Reading & Phonics

So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices by all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. 

Roald Dahl, Matilda


We passionately believe that books are the heartbeat of our school. By empowering children to become confident, fluent and independent readers, we are giving them the gift to open the doorways to a lifetime of learning.

At Tintagel Primary School we recognise that our children embark on a voyage of reading  that starts with ‘Learning to Read,’ and as they hone their skills, this becomes ‘Reading to Learn.’

Learning to Read

Reading starts from the moment you open a book and share it with a child, hearing your voice and watching your expression as you share your love of this moment. The rich language and exciting storyline helps children to understand that this is a skill worth learning.

When children enter our school, they are explicitly taught to read through phonics.

We teach every child to read using the Read Write Inc. synthetic phonics scheme. Every child receives daily Phonics teaching throughout their EYFS and KS1 timetable. This scheme allows our children to experience consistency which is integral to the development of their reading fluency as they move through their education. Our Reading Leadership team regularly assess the children and tailor the texts they are exposed to, to meet their individual developmental stages. We provide bespoke, one-to-one extra support where children may require it if they are not yet secure in their Phonics knowledge. In the summer term, children in Year 1 complete the government Phonics Screening Check.

Throughout the year, there are opportunities for parents and carers to attend supportive Phonics and Reading workshops and to engage in helpful dialogue about their child’s journey as a reader. We want to empower everyone involved in the reading process as we strongly believe that a child’s reading journey does not just take place at school, but starts in the home.

Reading Detectives

Once children have mastered phonics and are fluent, confident readers, they transition off of RWI and continue to hone their fluency skills further through our daily Reading Detective sessions. This strengthens the transition between reading words and comprehending what it is they mean at a much deeper level. They begin to use the more complex skills of a reader to understand the message  that lies underneath the text.  


Guided Reading

All children access Guided Reading sessions on their weekly timetable. Carefully selected, beautiful high-quality books are read as a class to teach the discrete skills of reading (Assessment Focus AF 1 – 6).  Guided Reading is taught as a whole class and children enjoy pouring over thought provoking texts that support their learning in other areas of the curriculum through our Enquiry curriculum.


Fresh Start

Sometimes, children can need a little extra support to overcome any barriers to learning how to read phonetically. If needed, this is addressed through additional support given in the Fresh Start programme – a follow on scheme from RWI, specifically aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils.

Reading to Learn

Reading is the driver for our whole curriculum that is carefully crafted and woven together through Enquiry. Children are taught to love books, and reading is held sacrosanct in the school day. Children listen to stories every day. During assemblies, in the class setting and through discrete subjects that they are learning. The power of a high quality picture book should never be underestimated. We want children to build good habits and go on to be life long readers who read because they value it and most importantly, enjoy it.


Nurturing Our Reading Curiosity

We are passionate about reading in our school. We believe that the reading journey that we are all on together, as one tribe, is something to be celebrated.

Every child in the school has an opportunity to visit the school library in the class timetable. This is to ensure they have a book to share at home – just to love. In addition they will have their reading book that has been carefully selected to match their reading ability.
All children are supplied with a Love Reading Journal to capture their reading journey. Children and parents alike are taught how to use them effectively. Please see links below for further support.

An important part of the school calendar is the Book Snuggle. Classrooms are transformed and children come back to school in the evening wearing their pyjamas to hear a bedtime story read by their teacher, whilst parents too are invited to learn how to support their child at home – and to listen to a beautiful picture book themselves.

Key milestones in the calendar year are celebrated deeply. We celebrate World Book Day of course, but delve deep and offer creative opportunities to share a love of reading with our whole school community. We also hold a Love Reading Assembly weekly where children are read to by different adults in the school. It truly is held in high esteem.


“A book can’t change the world on its own. But a book can change readers. And readers? They can change the world.”



Tintagel Primary School
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