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At Gawber Primary School, reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum. It is our intention that every child will be a reader! We understand how important it is that children are able to read so that they can access every stage of their education. Our intention is that every child not only loves reading, but knows how to read for different areas of the curriculum so that they move to the next stage of their education able to read for different subjects and eventually use this knowledge to enter the world of work, achieving the careers that they dream of. 


From the very start of their journey with us, all of our children are encouraged to develop a love of reading. They are exposed to high quality texts and through a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics, they are provided with the skills they need to decode confidently. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds!  More importantly, reading will give our children the tools to become independent life-long learners.


To ensure our children become accurate and automatic readers, we follow Read Write Inc, which is a validated systematic and synthetic phonics scheme. Reading books are closely matched to the graphemes taught and these 'decodable' books are also sent home for children to practise until they become fluent.


Children are introduced to high quality texts across the curriculum. At Gawber, we recognise the importance of reading for different purposes and by the time children leave Gawber, we aim for our children to be able to read effectively for the different subjects they encounter in the next stages of their education. 


Children at Gawber love to hear a book being read aloud. Whether that is by an adult or another child, listening and loving books is a major part of Gawber life! 

Language Comprehension


At Gawber, we have a focus on language comprehension through age appropriate, engaging texts chosen carefully by our expert staff. During their time at Gawber, children become increasingly confident in comprehending different texts in order to access all areas of the curriculum. At Gawber, we know how important the understanding of reading for purpose is. Children at Gawber learn how to read and write for different subjects, audiences and purposes. 


Ways in which to comprehend texts are taught explicitly in reading sessions and applied across the curriculum. We encourage our children activate their prior knowledge when reading, knowing that in order for children to make sense of what they are reading, they must first become familiar with their existing knowledge, drawing on this and making links to the wider world. 



Gawber promotes reading in all areas of the curriculum, knowing that in order to fully access our carefully planned broad and balanced curriculum, they must be able to fluently read and comprehend. 


At Gawber, we have a core set of poems and poets for each year group. Children hear and enjoy poetry every day. Using Pie Corbett's poetry spine, our children develop a love for language through their consistent exposure to different types of poems - those that elicit a strong response, that withstand repetition and extend vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. 



I'm Walking with my Iguana performed live by Brian Moses.

A short clip of Brian Moses performing Walking with My Iguana from the Walking with my Iguana book launch. This is one of Class 5's favourite poems. What do you think?

Reading Progression Document


Our Gawber Reading Leaders are responsible for promoting a love of reading at our school. They take care of our books that are in school and in our playground. They read with other children in school and help to celebrate the achievements of our reading stars. 

If you'd like to know more about our Reading Leaders, please follow the link below which will take you to the Reading Leader page on our website. 


We celebrate reading at Gawber. Our reading stars are presented with certificates each week and enjoy a story and a sweet treat in our luxury READING LOUNGE! 


Here are some recommendations of books you could read at home... 


Challenge books for 




How can our families help our children at home? 

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a systematic synthetic phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7.  RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at


How is Read Write Inc taught?

RWI is taught daily in school to children in FS2 and Year 1 and any children in Year 2 that have not finished the programme. Children are assessed regularly and grouped according to ability.  Sessions last up to 30 minutes.  The group sizes vary according to the age and the needs of the individual children.


Children will be taught how to read as follows:


Fred Talk


We use pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh', ect) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.


At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words!  We call it, 'Fred Talk'.  E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred. Q


Set 1 Sounds


Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1

Sound              Rhyme

m                            Down Maisie then over the two mountains.  Maisie, mountain, mountain.

a                             Round the apple, down the leaf.

s                             Slide around the snake.

d                             Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.

t                             Down the tower, across the tower.

i                              Down the insects body, dot for the head.

n                             Down Nobby and over the net.

p                             Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.

g                             Round the girl's face, down her hair and give her a curl.

o                             All around the orange.

c                             Curl around the caterpillar.

k                             Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg.

u                             Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle.

b                             Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel.

f                             Down the stem and draw the leaves.

e                             Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg.

l                              Down the long leg.

h                             Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

sh                           Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

r                             Down the robot's back, then up and curl.

j                             Down his body, curl and dot.

v                             Down a wing, up a wing.

y                             Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.

w                            Down, up, down, up the worm.

th                           Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

z                             Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.

ch                           Curl around the caterpillar, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back.

qu                           Round the queen's head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl.

x                            Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way.

ng                          A thing on a string.

nk                          I think I stink.


Please do not use letter names at this early stage.


Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.


