Our approach to Reading 

At The Bishops' we love reading; it is the most important part of primary school.  Every day, all of our children spend at least half an hour reading in school and every day our teachers read their class a story which is linked to the current topic.  We celebrate, promote and foster a love of reading as we know how important comprehension and vocabulary are for our young people. We use Read, Write, Inc to teach explicit reading skills and carefully track children's progress on Accelerated Reader. On this page you'll find the best books to read for your children and tips on how to encourage reading for pleasure at home. 

Listening to your child read every night and reading to them is incredibly important. Spending this time with your child each day will make a significant difference to, not only their reading, but their success as a learner across the curriculum.

Children who read often and widely get better at it.

Practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.

Reading exercises our brain.

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

Reading improves concentration.

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

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.

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.

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. Children then bring this knowledge into their writing.

Reading helps children to develop empathy.

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

Reading is a fun.

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

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.

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

Read Write Inc. - Christ Church Hanham Primary School

What is Read Write Inc?


At the Bishops’ C of E Learning Academy, we use the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme designed by Ruth Miskin to teach early reading. The structured programme helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. At the core of the programme is the lively and vigorous teaching of synthetic phonics. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding) at the same time as developing handwriting skills and spelling (encoding).


We have found that by using the Read Write Inc. programme, children experience success from the very beginning of their reading journey. Lively phonic books are then closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and as children re-read stories their fluency increases. The stories include prompts to support thinking out loud and discussions, helping children develop the skills they need to be successful storytellers.


Read Write Inc. lessons are fun and engaging and all staff who deliver the reading sessions are fully trained. The lessons are taught daily and pupils are regularly assessed and grouped to enable appropriate challenge and pace throughout the programme.


There are five key principles that underpin the teaching and learning in all Read Write Inc. lessons:  

  1. PACE – Our children are active and involved in every session. We ensure that no time is wasted and that every minute of learning is maximised.
  2. PRAISE – Our teachers constantly praise the children for their efforts. The children are also encouraged to praise each other and as a school we have developed a number of ‘praise actions’.
  3. PURPOSE – Each activity has a clear purpose. The teacher will share the purpose of each activity with the children so that they know exactly what they will be learning.
  4. PARTICIPATION – All children are supported to be involved in each part of the lesson.
  5. PASSION – Our staff are extremely passionate about the teaching of Read Write Inc. We love teaching the sessions and watching our children become confident readers.

How will Read Write Inc be taught?


At the Bishops’, reading skills are developed early. In our Nursery, children are supported to develop vital listening and speaking skills through games, songs and rhymes. Children are also introduced to our Read Write Inc mascot/friend, Fred the frog and where appropriate taught how to say initial sounds.


From the very first week in Reception, children learn phonemes (segments of sound) and the corresponding grapheme (the letter/s that represent the sound) during daily ‘speed sound’ sessions. The sounds are divided into 3 sets and have handwriting phrases to support letter formation. In reception children will learn set 1 sounds and the majority of set 2 sounds; in Years 1 and 2, children will be secure with set 2 sounds and learn new set 3 sounds. These sounds are shown below.


Click here for a guide of how to pronounce the sounds. 


Set 1 sounds:


Set 2 sounds:

Set 3 sounds:


 Handwriting Phrases

Year 1: Handwriting

Word Time
FOUNDATION STAGE (Reception) AND YEAR 1 PHONICS GUIDANCE FOR ...English - Phonics Fred Frog - Nunney First School

When children have learnt the first few sounds they are also taught to read words by blending the sounds together. This is called blending or ‘Fred Talk’. The children are introduced to our Read Write Inc mascot ‘Fred the Frog’ who can only talk in pure sounds. Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs help from the children to read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word. For example, Fred will say the sounds s-a-t, and children will say the word sat.


Click on the below links for more information.

A guide to 'assisted blending'.

Supporting blending at home.

