Horbury Bridge CE

Living by Our Christian Values: Together in Faith, Hope and Love

Reading and Phonics

Learning to read involves both decoding  the words and understanding what the text means. These skills are learnt by teaching both phonics and comprehension skills.


At Horbury Bridge Academy we use Read Write Inc (from Ruth Miskin Training) and are pleased to have been accredited for providing high quality teaching of reading and writing, achieving high standards and for making reading and writing pleasurable and rewarding for our children. 

This accreditation recognises that we:

  • Raise standards in reading and writing for our children
  • Are all expertly trained by Ruth Miskin Training 
  • Gain the latest programme updates through regular visits from our Ruth Miskin Consultant Trainer
  • Effectively support our most vulnerable readers.

Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.

To visit the parent pages on the Ruth Miskin Training website go to:  


You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Reading for Pleasure

Reading for Pleasure

As well as learning the basics of how to decode print, we also encourage children to read for enjoyment.

We celebrated World Book Day with activities, shared reading and dressing up as our favourite characters. 

Teaching Reading: What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully using the sounds that different letters and groups of letters make. 

Nursery: Pre Reading Skills

In Nursery we focus on developing listening skills using environmental sounds, musical instruments, rhymes and stories. Read Write Inc starts during Upper Nursery when children can begin to distinuguish between diferent letter sounds. Letter sounds rather than letter names are used in learning to read. 

Click here for a video: How to say the sounds

Reception to Year 2: Learning to Read

Children learn how to:

  • Recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
  • Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

They are also taught to recognise by sight, words like 'said', 'the' and 'they' which can't be read by breaking them into sounds.  These words are shown in red text in the Read Write Inc. 'Storybooks'.

'Speed Sounds' charts help children learn the most common ways of writing each sound. This also helps develops spelling skills. Image result for speed sounds chart ruth miskin

Phonics Screening

The national phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment of Year 1 children each June to check their phonic knowledge. We want all children to be able to read by the end of Year 2 and this check helps us have a clear understanding of what children will need to learn in Year 2.

The focus of the check is to see which sounds the children know and whether they can blend the sounds together which is why they  will be asked to read made up ‘nonsense’ words as well as real words

Our children do very well in the Year 1 national phonics screening check and by Year 2, the majority are fluent readers.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Outcomes












82% 100% 82% 93%

Reading in School

Children read a Read Write Inc. 'Storybook' during daily phonics sessions. This contains the sounds and words they have learnt to read so far, so that they can read the book successfully. They discuss, answer questions and write about the ideas in these books to develop comprehension alongside 'decoding' the words. A book usually lasts a week and is read several times to develop the different skills of word recognition, fluency and comprehension.

Reading at Home

ReadWrite Inc. Storybooks

A Storybook is sent home each week after your child has learnt the sounds and words in it. Reading this book to someone at home (or even using toys as an 'audience'), gives children practice in reading with fluency, confidence and expression. This does not mean the book is too easy; it means it is at the correct level and gives them confidence and enjoyment in being successful. Reading at home should always be enjoyable.

Picture Books

It is important to read 'real' books to children so children will also choose a picture book to bring home daily and share with their family. This may be ideal for a bedtime story and children will have favourite books they enjoy reading again and again so they can keep the same picture books for as long as they like. Encourage them to join in with the refrains or read along with you if they know any of the words.

Picture books develop important skills and understanding which benefit both reading and writing:

  • Developing story language
  • Introdution to new, rich vocabulary
  • Predicting
  • Sequencing
  • Retelling
  • Fluency
  • Pattern and repetition
  • Developing a love and enjoyment of books

'Real' Books

When children finish the Read Write Inc. programme, usually during Year 2, they are newly fluent readers. They now need to develop:

  • Stamina for longer texts
  • The range of vocabulary they understand
  • Comprehension of more complex plots and characters
  • Further speed and fluency

As children become more independent readers, they will be able to read short stories and books with a few short chapters. They will still enjoy reading to an adult both at home and school and should read books daily.

Our fiction books are organised in classrooms to help children make appropriate  choices that are not too easy but not too hard.  Their choice may depend on whether they want a shorter or longer read, familiar vocabulary and characters or a book they will need to really concentrate on over a longer time. With children's book choices, it is important to embed enjoyment of books alongside independent reading skills.


As children move on from Read Write Inc, we introduce daily  comprehension activities involving Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequencing and Summarising.

hba reading progression.pdf