Set 2 and 3 Sounds

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels.  When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Long vowel               Set 2 Speed Sound

sound                    cards                                            Set 3 Speed Sound cards

                          Teach these first

ay                                     ay: may I play                                                      a-e: make a cake                ai: snail in the rain

ee                                     ee: what can you see                                           ea: cup of tea                     e: he me we she be

igh                                    igh: fly high                                                        i-e: nice smile

ow                                     ow: blow the snow                                              o-e: phone home                  oa: goat in a boat

oo                                      oo: poo at the zoo                                              u-e: huge brute                   ew: chew the stew

oo                                      oo: look at the book

ar                                      ar: start the car

or                                      or: shut the door                                                aw: yawn at dawn

air                                     air: that's not fair                                              are: share and care

ir                                       ir: whirl and twirl                                                ur: purse for a nurse         er: a better letter

ou                                      ou: shout it out                                                   ow: brown cow

oy                                      oy: toy for a boy                                                 oi: spoil the boy

ire                                                                                                                ire: fire fire!

ear                                                                                                               ear: hear with your ear

ure                                                                                                               ure: sure it's pure?



Set 2 and 3 Sounds


The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels.  When they are very confident with all o set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Long vowel            Set 2 Speed Sound

sound                    cards                                                 Set 3 Speed Sound cards

                             Teach these first

ay               ay: may I play                   a-e: make a cake                     ai: snail in the rain

ee               ee: what can you see             ea: cup of tea                       e: he me we she be

igh              igh: fly high                    i-e: nice smile

ow               ow: blow the snow                o-e: phone home                      oa: goat in a boat

oo               oo: poo at the zoo               u-e: huge brute                      ew: chew the stew

oo               oo: look at a book

ar               ar: start the car

or               or: shut the door                aw: yawn at dawn

air              air: that's not fair             are: share and care

ir               ir: whirl and twirl              ur: purse for a nurse                er: a better letter

ou               ou: shout it out                 ow: brown cow

oy               oy: toy for a boy                oi: spoil the boy

ire                                               ire: fire fire!

ear                                               ear: hear with your ear

ure                                               ure: sure it's pure?


Nonsense words (Alien/monster words)

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading 'Nonsense words'.  These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.


Decodable Books

  • Our decodable reading books follow Read Write Inc phonics programme.
  • Regular assessments are carried out to ensure your child's reading books match their existing phonic knowledge.
  • Your child's reading book only contains words that your child can read based on their existing phonic knowledge.
  • The books are progressive as your child's phonic knowledge develops.
  • A Read Write Inc decodable book is introduced to your child in school.
  • The book is read 3 times with an adult in school to familiarise your child with the text, practise their decoding skills and reading on sight of tricky words (red words).
  • The book is sent home on Monday and is kept at home for a week.
  • The child reads the book at home with an adult, (ideally daily) to practise their decoding skills, fluency and reading on sight of tricky words.
  • The book is returned the following Monday and a new book is sent home.



How to support your child with their decodable book



  • Encourage your child to say the speed sounds at the front of the book.
  • Your child reads the 'Green words' through decoding (breaking them up in to the individual sounds/phonemes).
  • Your child reads the 'Red words' on sight (these are non-decodable and have to be learnt).
  • Encourage your child to read all of these in and out of order.



  • Your child reads the story to you.
  • If they come to a word they are not sure of they decode the word (break the word up in to individual sounds/phonemes).
  • Red words in the text are tricky words that are non decodable and your child should read them on sight, however if they are unsure of any then you can prompt them.
  • As your child will read the story many times they will become more confident and fluent.  When this happens encourage them to read with expression when they see speech marks or speech bubbles.



  • Ask your child the questions at the end of the book to develop their understanding.
  • Encourage them to refer back to the relevant page to find the answer.



  • Your child reads the 'Speed Green Words' on sight.
  • Encourage your child to read these in and out of order.



  • Use lots and lots of praise and support to encourage your child!


Please note:

  • All steps don't need to be completed every reading session but can be completed in any order over several sessions.
  • Children in FS2/Class 0 may be sent home with a sheet rather than a book initially until they have learnt enough sounds/phonemes to access the books.  The sheets are to be completed in the same way using the steps.


Develop the Love of Reading!

  • We want to develop your child's 'Love of Reading' through immersing them in a wide range of high quality texts. (Link to recommended reads)
  • To encourage this, in addition to your child's decodable Read Write Inc reading book they will bring home a library book of their choice to share with you at home.
  • Please help your child through looking at the book together and reading it to them.  Discuss the content and ask them questions about it.
  • Encourage this further by looking at and reading stories of their own at home.  Try to model reading with expression and emphasis!
  • Visiting the local library and borrowing books.
  • Taking part in the 'Summer Reading Challenge' at the library.
  • Encourage adults at home to be seen reading.  Allowing children to see adults as readers really does help create a culture of reading and promote that reading is fun and pleasurable and must continue into later life!


Phonics Screening Check Year One


What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.


It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills.  They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode. Click here for further information on the Screening check.




Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics.  Games and fun activity websites are also included. - many games to play - fun games for the children to play useful information about RWI include how to pronounce all the sounds/phonemes.






Our key curriculum aims

We speak to real authors!

We are a READING SCHOOL! Follow us @GawberSchool #GawberReading

Intent, Implementation and Impact

Our Reading Promise

Our Phonics Promise

We love to read!