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Reading is a vital skill to master at a young age and is necessary to unlock many other areas of the curriculum. It is also something that can provide a great deal of pleasure throughout our lives. It is for that reason that at Dersingham Primary School we want all our children to read as many high quality books as they can. It is necessary that children experience a different range of genres within fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

At Dersingham Primary School, our creative curriculum places a strong emphasis on Reading as its cornerstone. Our tailor-made Reading curriculum aligns with the goals set by the National Curriculum, prioritising word reading, comprehensive skills (both in listening and reading), and fostering a genuine passion for the act of reading.


At Dersingham, we follow the RWI phonics program. RWI stands as a comprehensive phonics initiative encompassing top-notch training, assessment, intervention, and resources, including decodable books. All incoming staff members undergo thorough training in the RWI approach, supplemented by continuous support and training for existing teachers through practice sessions and coaching. We implement targeted interventions to assist students in keeping pace with the program. As part of fostering early independent reading skills, children exclusively engage with RWI fully decodable books, ensuring they only encounter sounds they have already learned.

The Ruth Miskin Training Youtube channel has lots of helpful videos for parents to watch to help them to understand the programme and how it works. Here are a few of them: 

What is RWI phonics?

Understanding phonics 

How to say the sounds 

Storytelling as a Catalyst for Learning - Storytelling is woven into the fabric of our curriculum, serving as a powerful catalyst for learning and imagination. Through carefully selected and diverse stories, children are transported to different worlds, exposed to a variety of characters, and engaged in meaningful narratives. Storytelling not only captivates young minds but also ignites their curiosity, laying the groundwork for the development of key skills such as communication, comprehension, and critical thinking.

Emphasis on Talk and Vocabulary Building - We recognize the fundamental importance of talk and vocabulary building in the early years of education. Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on creating opportunities for children to express themselves verbally, share their ideas, and engage in meaningful conversations. Through purposeful interactions, both with peers and educators, children develop their oral language skills, expanding their vocabulary and laying the groundwork for successful communication and literacy.

NELI - NELI, short for Nuffield Early Language Intervention, aims to enhance the listening, narrative, and vocabulary skills of specific children identified through a comprehensive assessment of the entire year group. This 20-week intervention is specifically designed for Reception pupils and has been recognized for its high effectiveness by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

Reading for Pleasure - At Dersingham Primary School, fostering a love for reading is not just an educational goal; it is the heartbeat of our ethos. Recognising that reading transcends the boundaries of academia, we prioritize instilling a genuine passion for reading in our students. Our commitment to this ethos is rooted in the belief that a lifelong reader is a perpetual learner. Reading transcends the classroom, becoming a lifelong companion that enriches personal growth and intellectual curiosity. As educators, we understand that children who love to read are more likely to excel academically, develop stronger cognitive abilities, and navigate life's challenges with a broader perspective.

Our School Libraries - At Dersingham, we actively foster a passion for reading. Each day, we allocate time for children to immerse themselves in books of their choosing. Every classroom boasts a dedicated book corner, a space curated and maintained by the children and teachers. Our class libraries are not only aesthetically pleasing but also well-stocked with current and engaging books, serving as integral components of the learning environment. Throughout the school, we have created inviting libraries that captivate the students' interest, providing them with enjoyable spaces to explore literature. Our diligent school librarian ensures that children have the opportunity to bring home a diverse array of texts.

Stop and Drop Reading Session - Every day from 3:00 to 3:15 pm, the entire school engages in a collective story time. It is during this period that teachers are encouraged to read captivating stories to the children. While reading aloud, the emphasis is on uninterrupted storytelling, avoiding unnecessary interruptions for clarification or comprehension questions. The intention is to let the enchantment of the narrative unfold naturally, with only occasional pauses to elucidate essential vocabulary. Additionally, in Key Stage 1, teachers extend this practice by reading to the children during fruit time.

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Early Reading for pupils with SEND - Early reading for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is a crucial foundation for their literacy development and overall academic progress. Tailored approaches to teaching reading, such as multisensory techniques and personalised instruction, are essential in accommodating the diverse needs of our pupils with SEND. These approaches often involve using a combination of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic strategies to engage learners and reinforce reading skills. Additionally, employing assistive technologies and adaptive resources can further support individuals with SEND in accessing reading materials and enhancing their comprehension abilities. By providing early and targeted support in reading, teachers can empower pupils with SEND to build confidence, develop essential literacy skills, and unlock opportunities for lifelong learning and social inclusion.

  • Intent

    At Dersingham, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and is key for academic success. Therefore, we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.

     At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and film.

    Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.

     We have high expectations of all children and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always ‘reaching for the stars.’

  • Implement

    Guided comprehension is delivered to the whole class. All classes follow a structured 4-day approach to reading activities. Sessions are interactive and teachers facilitate speaking and listening opportunities, with children working independently. Pupil engagement in lessons is promoted through regular use of think-pair-share, responses on mini-whiteboards and collaborative tasks. The main focus in these lessons is on interaction, dialogue and assessment for learning strategies.

    High quality short texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of children, and teachers use this to model the application of the agreed reading skills (Predicting, Questioning, Clarifying, Summarizing, Thinking aloud and Visualizing) Children are taught to identify words/phrases they don’t understand and strategies to fix breakdown in meaning. In addition, they are taught to relate the text to themselves, previous reading experiences and the world around them.

    Further to modelled sessions, children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the three levels of questioning (Looking, Thinking and Clue) More complex questions are evaluated with more able children and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard. All children take part in small group or paired activities, which enables teachers to elicit the needs of children individually and identify areas for future development.


    At Dersingham, we believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. Phonics decodable books are sent home mainly in key stage one  and a wide selection of banded books are used in key-stage two. Children, whose reading skills and comprehension are solid, are exposed to longer and more challenging books (fiction and non- fiction) to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genres.

  • Impact

    We have a process of monitoring to ensure standards and this includes, observations, performance management and learning walks. Assessment for Learning techniques are incorporated in every Reading lesson, including feedback and appropriate marking. Each half term, Year Groups undertakes a formative assessment, the results of which are not published, but used for future planning and to highlight any individual learning gaps. Teachers make termly judgements for each pupil against year group expectations and bring this information to Pupil Progress meetings, alongside updates on intervention groups. We report the standards for individual pupils at the end of Reception, Year 2 and Year 6 and for pupils in Year 1 who take the Phonics screening check.

    By the time children leave Dersingham, they are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock and enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum.

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