School Improvement – Reading


In order to build on our successes from the April 2021 Section 8 Monitoring Visit, we are continuing to take effective action in order to become a ‘good’ school by:

  • Ensuring that all children (regardless of starting point) gain phonic knowledge and have increased opportunities to rehearse their reading skills in order to support their learning across the curriculum
  • Ensuring that leaders’ plans to strengthen the curriculum for phonics are implemented effectively so that pupils quickly develop the skills they need to become fluent and confident readers



This section is under construction.



This section is under construction.


This section is under construction.


Accelerated Reader, from Renaissance Learning UK, is firmly established within Key Stage 2.

Children take the STAR reading test which gives them a reading age in years and months. This assessment also matches a range of books to the child’s reading age so that they can choose appropriate titles that will provide a challenge and hopefully lead to progress in reading.

When the children have completed a reading book, they take an on-line comprehension quiz, usually comprising 5 to 10 questions. If they achieve at least 80% in the quiz their word count increases by the number of words in the book and they are encouraged to try to choose a slightly more challenging title to read next.

We celebrate the children’s achievements in adding to their personal word count. A designated page on our website provides a weekly update of the school’s collective word count and individual children are included in our Word Millionaires honours board. For the past five years, we have rewarded the first child to achieve Millionaire status with a £25 book voucher. Past winners have come from Year 5 and Year 6, but this year’s first word millionaire was from a Year 4 class!

Our school record word count during the year 2018-9 peaked at almost 98 million. The pandemic understandably took its toll on our word count during 2019/20 and 2020/21, but we are aiming to return to previous high levels as schools face fewer restrictions in terms of sharing books and class bubble closures.

As part of our regular data collection to monitor children’s progress and achievement, the children continue to take the STAR reading test at the start of each term and this is then supported with a SATs-style reading comprehension test at the end of each term.

For the first time this year (2021/22) children reading at greater depth in Year 2 have begun to use Accelerated Reader.


sounds write logo

Sounds-Write is a quality phonics programme. Its purpose is to provide a scheme to teach reading, spelling and writing.  We will introduce Sounds~Write to children who still have gaps in their phonics knowledge after following the Letters and Sounds programme.

The Sounds-Write programme teaches the children to understand the way the alphabet (referred to as ‘code’) works. Because of the complex system of the alphabet code in the English language, often, in the early stages of learning to read and spell, pupils will not be able to spell some sounds using the correct spellings. However, pupils taught using Sounds-Write are more likely to be able to write almost anything they want using plausible (phonetic) spellings for sounds. As they progress through Key Stage 1, pupils learn systematically how words are spelled in English. The ability to express oneself in writing from the start of school gives children enormous confidence, which naturally feeds back into the other kinds of learning taking place within the school curriculum.


We have produced two information leaflets to date this year, to keep parents and carers up-to-date with developments in our reading curriculum, providing details of our use of Bug Club in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and the whole school 100 BOOKS initiative.

More leaflets are planned for later in the year.


Common exception words are words where the usual spelling rule doesn’t apply; such as the common exception words “sugar”, “improve”, “climb” and “because”. Some of these exception words are used frequently, so children are introduced to common exception words in year 1 and year 2.

The Year 1 and 2 lists of common exception words can be downloaded by clicking the links below:


The 44 English sounds can be divided into two major categories – consonants and vowels.

Clickable squares based on the above image which will play a recording of each of the sounds (to be created)


This section is under construction.