Learning to Read at Woodwater Academy


At Woodwater we believe that reading is an essential skill for everyone. We strive to create a reading culture where reading is central to all our work. We take a whole school approach that combines both reading for pleasure and reading to support all children reaching their potential. We aim to develop the children, staff and parents as reading experts to ensure that every child at Woodwater develops a love of reading. The children learn to read skilfully and as quickly as possible.

At Woodwater, we intend:

  • for every child to be a reader
  • for early readers to have the skills to decode words, so they can read fluently as quickly as possible
  • for children to understand what they have read
  • for children to respond with curiosity about what they and others have read
  • for children to become enthusiastic and motivated to read for pleasure
  • to develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres of books and text types
  • to develop children’s knowledge of a wide range of authors and illustrators

Children at Woodwater are taught to read, practise their reading skills and develop reading for pleasure through a number of approaches:

  • Daily phonics lessons in Nursery, Reception and Year 1

We follow ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ Programme , a systematic, synthetic approach, which is recommended as the most effective way for children to learn to read. Reading books are closely matched to the graphemes taught. These ‘decodable’ books are also sent home for children to practise.


Children are taught the banks of ‘Tricky’ or common exception words aligned with Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Their developing phonics knowledge enables them to sequentially build up their store of words to become fluent and confident readers.


Parents and partners in their child’s educational journey and are invited to phonics workshops. These sessions are used to support parents in gaining knowledge and understanding of how phonics is taught so that they have the skills to support phonics and early reading and writing at home.


For more information regarding ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds’ please follow the link below. You will be able to access videos and documents that can help you support your child at home.



Reading at Woodwater

1:1 reading

All children in EYFS and KS1 read at least once a week to a teacher or TA. Children, learning to read, will read books that are decodable and matched to their secure phonic knowledge. This ensures they decode using their phonic knowledge and not by any other strategy. Once children have progressed through Little Wandle they will continue to read books that are matched to their reading ability. These books are sent home with the children to read


  • Guided Reading – From Year 2, children are taught as a class. The lessons are planned to explicitly teach the comprehension requirements of the National Curriculum using rich fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Aspects of comprehension studied include :Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation Retrieval, Sequence and Summarise which the children recall using VIPERS.
  • Accelerated Reader – On entry into Key Stage 2, children at Woodwater become engaged in a reading programme called ‘Accelerated Reader’. Accelerated Reader supports effective independent reading practice, providing children with engagement, ownership of learning and an appropriate level of challenge. Children have daily 20 minute sessions of independent reading. For children who are not ready for regular reading comprehension practice, they will remain with their current practice of the ‘phase and coloured book bands’ until they reach a point where regular reading comprehension practice will benefit them.
  • Story Time– adults read aloud to children on a daily basis in every year group. This is designed for the children to foster an enjoyment of reading. Story time provides a vital opportunity for adults to model high quality reading including expression, intonation and pace. Additionally, it develops the children’s knowledge and confidence to discuss a wide range of authors, illustrators, language, text types and genres. The reading list was collaboratively compiled by teaching staff drawing from research into Key children’s texts and incorporating literature from Pie Corbett Reading Spine, Key Text for Primary School (scholastic) and the Award Winning Children’s Authors list.
  • Home learning – parents are encouraged to hear their child read daily, even when they are fluent readers. Parents are asked to record all reading experiences in the child’s Reading Record.