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Phonics is an important part of learning to read and write. At Northwick Park, we have chosen the Read, Write Inc. program to teach children these vital skills.  It is a progressive program which includes daily opportunities for reading and writing alongside discrete phonics teaching.


Phonics is taught in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 on a daily basis for 30 minutes in Reception and 1 hour in Key Stage One, using the Read Write Inc. Phonics scheme. Together with planned intervention groups for those needing extra practise, children are taught according to the Read, Write Inc. level they have been assessed as working at across the EYFS and then again across KS1.

Lessons aim to be interactive, stimulating and age appropriate. Over the course of a daily session they will cover:

• Sound recognition through discrete phonics teaching.

• Application of phonics strategies for reading and writing.

• Reading opportunities using specific texts at an appropriately challenging level.

• Writing opportunities including editing, sentence construction and structure, and extended writing pieces linked to the book the children are currently reading.

• Handwriting; using the rhymes linked to each individual sound, children are taught to form and practise individual letter shapes. 

When formative and summative assessments show children are working securely within age expected levels, the Read, Write Inc. program will stop and the children will develop their reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spellings skills in the daily English lesson.


Children are primarily taught to read supported by our phonic system of teaching.  At Northwick Park we use a range of reading scheme books, including PM books and the Oxford Reading Tree, to enable pupils to make progress with their reading skills at the appropriate level. We base our reading teaching on familiarity of the books that children are reading, as research has shown that confidence, fluency and expression develop in reading from continual practise and familiarity with the text. 

Children who are supported with their decoding in school are assessed by a ‘Reading Recovery Program’ trained teacher on a half-termly basis or when staff perceive that they are ready to move on. This ensures that progress continues and that the children are always reading books in school that will help to move their learning on (90-95% accurate, known as instructional level). 

Once the children are able to decode the text accurately and effortlessly, the emphasis of the reading sessions in school shifts to developing childrens' understanding of what they have read and increasing their speed, fluency and expression.

Book Bands Guide

Book Band Colour

RR Level


1, 2


3, 4, 5


6, 7, 8


9, 10, 11


12, 13, 14


15, 16


17, 18


19, 20


21, 22


23, 24

Stars 1/2

25, 26, 27

Stars 3/4

28, 29, 30



 A short video to explain how handwriting is taught at the Northwick Park Primary Trust.

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