Here at Rainbow Forge, we value reading as a key life skill. We are dedicated to enabling all of our learners to become lifelong readers. Through providing a language rich environment as well as high quality, diverse texts, all children will have the opportunity to acquire and develop essential reading skills.

Children will apply these reading skills in a range of subjects across the curriculum and, as a result, develop their curiosity about the world around them.

We intend to have our pupils leaving Rainbow as lifelong readers, who have an instilled love of reading in them. For this to happen, we understand that children need to;

  • Be read to regularly
  • Have access to books
  • Have choice in what to read
  • Have trusted adults and peers recommend books
  • Have fun reading experiences
  • Have time to read

Experiences in reading will link closely to writing, with children developing a vivid imagination and ambitious vocabulary. By the time our children leave us in year six, we expect that they have become fluent and competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, want to explore new texts and genres and participate confidently in discussions about books.

Early Reading

The Little Wandle approach to teaching reading is used throughout Reception and Year 1/2.

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions: 

  • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children 
  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’ 
  • are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis. 

Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: 

  • decoding 
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression 
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.  

In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.  In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.  

Moving on from Phonics…

Once children have completed the Little Wandle programme they have Reading Lessons that continue to develop fluency to perform/read aloud and ensure that the skills of fluency and comprehension are explicitly taught so that children are enabled to comprehend what they read at a deeper level.

These sessions allow children to hear good models of reading aloud through echo reading and text marking to phrase and highlight punctuation.  Practice and re-reading enables children to be confident and competent when reading aloud.

Book Study

Key Stage 2 lessons are based on high quality texts, both short extracts and longer class novels in Book Study. The skills taught include retrieval of key information, inference, vocabulary, sequencing, predicting, understanding the intent of the author and making links between texts. This develops the children’s comprehension strategies and deepens understanding of a range of high quality texts.

PALS – partner assisted learning strategy

At Rainbow Forge we recognize that the key to excelling in and enjoying reading is fluency. Therefore from Y3 children are trained in the PALS approach, a cooperative learning strategy that teaches fluent reading, alongside skills in summarizing.

Reading Plus

Reading plus is an online reading tool which is perfectly pitched with a child’s zone of proximal development. It encourages children to speed up their reading while coaching them through comprehension questions. Children access this from Y2 upwards both in school and at home.

Accelerated Reader

It is vital that the books children are taking home and practicing are pitched well to their ability. Children are assessed using accelerated reader to find their reading level. There is wide range of AR books in each phase library for children to choose from.

Additional reading support for vulnerable children  

Priority Readers

We are dedicated to helping our children become strong, dedicated readers. To do this, we have to identify those children who may slip behind. These are our ‘priority readers’

It goes on to say that we should focus on pupils whose attainment falls into the lowest 20% nationally rather than those whose attainment places them in the lowest 20% of our school.

How we identify our ‘lowest 20%’:

  • Pupils who did not meet the ELG for reading in FS2.
  • Pupils who achieved ‘emerging’ in reading in FS2.
  • Pupils who did not pass the phonics screening check in year one.
  • Pupils who achieved an exact score of 32 on the phonics screening check in year one.
  • Pupils who achieved below the expected standard in reading at the end of KS1.
  • Pupils who are working towards the expected standard in reading.

Children with SEND who also meet these criteria are added to our Priority Readers list but are additional to the lowest 20%.

We expect these children to receive extra support daily to boost their reading. These may include phonics sessions, extra phonics keep up and catch up sessions, daily reading with a member of staff, extra reading plus and targeted questions during reading practice sessions.

Please read the documents below for more information

Reading Policy

Reading Progression Map


Writing is taught using the Writing for Pleasure Centre approach created by Ross Young & Felicity Ferguson. The approach is built on 14 principles:

  1. Build a community of writers
  2. Treat every child as a writer
  3. Read, share, think and talk about writing
  4. Pursue purposeful and authentic class writing projects
  5. Teach the writing processes
  6. Set writing goals
  7. Be reassuringly consistent
  8. Pursue personal writing projects
  9. Balance composition & transcription
  10. Teach daily mini-lessons
  11. Be a writer-teacher
  12. Pupil-conference: meet children where they are
  13. Connect reading & writing
  14. Interconnect the principles

Please click the links below to find out more

Writing Policy

Writing Progression Map

Writing in Nursery & Reception

Writing in Y1/2

Writing in Y3, 4, 5 & 6

What is kid writing?

Information for parents


Active English symbols and definitions for parents


The Active Spelling Approach is used to teach spelling in Y2-6. Please follow the links below for more information

What is Active Spelling?

Active Spelling Symbols