Read, Write, Inc, Phonics


At Northdown, we use the Ruth Miskin scheme: Read, Write, Inc to teach Early reading.

Children in Reception through to year 2, (and any identified pupils in Year 3) will engage in a daily 45 minute phonic lesson with a designated reading leader. In each lesson the children will be introduced to a new sound and they will apply this knowledge in both reading and writing activities. An additional 10 minute phonics lesson is taught in Year 1 and 2 and ‘Pinny Time’ practice is embedded throughout the day in Year R.

Children are assessed each term by a designated reading leader and then grouped according to their phonic knowledge. Our rigorous assessment practice quickly identifies children who are not making sufficient progress through the scheme and a program of 1:1 intervention will be quickly established for these children.

In Nursery, there is an emphasis on children being able to hear individual sounds and distinguish between them.In term 6, as part of our transition to school, children will be taught the names of the object in the Set 1 sound cards. Children are also encouraged to become aware of print within the environment.

In Reception, upon entry to school, children will be introduced to a new sound a day. Once they have acquired the first five sounds of the Set 1 sounds they will be taught the skills of blending. Children will be taught how to orally blend words through playing ‘Fred Talk’ games and then they will learn how to read simple cvc words. The teacher will model building simple words using the Set 1 sound flash cards and the children will use magnetic boards with letters to build the same words. At this stage the children will be introduced to the ‘Sound Blending Books’. All children in Year R receive a gift of the Set 1 sound cards to help consolidate what is being taught in school and parents are supported in how to use these at home.

Children will then be taught the Set 1 digraphs and begin to read and write words containing those sounds. At this stage the children will progress on to reading ‘Ditty pages’ before progressing to ‘Red Ditty Books’.

Once their knowledge of the Set 1 digraphs is secure and they can apply this in the reading and writing of words the children will be taught the Set 2 ‘Special Friends’. At this stage the children will progress on to green, purple, pink and then orange books.


Destination Reader


At Northdown we use the Hackney Trust ‘Destination Reader’ approach to the teaching of reading for pupils within Key Stage 2. It is our expectation that children in Year 2 begin making the transition from ‘Read, Write, Inc’ to ‘Destination Reader’ at the start of the Summer term.

The aim of ‘Destination Reader’ is to develop children’s understanding of texts through the use of specific reading strategies and language stems. There are seven strategies that are explicitly taught to children; Predicting, Making connections, Asking questions, evaluating, inferring, summarising and clarifying.

In year 3, children will begin by focusing on a different strategy a week which will then build up to combining two or more strategies. Teachers will use assessment data to inform them of which strategies need a greater focus within their class.

At the beginning of each academic year the children start by exploring the different learning behaviours for reading – Discuss and explain, support and listen and taking responsibility.

Destination Reader sessions are taught for 45 minutes daily and centre around a class core text. The core texts studied in the reading lessons will underpin the curriculum topic for the term. The texts will be carefully selected to ensure that the majority of children can access the bulk of the text independently. A lesson will always begin with a 15 minute shared whole class experience that will incorporate the teacher modelling reading and thinking out loud to analyse the text. Children are then given the opportunity to apply and practise these skills through partner work. The aim of this is to equip children with the skills needed to pull apart a text to build understanding, thus enabling them to talk with confidence about what they have read, and above all, enjoy reading more. Following on from the whole class input children are given 20 minutes to read a second text that they will study in pairs or as a part of a group. The children will be given time to complete a ‘selfie’- short assessment question linked to the main reading strategy taught within the lesson prior to regrouping as a class for a plenary. They will complete two selfie tasks per week.

On a Friday, all children will complete a ‘Big Picture’ a longer comprehension assessment. This involves them reading a carefully selected piece of text before answering a series of questions that will encompass a range of reading strategies. ‘Big Pictures’ will be modelled on seen texts as well as unseen texts that are linked the topic.

Children will study both Fiction and Non-Fiction texts each term.

Provides a systematic approach to the teaching of reading across KS2.



Writing is an opportunity for children to express themselves, where they learn to be creative, express ideas, opinions and show their true self. At Northdown Primary, we use an approach that highlights quality core texts and modelled writing that works to challenge our children.

There is meaning behind their final write which enables children to have ownership over their writing. This helps our children to develop quality language and sentence structure and provides them with the tools they need to be a creative writer.

The core texts are not just part of their writing lessons but are also the body of each term’s learning in reading and the wider curriculum. The texts are part of the core focus towards being able to confidently answer their big question each term. This approach enables writing to be interwoven between every subject taught across the curriculum giving them challenge and creativity for different styles of writing.

Poetry, which is also embedded within our wider curriculum, is taught three times a year within each year group.

Each term, children are taught three cycles of writing; fiction and two non-fiction. Within these children are encouraged to analyse, plan, draft and edit their own writing and learn about the structure, grammar and features of specific genres or text types. We also expect children to have the opportunity for longer pieces of writing in their wider curriculum lessons where they will be able to embed the skills learnt in their writing lessons.

High quality texts draw out new vocabulary to help support pupils in their writing development. A range of genres are covered to help children understand different story and text types.

SPaG is taught within the cycles in Key Stage One to allow the children to embed the basic skills. This is also the same in Key Stage Two however they also benefit from discreet lessons which link to the writing cycle and text type. The skills learnt are applied throughout the curriculum and modelled in exemplars for children to use from our learning walls.

Join us for an Open Day