The teaching of reading is one of the most vital roles teachers have and at Churchfields Junior School it is our mission to ensure every child can read fluently and comprehend what they are reading by the time they leave.


Research has found that a child’s reading ability is one of the greatest indicators of how successful they will be in later life, yet the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that about 20% of 15-year-olds in developed countries lack the basic literacy skills meaning they struggle to participate in society.

Guided reading occurs daily at the beginning of the English session and is based on a whole class guided reading activity that occurs each day, lasting for a minimum of 20 minutes. The guided reading will be linked to the high quality class text taught in the main English lesson. Various activities will be used within the sessions, ranging from comprehension, to answering a big question about a text, to identifying features of a particular genre of book. All children will have the opportunity to participate within the lesson and record their work within a guided reading and spelling book. Staff will regularly share ideas and discuss good practice to ensure guided reading sessions are up to date and have a variety of enriching activities that stimulate and involve all children.

Boy and girl lying on the floor reading books

Reading Skills

Reading Vocabulary


Give/explain the meaning of words in context.

Reading Retreive


Retrieve and record information/identify key details from fiction and non-fiction.

Reading Summary


Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph.

Reading Infer


Make inferences from the text/explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text.

Reading Predict


Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.

Explain Writers Choices

Explain Writers’ Choices

Identify/explain how information/narrative content is related and contributes to narrative as a whole.

Reading Compare


Make comparisons within the text

What is Phonics?

The first step in reading is being to decipher the text on the page which then leads to decoding the meaning of the printed words on the page. Within English we use an alphabetic system of writing system means that the visual symbols represent the sounds of the language. To be a successful reader, three sets of skills needed to be acquired: decoding the alphabetic code; become fluent at recognising the words; and understanding written text.


What the Read Write Inc. phonics programme does is teach the children how to read these words independently, understanding the relationship between printed words and spoken language. It is the first step in the child’s reading journey and lays the foundations for the comprehension and understanding that follows; in short, without the ability to read the words, then the ability to understand cannot be achieved.

boy reading science book

Read Write Inc.

Read Write Inc. is a very popular and successful literacy programme that we have chosen to help the children who start in Year 3 having not passed the phonics test in Year 1 or Year 2, to develop their reading skills and ‘catch up’ with their peers. It provides a systematic and methodical approach to the teaching of phonics. It uses effective assessment and has high quality resources and training meaning teachers are very confident at teaching high quality lessons. Furthermore, this particular scheme has been recommended by the DfE due to its detail and quality.


We are using the Fast Track Phonics programme, which is aimed at small groups and to allow pupils to quickly catch up with their peers.

Read Write Inc Phonics icon

How Will My Child Learn to Read?

A Simple Way to Reading

Your child will learn to read in a very simple way. They will learn to:


  1. Read letters by their ‘sounds’
  2. Blend these sounds into words
  3. Read the words in a story.

Set 1 Speed Sounds

First, your child will learn to read:


  • Set 1 Speed Sounds – these are sounds written with one letter:
    m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, r, j, v, y, w, z, x 
    and sounds written with two letters – ‘special friends’:
    sh, th, ch, qu, ng, nk, ck
  • Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending:
    e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t  spot, b–e–s–t  best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
  • Order of books: Blending Books and Red, Green and Purple storybooks

Set 2 Speed Sounds

Second, your child will learn to read:

  • Set 2 Speed Sounds:
    ay, ee, igh, ow, oo, oo, ar, or, air, ir, ou, oy
  • Words containing these sounds
  • Order of books: Pink, Orange storybooks

Set 3 Speed Sounds

Third, your child will learn to read:

  • Set 3 Speed Sounds:
    ea, oi, a-e, i-e, o-e, u-e, aw, are, ur, er, ow, ai, oa, ew, ire, ear, ure, tion, tious
  • Words containing these sounds
  • Order of books: Blue and Grey storybooks

What Are We Doing?

We provide 1 to 1 or small group teaching of phonics through the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme. Teachers within the school have been trained to teach phonics effectively and to ensure the children involved in the programme progress quickly to ‘catch up’ with their peers.


Throughout the week, the children in the programme learn new sounds, learn to read words by sight and blending sounds to improve their fluency. The children follow a carefully planned scheme of work that scaffolds their learning, building upon their previous knowledge and allowing them to rapidly improve their reading skills. The teaching phonics is just one part of what we do as a school to improve reading but its importance to the children involved cannot be understated. Without this phonetical knowledge that our skilled teachers are imparting on the selected children, high levels of literacy would be impossible.

The Reading Record

Research has shown that reading for pleasure – the desire and the will to read – carries significant personal and affective benefits for a child reader in terms of, for example:


  • fostering empathy
  • engaging the emotions
  • expanding the imagination
  • providing the means of a temporary escape
  • widening knowledge
  • helping the child negotiate an identity and a place in the world


Thus as a school, we have introduced Reading Records to ensure children are able to develop excellent reading habits at home and are supported in their reading journey through parental support. If these conditions are in place then children will develop the desire to read. The Reading Record allows an on-going correspondence between home and school as well as allowing parents to write comments with regards to their child’s reading meaning as a school we get a greater sense of the types of books the children enjoy to read. We can then ensure the library is stocked with high quality popular books.

Children sitting on the grass reading a book

How to Use the Reading Record


Hear your child read at least 3 times a week and write the date each time.


Write the book name and the number of pages read


Write the type of the book – look on label.


Write a comment or sign. Teacher will check this.

The Reading Express

As a school we are constantly seeking to promote a love for reading and feel we are well on our way to being a world class seat of learning for reading. We have developed the innovative Reading Express which incorporates the tube map of London and instead of tube lines assigns a genre to them. The map has 250 books which we would like children to read before they leave the school and a library that is well stocked with opportunities every day to visit and change their books.


The online map gives synopsis and auto suggests books depending on the children’s genre preferences.  This complex tube map and system that has been developed, refined and initiated is a cornerstone of reading within the school. The children all know what the different lines are and how to find these books in the library and use the online version and version in the middle of their Reading Passport to help them suggest books.


The passport which stays at school, allows children a visual and kinaesthetic joy of collecting stamps every time they have finished a book; the children love this aspect of the Reading Express.


Every week a child from each class is given a certificate designed to celebrate an aspect of their reading for that week or to celebrate it over a sustained period of time. Raffle tickets given out upon completion of books and prizes awarded within a weekly assembly.

Boy selecting a book from a shelf in the school library

How to Use the Reading Express


Children choose a book from the CJS Reading Express Map. This book may be from home or from the classroom, school library or library outside of school. The colours on each line graduate with books suitable for Year 3 and 4 on each line in a lighter colour than the books more suitable for Year 5 and 6.


Child on their bookmark writes the name of their book. As they read the book the children record which page they are up to. They may choose to decorate the bookmark too.

The Reading Express map


When the book has been read, a parent or carer signs to confirm this in the reading record. The teacher stamps the corresponding page in the child’s ‘Reading Passport.’


The child then chooses another book, ideally from another line and repeat steps 1 to 3.


If the children want to read a book in the same series or another book on the same line, they can collect more than one stamp per line.


If children read a book not on the CJS Reading Express Map, they still get a stamp that corresponds to genre of the book.

The Reading Express passport


Rewards given for reading all the books on a line or reading a book from all 16 lines.


Each week as part of their reading homework, children choose a task from the list based on the book they are currently reading. It is not necessary to complete a task for every book.