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Carpenters Primary School



The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing children’s competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

While ‘word reading’ is taught through the teaching of phonics (with a specific emphasis on this in EYFS and KS1) at Carpenters, we aim to develop children’s reading comprehension skills through a carefully devised approach.

At Carpenters we use a whole class teaching approach which focuses on the discrete teaching of reading skills.  A clear lesson structure is used as follows:

  1. Speed reading of Common Exception Words (CEW)
  2. Vocabulary - activities to read and learn new words in the text.
  3. ‘Good Reader’ - opportunities to read with pace and increased fluency.
  4. ‘Gist’ - summarising has been read.
  5. Skill of the Week (SotW)  - My Turn (modelled by the teacher) Your Turn (children practice the skill independently) This provides exposure to test style questions and the skills needed to answer these.
  6. Independent task - an opportunity to apply what they have learnt to a range of activities.

Reading for pleasure (R4P)

One lesson a week is dedicated to R4P. Teachers model their passion for reading by sharing their thoughts and feelings for texts and encouraging their children to do the same. A multitude of different activities are organised but essentially these lessons are for children to simply share and read their favourite texts and be exposed to new ones by both peers and adults.

There is also time dedicated at the end of each day for staff to read a story to children.

Common Exception Words (CEW)

Common Exception Words are taught and practised daily.  Children are also tested individually, every term by HLTAs to ensure they are learning and remembering them to aid their reading fluency. Support is then put in place where necessary

Reading Interventions:

  1. Inference
    This is a 6 week programme for children in years 5 and 6 to improve their ability to make inferences based on what they have read.
  2. Reading Comprehension
    This is an intervention focused on developing children’s fluency and ability to retrieve information about what they have read.
  3. Fresh Start
    This is a programme for children in KS2, including those who may be new to English which focuses on building reading & spelling fluency. 
  4. Wave 3
    These are specialist interventions for children who need more focused support and who may have had an assessment of dyslexia.


At Carpenters, we use the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme as the primary way of teaching early reading. Children progress onto whole class reading sessions and Read Write Inc. Spelling, once they have completed the programme and can read with accuracy and speed.

The Read Write Inc programme is used for:

  • Children in Nursery learning letter sounds;
  • Children in Year R to Year 2 who are learning to read (and write);
  • Any children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch up rapidly;

In Key Stage 2, children who struggle with reading accurately and fluently, take part in the RWI comprehension programme and/ or Fresh Start during their reading sessions. This is usually for a set period of time for between 6-12 weeks, depending on the individual child’s needs.


Children are taught in small groups that are ability set. These are taught by teachers, HLTAs and, on occasion, skilled TAs.  We ensure that children in most need of support work alongside the most skilled members of staff.

Group sizes vary, depending on need and ability. Children are assessed and regrouped each half term - though if children make accelerated progress, they are, of course, regrouped more swiftly.
All staff teaching groups have undergone a minimum of 2 days training. In addition to this, all staff receive weekly coaching sessions and termly support from the RWI phonics consultant.

Phonic Interventions:

  1. Fresh Start
    This is a scheme for children in KS2 which aims to build reading & spelling fluency.  If children can’t read fluently, they can’t fully access the text!
  2. EYFS- ‘Pinny time’ and 1-2-1 assisted blending (Nursery Nurse)
    These are short sessions of a few minutes each day which aim at developing children to recognise letters and sounds
  3. Year 1- 10 minutes additional speed sounds daily
  4. KS1 -  1:1 blending sessions (HLTA or intervention manager)
    Short sessions aimed at supporting children to recognise sounds and blend them

Exposure to high quality texts and vocabulary

In addition to their learning in phonics, children are exposed to a range of high quality texts and genres through a range of activities…

  • Daily whole class ‘stories’
  • Writing lessons
  • 1:1 reading with an adult (when possible)
  • Through the supplementary, high quality texts recommended through the RWI programme
  • Reading for pleasure books to take home
  • Reading with Parents in the morning or the start of the session ( EYFS)
  • Exposure to higher level vocabulary through stories (closing the word gap)


At Carpenters, we have developed the ‘Carpenters Writing Journey’ as a consistent approach to writing across the school. This approach follows the principles of ‘Talk 4 Writing’ but has been tailored to fit the needs of our school and context.

Our approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading.

Our approach enables children to move from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully. The phases of: imitation, innovation, invention and invention challenge gradually guide the children towards being creative and independent writers.

Our yearly overview ensures that children experience a range of poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts over the school year and have frequent opportunities to write across the curriculum. In addition to this, we have a core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon.

For more information - please see the Carpenters Learning Journeys below.

EYFS learning Journey
KS1 Learning Journey
KS2 Learning Journey