Reading and Phonics

At Westwood Academy, we lay strong emphasis on the teaching of reading.  The ability to read well is a vital skill.  We use a structured reading scheme and alongside this we encourage the children to take books home to read with their parents.  Children may choose additional reading books from the well-resourced Academy library. We teach reading through both individual and guided group reading.


  • Classes Nursery to Year 2 follow the National Curriculum scheme of work.
  • Children in Reception and KS1 have a daily 20 minute Phonic lesson.
  • In Nursery early phonics is taught through singing, music, group times, shared reading and mark-making/writing. They begin with Phase 1 in September of the Nursery Year and develop awareness of letters and their sounds from Phase 2 as and when appropriate.
  • All phonic lessons have four parts which are interactive, well-paced and structured so that the children are revisiting, learning, practising and applying their skills.
  • The teaching of phonics should incorporate a multi-sensory approach including use of hand actions, letter cards and magnetic letters, show-me activities with whiteboards and children physically engaged – opportunities to speak and say the sound.
  • The LCP document ‘Phonics Planning’ is used as a planning tool, this should however be adapted to cater for the needs of each phonics group.
  • Resources used to teach the scheme include; Jolly Phonics, TES Phonics, Ruth Miskin and Phonics Play.
  • Children in KS2 should also continue with phonics teaching, with sessions at least twice per week, as many of them will still be working within Phase 5 and 6. Some children will be withdrawn for specific intervention.
  • SEN and INA children in KS2 should also receive additional phonic support through small group teaching or other relevant intervention programmes.

Assessment of phonics

  • Phonic knowledge is assessed each half term through the appropriate phonic assessment package based on the Letters and Sounds assessment criteria and the Phonics Screening Check.
  • Phonic knowledge is assessed during Reception and Year 1 through the statutory Phonics Screening Check and at the end of Nursery. This will then also be repeated during Year 2 for those that did not pass in Year 1, to monitor progress and identify those children in need of intervention.

Guided Group Reading 


  • Reception will aim for three guided reading sessions per group, per week.


  • Year 1 will use the three timetabled sessions of Guided Reading a week as Phonics plus sessions, with the aim of Guided Reading beginning in the Spring Term.
  • Year 2 has one 45 minute timetabled session of Guided Reading a week.


  • Will follow a five day Guided Reading plan –
    • Monday – To identify and understand words in a text.
    • Tuesday – To identify the main idea of the text.
    • Wednesday – To locate answers from a text.
    • Thursday – Spelling lesson
    • Friday – Individual reading.
  • Each week the children will be taught a different question type.
  • Spelling lessons will follow the long term spelling planning.
  • Individual reading will be taught during EMA time and Friday. There should be a clear rotation of when teachers and teaching assistants listen to children read on the weekly English planning to ensure they get to listen to all children read every two weeks.

Individual Reading

  • All children throughout school are listened to read at least once a week. SEN and PPG children should also have additional individual sessions through reading interventions or extra support.
  • Each ability group is to have a set reading day so that those children know which day to bring their book bag into school and also that parents know that their child will be heard read.
  • Children are asked to arrive between 8.30 and 8.50 for Early Morning Reading and morning work. Teachers should reward those children who do come early for example with stickers, age-appropriate rewards and/or verbal praise.
  • Nursery introduce real books in September for the children to take home and share with their parents. ORT reading books are introduced at Autumn ½ term.

Reading targets

  • One group target should be set per half-term based on a single Assessment foci from the Year Group/Grade objectives.
  • These targets should be shared with pupils at the beginning of Individual Reading sessions (in child speak) and individual reading sessions with Teachers and TAs.
  • Progress against these targets should be recorded in GGR and individual reading records. These notes should refer to which pupil(s) have demonstrated the skill during the session in GGR.
  • Progress against these targets should be evaluated every half-term and a new group target should be set. 

Reading Assessment

  • In the Foundation Stage yearly reading tests are carried out based on the hundred key words for Reception.
  • In Key Stage 1 and 2 yearly reading tests are carried out based on the appropriate keywords from National Curriculum Word lists.
  • Teacher assessment - use the grade and sub-grade assessment materials to assess children’s reading every half-term. Children are assessed on an individual basis and pupil progress is discussed at termly data review meetings.
  • SAT tests for Year 2 and 6 in June, give test result data.