Green Words
Blog and News - Ruth Miskin Phonics Training
Once our children are able to sound blend, they have lots of opportunities to apply this new knowledge to reading words. 'Green' words are phonetically decodable words that the children learn to read. These are learnt in accordance with the sounds that they are learning at that time and support children to become fluent readers. Regular reading of these words ensures children are able to recognise/read them quickly.
Red Words
Read Write Inc. Red Word Cards | ISBN 9780198374268
As well as 'green words,' children will also come across 'red words'. These are also known as 'tricky words' and they are the words that children will need to learn to sight-read because they contain parts that are not decodable. They might only be red words until a specific sound is learnt. 
Nonsense Words 

Nonsense words (also known as Alien words) are made-up words using a combination of sounds the children have learnt. Research has shown that incorporating nonsense words into teaching reading can be an effective way to establish blending and segmenting skills. However, it is important to ensure that children understand that they are reading nonsense words (and why) so that they are not confused by trying to read the words for meaning. By reading nonsense words children develop their ability to decode individual sounds and then blend them together to read. These nonsense words feature on the Year 1 phonics screening check.


Screen Shot 2019 01 22 at 12.33.15

Read Write Inc Books
RWI books - Black Horse Hill Junior School

After children have learned enough sounds they will begin to read 'Ditty' books in their Read, Write Inc. lessons, as well as continuing Speedy Sounds and Word Time sessions. Ditty books contain 3 short stories that the children read and these stories are made up from green and red words.


Following Ditty books children continue to read groups of books that have been specially written to support progress through the scheme. Each colour band contains 10 main books, with extra books to support non-fiction reading as well. Children are taught to read the 'green' and 'red' words at the beginning of each book, before checking understanding using the 'vocab check' page. The children also talk about the upcoming story to make links to their own experiences before reading the book with their reading partner, usually 3 times. The first time is to practise decoding the words, the second time is to practise expression and the third time is to read for comprehension. Children develop their comprehension by answering 'find it' and 'prove it' questions about the text. Each book focusses on a particular sound or set of sounds, allowing the children to practise the sounds that they have been learning most recently. 



When our children are confident fluent readers they will move onto our Accelerated Reader Programme.



Year Group Expectations

Red Ditty 1-10


Green 1-10


Purple 1-10


Pink 1-10

Reception/Year One

Orange 1-12

Year One

Yellow 1-10

Year One

Blue 1-10

Year One/Two

Grey 1-13

Year One/Two


Read Write Inc. Phonics Book Bag Books: Green Set 1 Storybooks ...


We also encourage children to read books matched to their reading level at home. These books follow the same banding system as those used in school.


How can I support my child at home?

At the Bishops’ C of E Learning Academy, we will always keep you up to date with your child’s progress in their reading and give you information about how you can best support your child at home. Throughout the year, we hold a number of parent workshops where you will be given information about the different stages of reading, alongside our popular ‘Reading Stay and Play’ sessions where you are invited into the classroom for a morning of reading activities with your child.

As well as attending our reading workshops you can also support your child at home in a number of other ways.


  • Practise saying and reading ‘pure’ sounds using the pronunciation guide. Avoid using the letter names or capital letters as these will be introduced later.

  • When your child is ready they will bring home a reading book that matches the level that they are working at within the Read Write Inc scheme. Listen to your child read as often as you can and use the prompts at the back of the book to support your child's comprehension of the story.
  • Each time your child moves to a new colour band of book, they will bring home a list of 'tricky red words' to be practised. Encourage your child to practise reading and writing these sight words from memory to support fluency. 
  • Read and read some more – Teachers read aloud to children every day to help support listening and comprehension skills and to help foster a love of reading. You can help with this by reading high quality texts to your child each day and talking about the stories you have read. You might want to start with the recommended books in the reading challenge that can be found below. Just click on your child’s year group to get started.

 Useful Websites


  • Read Write Inc. - for more information and ideas for supporting your child visit the RWI website.
  • Cornwall Library Service - visit the Cornwall Library website to sign up for free to library services such as online e-book access and a click and collect borrowing service.
  • Oxford Owl - visit the Oxford Owl website which has over 100 free eBooks for to enjoy with your child.
  •  RWI Pronunciation guide- a video clip, demonstrating how we produce our pure sounds to help during our Read Write Inc lessons.


Reading challenge.

Listed below are the top fifty books that are recommended that your child reads. Have a look and see how many of these you can read this year. If you click on the link you can also download a checklist too. Happy reading! 

Reception Year 2  Year 4  Year 6
Year 1 Year 3  Year 5  
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