Infants : 01536 760486
Juniors : 01536 760361

Havelock Street, Desborough
Northamptonshire, NN14 2LU

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Reading and Phonics


  • Reading is a key life skill and at Havelock we are dedicated to enabling our children to become successful lifelong readers who can access literature in many forms.
  • We recognise that mastery in phonics is fundamental to children being able to access a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts across the curriculum. We aim to achieve this through focused, systematic teaching of synthetic phonics.
  • It is essential to us that the children’s experience of reading and literature is positive throughout the school. We strive to enrich their relationship with books and create happy and positive associations around reading for the children to take on into the next stage of the lives.
  • We are committed to having a wealth of quality texts in the classrooms and library for children to read and enjoy at school and borrow to take home in addition to the reading scheme books.



Progression in phonics skills and knowledge are taught following the “Read Write Inc” (RWI) programme. RWI is a complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. It teaches synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation supported with regular handwriting sessions. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Havelock, we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

Children in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and KS1 will receive daily RWI lessons based on their phonic knowledge. This ensures that all children are taught the skills they require in order to become fluent readers. Lessons include a Speed Sound lesson, word reading time, story book time (guided reading) and an element of writing. Regular assessment takes place to ensure that children are grouped correctly and given sufficient challenge and support.

Reading Books

Children who are working on the RWI programme read a decodable reading book linked to the sounds they have been taught. Alongside this, children also bring home a story book that they have chosen which is a book they can share with an adult or older sibling.

In addition to creating a love of reading and giving a broader reading experience, we operate a nationally recognised book banding system in Key Stage 1 for those pupils who have completed RWI. This incorporates well-known children’s literature as well as books from the Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby and Collins. The bands allow for growth in progress and periods of consolidation. The children are aware of the book banding system and are very enthusiastic about moving through the colour bands. 

Children use the school library which is well resourced and accessible to all. Children are encouraged to take a book home to share with their parents/carers and family on a regular basis.

In Key Stage 2, we use Accelerated Reader which is online tool that helps teachers manage and monitor children's independent reading practice. Every child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, children take a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that the child understood what was read.) Accelerated Reader gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help set targets for each child and direct ongoing reading practice.

As children move through Key Stage Two, children continue to develop their fluency in reading by being immersed in whole class reads, guided reading, broader independent reading of a variety of texts e.g. Fiction and Non-Fiction and the use of more complex reading comprehension activities. Through whole class reads, vocabulary and thematic activities are extended and embedded. The school ensures children are exposed to and experience high quality texts and vocabulary, which are also linked to other curriculum areas.


  • The children enjoy stories, being read to and reading themselves – fostering a lifetime love of reading.
  • They develop and maintain enthusiasm and interest in books and reading and are familiar with a range of different genres and authors.
  • They have experience of reading non-fiction books for pleasure and for learning and can use them effectively.
  • They know how a library functions and treat the library, and class book corners, with respect
  • The children can confidently decode and phonically sound out and blend words by the end of Year 1 with increasingly sophistication and fluency by the end of Year 2.
  • They develop inference and retrieval skills in their reading comprehension in increasing complexity from Reception up.

·           Children achieve expected or above expected standard in their reading assessments in Year 2 and Year 6 SATs.

Curriculum & Support