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Fierté Multi-Academy Trust

Our Family of Schools

Reading and Phonics

At Edge Hill Academy, we use the new National Curriculum for English (2014) as the basis of our English programme. We supplement this with the Christopher Such research ‘The Art and Science of Teacher Primary Reading’ (2021), ‘The Reading Framework: Teaching the Foundations of Literacy ’ (2023) and ‘Little Wandle’ Phonics Rapid Catch Up Programme.

Reading is a complex skill with many components. Successful approaches to the teaching of reading should encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading. The policy document is designed to ensure that Edge Hill Academy meets the needs of all pupils, taking into account their individual contexts and strengths. It is important that we meet the diverse needs of all pupils to ensure inclusion for all and that all pupils can confidently apply all reading skills. We therefore aim to ensure that all children:

  • are given access to read quality age-appropriate books
  • receive quality first teaching and high-quality modelling of all of the skills required to become a proficient reader, these include:
    • To give / explain the meaning of words in context
    • To retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction
    • To summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph
    • To make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text
    • To predict what might happen from details stated and implied
    • To identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole
    • To identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases
    • To make comparisons within the text
  • have the opportunity to develop reading accuracy, fluency, and understanding.
  • develop the ability to use and manipulate a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction.
  • are given time to read at school.
  • are given extra support with reading at school
  • acquire a love of texts and reading.
  • develop the independence to apply all of the reading skills taught in school.

The Edge Hill Academy curriculum for reading consists of two dimensions:

  • word recognition
  • language comprehension

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each and so the remaining length of this document will be split into:

  • Phonics
  • Whole Class Reading
  • Further Reading Interventions
  • SEN Provision and Inclusion
  • Reading for Pleasure
  • Home Reading
  • Assessment and Impact


At Edge Hill Academy, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we use the Little Wandle Rapid Catch Up scheme which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through the school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Edge Hill Academy, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

Whole Class Reading

The DSAT ‘Language Comprehension Framework’ acts as a basis for the teaching of language comprehension and should be developed to balance the child’s reading entitlement to a broad and varied curriculum whilst reflecting the rigour and expectations of the milestone assessments which they will encounter during their journey through the primary phases of their education. The teaching of the skills of language comprehension should be reflected in the weightings given to the time spent on each skill.

Comprehensive understanding of texts covered, skills coverage and what a reading lesson looks like at Edge Hill can be found in the following documents:


Long Term Planning

Medium Term Planning

Edge Hill Academy Reading Glossary


Assessment and Impact

Ongoing assessment for Rapid Catch-up in Years 3 to 6

  • The Rapid Catch-up assessment is used
    • with children entering the schol in year 3 who were previously receiving phonics support at their infant school or who did not pass the phonics screener. This is to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.
  • Children in Year 3 to 6 are assessed through:
    • the Rapid Catch-up initial assessment t quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan appropriate teaching
    • the Rapid Catch-up summative assessments t assess progress and inform teaching
    • the Rapid Catch-up fluency assessments when children are reading the Phase 5 set 3, 4 and 5 books for age 7+.
  • Children can exit the Rapid Catch-up programme when they read the final fluency assessment at 90+ words per minute. At these levels, children should have sufficient fluency to tackle any book at age-related expectations.


Whole School Reading Assessment

Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

  • Assessment for learning is used:
    • daily within class t identify children needing Keep-up support and intervention as a result.
  • Summative assessment

As part of the Fierte Multi-Academy Trust we complete ‘PIRA' tests three times a year. This shows teachers any gaps that children may have in their reading knowledge and skills - These are then addressed through the planning of guided reading sessions.

  • Fluency assessments

To measure the children’s progress in fluency the FFT Reading Assessment programme is used throughout their time at Edge Hill. This is completed 3 times per year.


Statutory assessment

At the end of Year 6, all children will undertake the Statutory Assessment Tests in Reading as well as other subjects. The data from this will be collected and shared with parents. This data will be passed on to the children’s secondary school to support their understanding of the children and their needs.