Reading and Writing

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Reading Overview

Reading is of upmost priority at Ewanrigg Junior School. Everyday, children are immersed in a language and text rich curriculum and environment. We believe that the ability to read is key to accessing the wider curriculum and being armed with skills and tools to lead a successful life beyond education.

Throughout the day and through careful organisation, the children read at a level suitable to meet their individual needs as well as reading in larger groups leading to invaluable book talk.

We provide the following reading education for our children:

  • Daily phonics sessions using an validated DFE systematic synthetic phonics programme.
  • Daily fluency sessions to develop the skills of; speed, prosody, automatic, vocabulary understanding and accuracy.
  • Daily sessions for children who can read at speed (more than 120WPM) and need to further develop understanding and comprehension skills.
  • Daily English lessons using a range of quality texts as a stimulus for oracy and writing opportunities.
  • Daily class books (adult read aloud)-this includes fiction, non fiction, poetry.
  • Independent reading in our Reading Cabin. Children choose any book that they want to read. This develops a reading for pleasure.
  • Paired reading.
  • Reading with children at our feeder infant schools.
  • Reading challenges and celebratory events

Early Reading - Systematic Synthetic Phonics

Phonics & Early Reading

At Ewanrigg Junior School we use ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds’ which is a DFE accredited, synthetic systematic phonics programme designed to help all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The ‘Rapid Catch Up’ programme is designed for Year 2 children and above. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell.

At Ewanrigg Junior School, we firmly believe that reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. Phonics sessions occur each day, as the consistency, continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development. Children are taught in small learning groups and regularly assessed. We have a small proportion of children on a Little Wandle SEND programme. This is structured to take longer in order to ensure the children have a good understanding and are taught at a pace suitable for the children’s individual needs.

Through Phonics teaching, we aim to teach all children to:

  • apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
  • segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
  • learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
  • read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns (tricky words).
  • read texts closely matched to the programme and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
  • decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.


The ability to read fluently is a bridge and key to children being able to understand and comprehend what they have read. This is a crucial skill and we strive for all children to achieve this in order to access the wider curriculum.

Once children exit the Little Wandle Rapid Catch up programme they join a fluency group. These groups are closely matched to the reading speeds and abilities of the children.

Fluency sessions are taught every day to ensure consistency and continuity. The children study a range high quality texts. Through these texts they work on the skills of: reading at speed, improving prosody, automaticity, developing vocabulary and accuracy. These sessions incorporate comprehension questions linked to the texts. In order to exit the fluency programme children should demonstrate the ability to read at 120 words per minute (WPM) and be able to answer questions on what they have read.

Reading for Pleasure

At Ewanrigg Junior School, we strive to promote a love of reading in all that we do. Our bespoke curriculum has a vast selection of rich and inspirational stories at its heart; we ensure that pupils have lots of opportunities to read in lots of different contexts. We believe that being a fluent and avid reader opens doors for children to the wider world and gives them the tools they need to be lifelong learners. It is our mission to ensure that all children leave us at the end of Year 6 as fluent and avid readers, armed with the tools necessary in order thrive in Key Stage Three and beyond.

We achieve this by immersing children in high quality literature across the school. Pupils read regularly in all areas of the curriculum and we strive to develop children's love of reading through:

Children thoroughly enjoy spending time in our Reading Cabin. This is open during playtimes, lunchtimes and each class has the opportunity to spend time in there every week. Our reading ambassadors run the Reading Cabin. They are able to recommend books, listen to children read, organise books and are involved in choosing new texts.

Reading for Pleasure

Read Aloud Curriculum

Reading to children is a key part of our reading diet. It helps children to build language skills, learn about the world, imaginations to explore people, places, times, and events beyond their own experiences. It allows them to develop empathy and emotional awareness Every day, children are read to by an adult. This happens in register classes between 9-9:10am. Read Aloud texts are high quality which are carefully chosen to challenge children and to align closely with wider curriculum objectives. Across the academic year, texts in each class will include a literary classics as well as texts which have been chosen due to the rich language exploration and opportunities for vocabulary development they offer. Our curriculum has been carefully planned to incorporate diverse texts, mirrors- texts that reflect characters/lives of our children and windows- insights into the lives of others in order to develop empathy, understanding, appreciation and tolerance.

Read Aloud Curriculum