'Reading is the one ability, that once set in motion, has the ability to feed itself, grow exponentially and provide a basis from which possibilities are limitless.'

Michael Morpurgo

We are a Reading School

We therefore:

  • Promote a love of reading and books at every opportunity. Our displays reflect this and are evident in classrooms and corridors. Our children regularly access the school library and are encouraged to join their local library. Our staff read to children regularly – they are advocates for reading. 
  • Have a rigorous and a consistent approach to phonics and it is taught using the Read Write Inc program. Staff receive regular CPD to inform good practice and to ensure that the teaching of phonics is consistent. We aim to ensure pupils master the phonic code through a whole school approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child.
  • Have a consistent approach for children who fall behind. Assessment is done regularly within the Read Write Inc sessions and teachers also assess against the Babcock objectives for Years 1- 6. We ensure children only move up book bands when they are ready. 
  • Have a ‘read it and understand it’ approach in Early Years and KS1. We plan comprehension activities as much as phonics because we understand that children need both skills to be an effective reader. 
  • Use VIPERS to promote children’s articulation of the key reading skills. 
  • Use a rotation timetable between guided sessions with differentiated texts and whole class shared reads with differentiated activities.
  • Use a variety of high quality texts and resources so that children are exposed to a rich and varied vocabulary 
  • Keep detailed records which have comments linked to the reading competencies being taught. We have a consistent approach to reading records/guided reading books. Reading records are used to promote regular reading at home and to share feedback with parents and children to support home reading. 
  • Link our reading explicitly to writing skills (this may be through displays, learning journeys and follow up activities which promote writing based on reading).

Reading in EYFS and KS1

From entry into Reception and through to the end of KS1 children will progress through their set 1, set 2 and set 3 sounds in phonics. The progression in phonics for a typical child can be seen at the bottom of this page.

When considering whether your child is ready to move up to the next Read Write Inc book colour (and set of taught sounds), we consider their word reading (6 weekly cycle of phonics assessments, decoding) and their comprehension skills. This includes their ability to answer questions within their Read Write Inc  book and their ability to answer VIPERS questions within whole class and small group guided reading sessions. Reciprocal Reading roles are introduced in EYFS when the children are ready, in preparation for their continuing reading journey through KS1 and into KS2.

Read Write Inc games, resources and VIPERS reading comprehension documents can also be found at the bottom of this page. 

Reading in KS2

When considering whether a child is ready to move up to the next book band we consider their decoding skills and their comprehension skills. In Key Stage 2 (once your child has reached the end of the Read Write Inc phonics programme), they will progress through the following book bands - gold, white, lime and this is when then begin of Free Reading scheme which includes brown, grey, dark blue and dark red. 

In KS2 we also take on Reciprocal Reading roles to further our understanding of the texts we are reading and to help each other as our reading comprehension skills flourish and grow. We do this during whole class and group guided reading sessions, these are known as the Fab Four: Predictor, Clarifier, Summariser, and the Questioner. A document explaining these roles can be found at the bottom of the page. 

Research shows that it is the combination of quality Guided Reading sessions, together with Shared Text or Whole Class Reading lessons that has the highest impact in terms of a child’s progress in reading. This is our approach at Delaware and Gunnislake to ensure that good progress in reading is achieved for all.

Progression in Phonics - Read Write Inc


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Early Reading

It is crucial that children develop a life-long love of reading and this starts in the early years. An enticing well-stocked book corner, plenty of shared stories, nursery rhymes and songs, and the early introduction of phonics in a fun and interactive way are some of the ways we support early reading and encourage a passion for stories. This begins in our Nursery and continues through to Year Six. Our children also have the opportunity to tell their own stories and listen to each others ideas using Pie Corbett approaches. The reading adventure begins!>

Reading in KS1

Daily phonics and taught reading, weekly guided reading sessions and high quality engaging texts for English lessons enable our children to develop their reading skills. A well stocked library with books to share at home gives our children access to an even wider range of fiction and non-fiction books. Daily shared stories and poems read by class teachers, Teaching Assistants (and our friends in KS2), help kindle a love of stories and inspire budding storytellers.

Reading in KS2

Reading activities during our guided reading sessions, good quality whole class shared texts, the application of VIPERS skills across the wider curriculum, Reciprocal Reading and a well-stocked library ensure our children make at least good progress in reading and are given opportunities to lose themselves in a good book. We hope their passion for reading will stay with them through their secondary school education and for the rest of their lives! (See the document below for more detail.)

'Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.' - Barack Obama

Writing at Gunnislake Primary Academy 

The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

Transcription (reading and writing.)

Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

The teaching at Gunnislake Primary Academy develops competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing are incorporated into the National Curriculum programmes of study for composition.

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting. At Gunnislake, we use high quality texts and units of work from Hamilton Trust/Devon County Council . We ensure each unit has a Learning Journey and includes elements of ‘talk for writing’; as we know that oral rehearsal helps metacognition and supports the writing process. The skills and knowledge being taught in each unit are displayed visually for the children on a ‘Learning Journey’ in  the classroom and in books. The mapped skills and knowledge are taken from the National Curriculum and are assessed regularly against the progression of skills exemplified in the Devon County Council Planning and Assessment materials.




View the following documents within your web browser or download to read later

Fred Talk Games.pdf
Fred Talk Games.pdf
Gunnislake Primary English Policy with the 3 Is (3).doc
Gunnislake Primary English Policy with the 3 Is (3).doc
How Reading is Taught in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 at Gunnislake.docx
How Reading is Taught in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 at Gunnislake.docx
ks1 reading vipers.pdf
ks1 reading vipers.pdf
ks2 reading vipers.pdf
ks2 reading vipers.pdf



Reciprocal VIPERS cards March 2021 (2).pdf
Reciprocal VIPERS cards March 2021 (2).pdf
Ruth Miskin Parent Information.pdf
Ruth Miskin Parent Information.pdf
We are a Reading School.docx
We are a Reading School.docx


Our Values...



We are bold and innovative in our approach to find new solutions to the challenges we face.



We are inspired by the awe and wonder of the world.



We take responsibility for our actions in an environment of mutual respect.



We are passionate about learning.



We are the best we can be.



We overcome all barriers to reach our potential, developing a capacity to improve further.

We are open for all of our pupils. Nursery, Reception, Y1, Y2, Y3 and Y4 will be taught at the Delaware base. Y5 and Y6 will be taught at the Gunnislake base.

© 2024 Bridge Schools trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 7736425. It is an exempt charity.