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Cronton Church of England Primary School

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Early Reading and Phonics

Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything.

And I mean everything.

Jeanette Winterson

This is what we do at Cronton C.E. Primary School.

Our Vision

Everyone a reader

Everyone wants to read

Everyone can read

Reading at Cronton is at the core of our KEYS curriculum. Early reading provides the foundations in listening and understanding as well as working out what is written on the page. Reading helps us to discover the world - it is a gateway to learning anything  about everything. It enables us to find out new things, develop our imaginations and skills to use across the curriculum such as: predicting, questioning, understanding and clarifying. Reading enables us to understand subject specific vocabulary and share our knowledge and understanding.

Here at Cronton we do our very best to promote a love of reading right from your child's very first weeks with us all the way from Nursery through to Year Six and beyond!

We encourage the children to bring in and share their favourite books and teachers share their favourite books too.

Topics of learning both adult and child led are taught predominantly through stories and non-fiction books and we explore character's thoughts and feelings and plots of stories.

We read and sing a range of traditional tales and nursery rhymes and enjoy comparing different versions - especially those that perhaps have an unexpected twist!

Books are available across the provision and we have very comfy reading areas.

We enjoy celebrating events such as World Book Day, Chinese new year and use these to explore stories from around the world and other cultures.

Every week children can take home a library book to take home and share with their grown ups and we have at least one story time everyday! 

We use the highly successful Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to teach our children to read, write and spell and start them on their journey


What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy 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. However, at Cronton we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at visit the parent pages on the Ruth Miskin Training website go to:

To visit Oxford Owl (more help for Read Write Inc) go to

Children are grouped according to their level of development across Reception, Year One and Year Two so they are working with children at the same level, allowing full participation in the lessons.

Regular assessments of their learning allows for children to progress quickly or receive further consolidation and extra support if needed.





In the Nursery

Children have exposure to adults reading books and book language - fiction and non-fiction, songs, nursery rhymes daily.

There is a focus on traditional tales over the year and children should know six traditional tales inside out by the end of the year.

Children learn key book vocabulary: title, cover, illustration/illustrator, story, finding out, fact. 

Children experience regular, planned opportunities to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they see, hear and do. Careful planning allows us to integrate the activities according to the developing abilities and interests of the children in the setting.

Children initially explore:​​​​ and learn to discriminate: environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and voice sounds.

When they are ready, usually in the Summer Term, Set 1 letter sound correspondences are taught.

Reception and Beyond



Using RWI, we make learning to read  easy for children because we start by teaching them just one way of reading and writing every sound. Here they are on the Simple Speed Sounds chart we use in class.

We teach Set 1 sounds first - (sounds as far as a e i o u).

We teach using pure sounds.

We pronounce the sounds clearly, using pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds together to make words more easily.

You can watch a video to hear how to pronounce the sounds here:





Once children know one way of reading and writing every sound, they start to learn spellings for each sound they already know.

For example, they know ‘ay’ and now learn a-e and ai as other spellings for the same sound.

Alongside teaching children sounds, we teach them to blend sounds to read words e.g. s-a-t, sat.

We use Fred Talk to help children read.



This is Fred.

Fred can only speak in sounds.

He says d-o-g,  h-a-t etc.

Speaking like Fred helps children to understand that words are made up of sounds.



Fred helps children practise blending sounds together because he needs the children to say the words for him. Fred says d-o-g, children tell him the word is dog.



You can use post it notes, magnetic letters or letter tiles to do this at home.



We use Fred Fingers to help children sound out words to spell easily.

It means they do not have to memorise lists of spelling words.

It is a tool so they will be able to spell any word.






We use green words in our lessons that are linked to the sounds being taught. These have the sound buttons and word on one side and the just the word on the other. 

We have red words which used to be known as tricky words.

These have to be learned on sight.

We also read nonsense words to check our learning.

Progression Through Read Write Inc.