At St Christopher’s School, we adopted the ‘Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc’ phonics programme in 2013. The programme Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme with an approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child.


All students who can access any form of phonics will follow the Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc programme of learning. Phonics at St Christopher’s is personalised to the students and class groups, so phonics may look very different within each class group or year group. Phonics will range from daily phonics sessions with the whole class, group sessions throughout the week right through to small group and one-to-one intervention groups. This is dependent on the needs of the class/learners.


Phonics Lessons

Phonics lessons range from 30 minutes to a full phonics lesson of one hour. This session is taught either daily or up to three times a week, which is built up over time depending on the needs of and ability of the students. The phonics lessons teach the students the sounds in English, the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters when writing. When the children are firstly introduced to the RWI scheme they will take part in a variety of sound games, matching games and interactive activities to familiarise them with the concept of phonics. Moving forward through the scheme Read Write Inc. Phonics includes reading books written using only the letters they have learnt at each level (and a small number of separately taught tricky words). Through repetition and practise our students quickly feel confident and successful and ready to move onto the Get Writing stage of RWI. Parent guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics - Oxford Owl

Phonics Catch Up Sessions

The students phonic progress is monitored three times a year as well as continually by the class teacher. Any student that needs additional support/practise will take part in separate phonic intervention sessions in addition to the class phonic lessons. These sessions are taught by fully trained adults. The intervention session will focus on the sounds or area of phonics that the child needs additional support with, using the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps and with more repetition to catch up and continue to make progress. 



Reading Practise Sessions

All our students need to be given regular opportunities to apply the phonics that they have learned by reading fully decodable book. All students that are accessing phonics lessons within the school will also take home a Read, Write Inc. ‘Bookbag Book’ to share and read with an adult at home at least three times a week. The phonics progression in these books match the phonics level that the students are working on within the classroom. This is important as it helps to secure the phonics learnt within the phonics lessons. Within school students take part in reading sessions at least three times a week as well as group guided reading sessions to help support the students decoding, prosody and comprehension of the texts being read. Each of our reading sessions have a clear focus so that the demands of reading and phonics do not overload the student’s working memory.


Each of our reading sessions have been designed to focus on 3 key reading skills:



Sounding out unfamiliar words using phonics learnt.


Reading with meaning, stress and intonation.


Understanding of the text read.

Ensuring Consistency and Pace of Progress

Every teacher delivering Read, Write Inc. Phonics within our school has been trained in RWI and how to teach reading. This is to ensure that all our staff have the same expectations in progress. During these sessions we use the same language, routines and resources to teach the students to read and to ensure that progress is consistently made as the students move through the school.


Phonics and reading are monitored on a regular basis, within the classroom, during scheduled data drops as well as through organised reading and phonics moderation throughout the year. This provides teachers and leaders with a clear understanding of the progress of all our students as well as giving us a clear picture of the children that may require a little support with intervention sessions. Summative data is also used to identify gaps in learning so that support can be put into place quickly and effectively.



Ensuring Reading for Pleasure

As a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ school, we value the need to give all our students dedicated time to read and enjoy texts for pleasure. As a school we currently access the English Hub, which is supporting our values in developing our love of reading and improving early language as well as our Reading for Pleasure Pedagogy. 


Within our classrooms we read to our students every day. These books are chosen carefully as we want our children to experience a wide range of books such as books that open the window into other worlds and cultures.


Within our Informal and Pre-formal Pathway, the students enjoy a range of pleasure for reading activities such as shared story time, engaging in stories including sensory stories, Bag Books, and story massage.


In the Semi-Formal and Formal classroom, children who can, will read throughout the week, reinforcing their phonics skills and fluency as well as taking part in ‘Pleasure for Reading’ time. 


Students on the Semi-formal and Formal Pathway have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults within school write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between school and home regarding a child’s reading is fluid and consistent.


As our students become more independent readers, we encourage them to write in their own reading records, writing comments about the text that they are reading and personally keeping a track of their reading journey.


As well as the students phonic related book every very student across the school will take home a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ book from out of their classrooms or from the school library. This book is not based of the child’s reading level as it is a book to be read to, shared with, or read alone for pleasure. This book is to be changed when needed.


All students have open access to the school library area where they can exchange their home reading books and ‘Reading for Pleasure’ books.


Children should learn that reading is pleasure and not just something teachers make you do in school’

Beverly Cleary