Warley Town School

Warley Town School

English - Phonics & Reading

Intent: What do we hope to achieve?

In EYFS Literacy It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).

In KS1 & KS2 national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audience
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly
    their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations,
    demonstrating to others and participating in debate   

Implementation: How we will deliver reading?

At Warley Town, we have transitioned to a new systematic, synthetic phonics (SSP) programme called Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). 

ELS whole-class, daily phonics teaching begin within in the first two weeks of
Reception. Through the rigorous teaching programme, children build an
immediate understanding of the relationship between the sounds they can hear
and say (phonemes) and the written sounds (graphemes).

In every single lesson, children read decodable text.  As part of review lessons, children will engaged in shared, paired reading with books that are matched to their phonic knowledge. 

Children will bring home a decodable reading book home each week which should be read four times. By reading texts several times the children have the greatest opportunity to achieve reading fluency.


Curriculum Impact - How effective is our curriculum?

The impact of our curriculum will be measured and monitored by senior leaders and subject leaders who consider and evaluate:

  • Pupil outcomes
  • Pupil voice
  • Internal monitoring
  • External monitoring


Ofsted 2023:

"Leaders prioritise reading. Pupils enjoy the weekly story assemblies and the books
that their teachers read to them. Leaders have invested in a new phonics scheme.
This includes ongoing, well-planned support and training for staff. Children in
Reception get off to a good start in reading. Pupils who have fallen behind with their
reading get the right help and grow in confidence." 


Guidance for families:

ELS Parents Meeting

Phase 2 pronunciation video

Phase 2 grapheme information sheet

Phase 3 pronunciation video

Phase 3 grapheme information sheet

Phase 5 pronunciation video

Phase 5 grapheme information sheet


Once children have progressed and their reading fluency and comprehension is secure, they will work within book bands, which will enable them to tackle longer and more complex books. We will provide access to a wide range of high quality, age appropriate texts.

In Key Stage 2 we use an approach known as VIPERS to support our children to develop successful reading behaviours; become confident in the ability to respond to a range of comprehension questions and increase their knowledge and understanding of vocabulary. VIPERS is an acronym and stands for: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequence or Summarise.


Reading for pleasure

As a school we aim to nurture a love and enjoyment of reading and inspire our children to pick up a book in their own time and develop a life-long love of reading. We encourage our children to explore new places; meet new book friends and widen their knowledge of vocabulary through offering a wide variety of books reading opportunities.

Within the classroom children have access to a wide variety of high quality texts which link to current topics. In Early years and KS1, classes take part in daily story time and in KS2 this takes place at least three times a week.

The texts for story-time are selected through recommendations by the children and adults and we aim to expose listeners to a diverse selection of engaging texts.  These may include new authors, poets and prizewinners.


Useful links:







Professor Michael Rosen  - Reading for Pleasure