Queen Mary Crescent, Kirk Sandall, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN3 1JT

01302 882221



Kirk Sandall Infant School

Reading at KSIS

At Kirk Sandall Infant School, we are passionate about reading and we feel that reading is at the centre of our curriculum.

We believe in the importance of developing children’s phonics skills as early readers, moving onto comprehension skills when children are ready. We understand the importance to develop children’s love of books and reading. 


Storytime @ Matka Wariaka - Fotolia

We prioritise reading

The Executive Headteacher and Head of School, along with other senior leaders, prioritises reading at Kirk Sandall Infant School. The Head of School meets regularly with the dedicated Reader Leader, to discuss priorities in training, analyse data and look at ways forward. The Head of School gives the Reading Leader and staff the time and opportunity for training. Weekly phonics training has been prioritised, along with regular coaching and support for those new to teaching. The budget has been prioritised to ensure that all children have access to quality texts.


 Content and sequencing of reading supports progress for all children

At Kirk Sandall, we believe that every child should finish the reception year able to read. We use the Read Write Inc (RWI) program as our systematic synthetic phonics program. The programme has a strong focus on teaching children to know and remember more. Children are taught daily, in small groups, from Reception upwards. The small groups children are in ensure that all children are taught at their appropriate level, which results in good progress being made.


Phonics right from the start..!

Phonics is taught from the very beginning of Foundation Stage 2. If children are ready, some of the sounds are taught from the Summer term of Foundation Stage 1. We believe that a strong start in Reception has a big impact on children’s progress and confidence in reading. By the end of the Foundation Stage, we want children to be able to read all of the Set 1 and Set 2 sounds in words. Children are identified from the beginning if they are falling behind. 


Children Falling Behind Catch Up Quickly

The Reading Leader quickly identifies children who are falling behind and discusses them with the class teacher. Children are assessed every half term, but they can be assessed sooner than this, if the Reading Leader and Reading Teacher thinks this is necessary. The Reading Leader shares sound gap analysis  information for these children with the teachers and teaching assistants, and to ensure they catch up:

  1. The daily phonics lesson is taught robustly.
  2. The child has 1:1 daily phonics tutoring every day.
  3. Teachers have an extra whole class 15 minute phonics recap lesson in an afternoon. 


Phonically Decodable Books

From Foundation Stage, library books / reading for pleasure texts are sent home with children. Their focus is language acquisition and listening to stories being read to them. As children begin Read, Write, Inc, children are sent home with letter and word blending sheets to practise their sounds. Following this, children will be sent home with sound blending books. When children move into the Ditty group, they will take a perfectly matched phonically decodable book home with them. This continues, until children have moved securely off the programme. As well as a phonically, decodable book, children will take a library book / reading for pleasure home with them. This is to encourage parents to read to their children and develop their vocabulary. Books are changed weekly, so children have time to practise their phonics sounds, as well as building their fluency.

Staff are Early Reading Experts

All staff at Kirk Sandall Infant School, from nursery to Y2, have been trained in RWI phonics. All staff have access to the virtual classroom, where they have a large range of training videos for each aspect of phonics. The Reading Leader directs staff to training videos and staff are given time to watch them. In addition to this, the Reading Leader holds training sessions weekly for reading staff. KSIS partake in a RWI Development Day, where a RWI expert visits the lessons and offers bespoke training.


We love to read!

The love of reading is promoted widely across school.  All children will go to our school library and they will also bring a 'bedtime' book home. These are 'reading for pleasure' texts to help develop vocabulary and also instil a love of reading within children. 

Research shows that reading for pleasure has a positive impact on children’s attainment in reading assessments. Children who read for pleasure have enhanced levels of text comprehension, an increased knowledge of grammar and show improvement in their writing. They also have more positive attitudes towards reading than peers. The advantages of reading for pleasure go beyond academic achievement:

‘Other benefits include an increased breadth of vocabulary, pleasure in reading in later life, a better understanding of other cultures, better general knowledge and even ‘a greater insight into human nature’.

Reading for Pleasure: A research overview, National Literacy Trust, 2006

At Kirk Sandall, we promote reading for pleasure. We do this in the following ways:

  • Every teacher is an advocate for reading and often recommend their own favourite books to children.
  • Reading and books are at the centre of the curriculum, with core texts selected at the centre of the English curriculum and to support the wider curriculum
  • We plan time in for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day.
  • We celebrate World Book Day every year with new exciting themes each year.
  • Class teachers read a ‘core text’ to their children daily. This gives children the opportunity to listen to new vocabulary and get excited about stories

Core texts are read daily to children by the teacher. This gives the teacher chance to emphasise their story voice and illustrate their excitement at sharing new stories. The teacher chooses their books carefully to ensure that the texts are of high quality and age appropriate. Reading areas have been developed to promote a love of reading. 

In addition to this, we display recommended books, to encourage children to want to read them. We regularly promote reading at home via Shared Learning and parent meetings.


Parents as Partners


Read Write Inc Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing, which is centred around learning the sounds of the letters (phonics) and then blending them together to read words.  The children also learn to break down words into individual sounds in order to write them.


 How does RWI work at Kirk Sandall?

The children in EYFS and KS1 are assessed by the RWI leader and grouped according to their ability.

They work in small groups with teachers and teaching assistants every day. At the end of each half term the children will be assessed again to check they have made progress and will be grouped again.



When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into understanding what they read.
  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk.
  • Learn to read words by blending the sounds together.
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
  • Show that they understand the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove it’ discussion questions.


When using RWI to write the children will:

  • Spell effortlessly so that they can put their energy into working out what they want to write.
  • Learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds (graphemes).
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk.
  • Learn to write simple and then increasingly complex sentences.
  • Write dictated sentences working on sentence structure.
  • Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.
  • Write simple sentences.



When using ‘Read Write Inc’ the children work in pairs to:

  • Answer questions to practise every activity.
  • Take turns talking to each other.
  • Give positive praise to each other.



Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sound sets.

Help your child learn to read words by sound-blending e.g. c-a-t = cat

Help children to say the pure sounds, as quickly as they can, and then to blend the sounds together to say the whole word.


How can I support at home?

You can help your child at home by practicing their sounds regularly using their speed sounds book. Your child will also bring home two books each week which will contain sounds that they already know. Please read with them 4 times per week and record in their reading record. Every book your child brings home with be carefully matched to their phonic knowledge.

Reading at Home Booklet

You can help your child with their reading by:

  • Looking at books together and talking what is happening in the pictures or asking questions
  • Reading books to your child and listening to them read
  • Talking to your child and introducing them to new and ambitious vocabulary e.g. “munch”, “scoff” or “devour” instead of “eat”
  • Knowing the 44 sounds and how to pronounce them. 


Parent and Carer films please click here

Phonics Screening Check 2024

Reception Reading Meeting 

Key stage 1 Reading Meeting

Key Stage 1 Home Reading