reading ability groups and are assessed regularly to ensure that they are making the required progress and staying on track.   

The first 20 minutes of Read Write Inc each day is referred to as the ‘Speed Sound lesson’ during which children learn a new sound, review sounds that they have been taught previously, spell words and practise reading pseudo (alien) words in order to strengthen their blending skills and prepare them for the Phonics Screening Check.   

The remainder of the lesson is spent reading a text and completing comprehension and writing activities which relate to it.  The texts are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and are all completely decodable according to each child’s most recent assessment.  Depending on their group level children are working from either a 3 or 5 day timetable.  The repetitive nature of the programme is a real strength as children soon become familiar with the routines and expectations of each lesson which maximises learning time.  This supports all children with transition between groups but especially those children who may be more sensitive to change.  

Any children not making progress are identified very quickly and will be flagged to their class teachers as requiring additional support or intervention.  Children who need to learn additional sounds may take part in ‘pinny time’ sessions where they will regularly review sounds and learn new ones informally with an adult at some other time throughout the day.   

The way that phonics is taught is shared with parents in a number of ways. All parents are invited in to training sessions at the beginning of the school year where they are introduced to the RWI programme and learn about how it is taught.

Foundation Stage Parents are also invited in to a ‘Stay and Play’ session in the first term and the focus of this session is phonics. Parents watch a phonics lesson being taught and join in with their child as they complete the activities in the lesson.

A love of books and story is fostered throughout the Foundation year with multiple stories, rhymes and songs being shared with children every day.

Accelerated Reader

Year 1 children who have completed RWI and Year 2 children in Yellow Group and above take home books from the library. All library books are given a ZPD number which is based on the complexity of the text and content of the book. Children complete a Star Reader online test each term to determine their ZPD range and then can choose books independently within this range. With Accelerated Reader, a child reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback about their comprehension of the book. Students respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. They enjoy reading ’real’ books which are fully accessible.

Accelerated Reader ensures all readers are reading texts that match their ability and interests and especially enables our more able readers to access texts which challenge and motivate them.

We have a part time librarian who organises resources for Accelerated Reader, schedules in Star Reader tests each term and is on hand to help children choose books. ‘Branching Out’ posters are displayed in our libraries to encourage children to broaden their reading experience, based on what they know they already enjoy. Our librarian also shares Accelerated Reader data with class teachers to ensure the needs of children are met, in particular, those who require interventions/support with their reading.

Hooked on Books

We are Hooked on Books! 

We have introduced a whole school approach to the teaching of reading and have aligned this with the teaching of writing using Jane Considine’s ‘Hooked on Books’ approach. This provides a systematic way to teach reading skills across the whole school, from the point at which the children complete the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. Across a week, children will engage in two Book Talk lessons and three Reading Comprehension lessons. The children will experience reading in a range of different ways: reading by themselves, reading with a partner, reading as a whole class, or listening to the adult model the reading. During the lessons, children explore high-quality texts and use the ‘Reading Rainbow’ to read and respond to texts through different lenses from the three zones of reading: the FANTASTICs, the STYLISTICs, and the ANALYTICs. Together, the three zones of reading are designed to support the children to become confident readers.

  • The FANTASTICs support the children to identify specific ideas that published authors use to enhance their writing. They represent nine lenses through which the children can discuss the texts that they are reading and the choices that authors make.
  • The STYLISTICs are nine key ideas which help the children to demonstrate their understanding of the texts that they have read. They help them to retrieve information from the text, explain their understanding, summarize what they have read, and justify their ideas and opinions.
  • The ANALYTICs are techniques that the children can use to really delve deeply into the texts that they have read, analyzing the reasons behind authors’ choices. They allow the children to compare and contrast texts, identifying big themes as well as the fine details.

Within each of the reading zones, there are nine lenses which provide the children with reasons to read. As we understand the science of learning and the need to revisit and review concepts in order to embed them in the long-term memory, our curriculum planning ensures that these lenses and reasons to read are recapped and applied to a range of different texts and genres.

During Book Talk lessons, key skills in oracy, reading fluency, and confidence will develop. Children collaborate in small groups using sentence stems and high-utility words to develop a verbal comprehension answer. All of our high-quality texts are age-appropriate and carefully selected to suit the interests of our children. This ensures that all children are challenged and have the opportunity to experience the diverse and magical world that reading has to offer.

During Reading Comprehension lessons, the children are exposed to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry texts which they use to develop their reading, retrieval, sequencing and summarizing, inference, and prediction skills. They will also discuss the vocabulary that they encounter to help continue to build their banks of language. This will work in a sequence of: teacher-led, group-led, independent work.

Class Reads

We wanted to establish a system whereby all children, but particularly those in KS2, were exposed to high quality texts in the form of books that were read aloud to them.

A core set of class reads have been established linked to our curriculum cycles.  High quality texts were chosen and the books being read to classes represent a range of genres, and different cultures, abilities, times and viewpoints are represented.

All classes have timetabled daily read aloud sessions  – we quickly discovered that the children simply won’t let us teach into the times allocated for story!

In addition to the Class Reads, the younger children have book votes, whereby a choice of two books to be read aloud is offered and the children vote on which one they would like to hear. Children are invited to bring in much loved books from home and tell their class why they think it would be enjoyed by everyone. That book then goes into the book vote – we love hearing about why particular stories mean so much to them!

If you would like some ideas about what to read to your child, there are some great recommendations on the links below, based on age or on topic. Or to talk the class teachers, Mrs Oliver or Miss Blundy – we are all lovers of children’s books!

Booklists by Age | booksfortopics

Primary Book Lists by Topic (