Learning & Development


At Red Lane Primary School, reading is our priority.

We believe that proficient reading skills are fundamental for academic success across all subjects and that reading proficiency among disadvantaged pupils serves as a cornerstone for unlocking future success and breaking the cycle of poverty.  Whether it's comprehending complex texts in science and mathematics or analysing literature and historical documents, the ability to read fluently and critically is indispensable. Proficient reading skills enhance communication abilities, enabling individuals to express themselves effectively, advocate for their needs, and engage meaningfully in society. In a rapidly evolving global landscape where information is abundant, the capacity to critically evaluate and synthesise information from diverse sources is invaluable for making informed decisions and participating in civic life.

Moreover, reading fosters a lifelong love for learning and curiosity about the world. Children who develop strong reading habits early on are more likely to continue seeking knowledge and expanding their horizons throughout their lives. This thirst for learning opens doors to various opportunities, from higher education to career advancement, empowering disadvantaged pupils to overcome socio-economic barriers and realise their full potential.

As soon as the children start in EYFS, we begin the teaching of phonics and start to develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories and encouraging children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine. We follow the Read Write Inc programme, which is a systematic and consistent approach to phonics. All children in EYFS, Key Stage One and, where necessary, Key Stage Two have daily phonics sessions in small ability groups where they participate in phonic activities that are matched to their current needs. Sessions are delivered using RWI consistent delivery practice. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified. Any child who is not working at the expected level will receive support, such as daily 1:1 tutoring, extra reading with an adult and specific small group phonics intervention. All staff refresh their RWI phonics training yearly and any new member of staff is trained in a timely manner.

Early reading is crucial to all children and we place a huge amount of importance on this, including supporting children with SEND to develop this skill.  We liaise closely with the SEND team to support all children. This includes small groups and interventions which ensure children with identified SEND make progress with early reading. Where appropriate, learning is repeated to ensure retention and concrete resources are used.

Our reading curriculum is planned using the National Curriculum to ensure there is a clear skills and knowledge progression. Skills and knowledge are built on year-by-year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. In whole class guided reading sessions, children develop their reading skills for comprehension- these are known as the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing/Summarising). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge.

Our reading curriculum uses a text-based approach that enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within English lessons. The reading spine includes a range of books and quality texts. Texts are also chosen to promote cultural capital; supporting children to develop the necessary knowledge, behaviours, skills and cultural awareness to be successful in society today and in the future. Children are exposed to opportunities to read across the wider curriculum.

Reading for pleasure is actively encouraged across the school. Each day, children are read to by the class teacher, or sometime a guest reader. They are also encouraged to explore a variety of genres and books in a ‘Drop Everything and Read’ session ran each day after dinner time. The children have a choice of challenging and enriching texts available in classrooms, which are promoted through year group recommended reads lists. Each year, we aim to invite in authors to celebrate Reading with the children, run workshops and staff CPD. Our most recent author was poet Ian Bland, who ran poetry sessions tailored for each year group and engaged with the children excitingly.

Reading at home is strongly encouraged and celebrated. Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level and are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home. This includes our SEND children, who have a booked matched to their phonics knowledge and their choice of the same high quality books that their peers can access to read for pleasure. Following this, children work through our reading scheme using a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which match the child’s current reading ability. Accelerated Reader is used to assess the child and give them a ZPD range, the child can choose a book from the class library which includes a variety of books covering all the ZPDs of children in the class. Class libraries are updated half- termly, coinciding with the children completing an Accelerated Reader assessment.

We expect family members at home to read these books with their child at least five times per week and make comments in their child’s reading record. Once children have completed the colour book band scheme, they become free readers. Children can independently complete their reading at home record book and the expectation is that they do this at least five times per week.

Phonics instruction plays a critical role in teaching children how to read by helping them understand the relationship between letters and sounds. This systematic approach to decoding words is essential for developing strong literacy skills and lays the foundation for proficient reading and spelling abilities. The importance of phonics can be highlighted in several key ways:

  1. Decoding Skills: Phonics instruction equips children with the tools to decode unfamiliar words by sounding them out based on their letter-sound correspondences. This empowers them to tackle new words independently and enhances their reading fluency.

  2. Spelling Proficiency: Understanding phonics principles enables children to apply their knowledge of letter-sound relationships when spelling words. By recognising patterns and rules, they can spell words accurately and develop confidence in their written expression.

  3. Vocabulary Expansion: Phonics instruction helps children expand their vocabulary as they learn to decode and understand the meanings of new words. By breaking words down into their constituent sounds, children can more easily recognise familiar word parts and derive meaning from context.

  4. Reading Comprehension: Proficient decoding skills facilitated by phonics instruction are crucial for comprehension. When children can read words accurately and effortlessly, they can focus more attention on understanding the meaning of the text, making connections, and drawing inferences.

  5. Early Literacy Success: Phonics instruction is particularly beneficial during the early stages of reading development, providing a strong foundation upon which more advanced literacy skills can be built. Research indicates that children who receive systematic phonics instruction demonstrate greater reading success compared to those who do not.


At Red Lane we follow Read, Write, Inc phonics. Our daily, high quality phonics teaching ensures pupils progress in decoding so that they blend individual sounds to read unfamiliar words accurately and read familiar words automatically. The use of decodable texts ensures that when reading independently pupils are able to blend individual sounds to read unfamiliar words accurately and read familiar words automatically. Pupils who are falling behind are swiftly identified and supported to catch up. Those at risk of falling behind are supported to ‘keep up’. This is through additional phonics sessions and 1:1 coaching following the same systematic phonics scheme. Children take home 2 reading books which match their phonic stage. In addition, pupils take home a third book which is beyond their reading level and is to support enjoyment for reading by ensuring high -quality texts in the home. 

We are committed to providing high quality phonic sessions through weekly staff coaching sessions as well as half termly engagement with Read, Write, Inc development days.

At Red Lane, we believe that parent partnership is fundamental to educational success. We are committed to supporting parents to know more about what their child is learning and how they can help at home.

Below you will find a number of resources to support with phonics. You may also wish to access the Read, Write, Inc parent page here.

What is Read Write Inc. Phonics?

Understanding phonics

Sound Pronunciation Guide video

What is sound blending?

Why read with your child

10 things to think about when you read with your child

Fostering parental engagement and supporting our families is at the heart of everything we do at Red Lane Primary School. We desire to ensure our families feel supported with their child’s learning at school and at home. We offer a variety of workshops and open mornings across school to build their confidence. This enables parents and carers to see what resources and models we use within school and strategies they can adopt when teaching their children at home. Our English workshops and open mornings include: enabling parents to support their child’s phonetical development; EYFS and KS1 reading workshop, KS2 reading workshop and parental engagement in Knowledge Days and book fairs.

In addition, we offer bespoke support for the parents and carers of those in year groups experiencing national testing, including: Reception Baseline testing, Year 1 Phonics Screen;  Year 4 Multiplication Check and lastly, End of KS2 SATS. These informative workshops support our parents and carers understanding of these tests and the support our school offers our children in preparing them academically and emotionally for these examinations.

We endeavour to provide every opportunity for our parents and carers to support their child’s learning at home.