Home Page

Reading & Phonics

Reading Progression at Bidston Avenue Primary School (EYFS to Year 6)

Phonics Teaching at Bidston Avenue Primary School


At Bidston Avenue Primary School, our children learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. 


Read Write Inc. Phonics


The programme is for:

  • Pupils in Early Years to Year 2 who are learning to read and write
  • Any pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch-up rapidly
  • Struggling readers in Years 5 and 6 follow Read Write Inc. Fresh Start.


Our Read Write Inc. Phonics programme allows pupils to:

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • Read common exception words on sight
  • Understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  • Acquire good handwriting.


In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.


We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing.  This is because it is known that pupils’ progress in writing will lag behind progress in reading, especially for those whose motor skills are less well developed.  Currently, our RWI Phonics lead assesses children every 6-7 weeks or before if the need arises.


In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code.  The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them.  Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly.  This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress.  This learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings – common exception words.  We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words.  This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers.  Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.


Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves.  See our Spine Books that run across the school.


Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences.  We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently.  We make sure they write every day.


Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge.  The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have heard in the book the teacher has read to them; they have also discussed what the words mean.


Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible.  The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.


Usually, Year one children are formally assessed by an unseen government check and results are reported to parents.  It is a decoding test using 'real and non-real' words.

Reading & Phonics Gallery

Reading at Bidston Avenue Primary School


Learning to read is complex, yet essential, for all our children's life chances. Reading relies on us learning many different cues such as:

  • structure - how sentences are formed, grammar & syntax;
  • meaning - it relies on us having an understanding of the world around us to make meaning (semantic cues);
  • Pictorial - we need to know about illustrations, graphs, pictures, captions and headings (bibliographic cues) and 
  • graphophonic cues - those supplied by spelling and presentation of words, which interact with knowledge of words and phonic analysis.


POST Read Write Inc Phonics Scheme (Approx. Year 2)


Picture from from Literacy Counts:


Once children complete the Read Write Inc Phonics programme they are taught in their year group using the Literacy Counts’ Steps to Read scheme of work.  This integrates reading, writing, thinking and spoken language.


Steps to Read is planning support for whole class Shared Reading through carefully crafted units of work.  These termly units of work also help schools to provide curriculum knowledge for several foundation subjects. They empower teachers to teach all aspects of word reading and comprehension through high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry vehicle texts.


Steps to Read provides a clear teaching sequence to reading lessons that explicitly teach reading skills and strategies in a cumulative way through evidence-based approaches. These comprehensive termly units have been constructed so that the entire statutory curriculum for reading is covered from EYFS to Y6.


Each lesson follows the same Steps to Read teaching sequence and provides a detailed framework of how to move through the 4-step teaching sequence.

A typical Steps to Read lesson is 30 – 40 minutes.  Lessons are always informed by teachers’ knowledge of their children (formative assessment).


Steps to Read units of work know the standard expected of each year group and effective pedagogies that support learning.


However, professional teacher decisions are crucial to ensure the needs of the children are met when using this document, which provides a proven scaffold and strong teaching structure.


Reading Schemes


**Children who are following the RWI Phonics programme will be reading decodable books at their level.  READING BAGS SHOULD BE RETURNED DAILY.


Past RWI Phonics, we use a variety of reading scheme texts to ensure children learn and apply a range of reading strategies.  We endeavour to purchase/provide books/texts that engage boys and girls and their interests e.g. StarWars, Dr. Who, Lego Friends and so on..


Many of our books are available for children and families to read online - at the child's level and they can be assessed too.


Our book organisation system includes a coloured band & number, which correspond to reading levels.  Each level has carefully chosen words, phrases, phonics, and comprehension.


Parents are encouraged to hear their child read at least three times per week, as a minimum, and return their reading bag and log to school.  


Library Entrance Transformation

Joseph Venning has been back @Bidston Avenue Primary School to help transform the entrance to our library. The area was officially unveiled by the Mayor or Mayoress of Wirral, Councillor George Davies and Mrs Cath Davies.