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Our Reading Journey At Denbigh

At Denbigh, Reading is a high priority. We have a clear focus on teaching our children to become fluent and competent readers. 

We believe that a child’s ability to read is fundamentally important to allow our pupils maximum access to our curriculum. 

The children at Denbigh leave our school above average (Compared to National Statistics) in the progress that they make as readers, this includes pupils with special educational needs and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Our reading results are obtained through a systematic approach to developing reading skills through a structured and consistent programme, a language rich environment, effective support and intervention, a culture that embraces a love of reading and a well-resourced library that reflects the needs and interests of our pupils.


Reading In Nursery

As children enter nursery, staff begin to work on auditory discrimination, helping children to identify and isolate specific sounds in the environment.  Games include strategies to support visual memory and fine motor skills, all of which form part of early literacy skills.  As the year progresses children are encouraged to start to hear initial sounds in words, final and middle sounds following on after.  We aim to have children successfully blending and segmenting cvc words by the end of Nursery.

Reading In Reception

At Denbigh we teach reading through ‘Read Write Inc Phonics’ (RWI) from Reception. In Reception, we teach the graphemes to go along with the sounds children have already started to identify in words. First they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. Children will read in 1:1 and  small groups depending on the learning needs of the child. 

Our children experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.

Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.


Our approach to reading is delivered alongside a language rich curriculum and a wide range of opportunities to engage with text through play. 

Reading In KS1

Our teaching of reading through ‘Read Write Inc Phonics’ continues from Reception into Year 1. 

To ensure we meet the learning needs of our children, we stream for phonics in Reception, Years 1,2 and 3. This means that your child is being taught phonics in a group where all children are working at the same level and learning the same letter sounds.

In Key Stage 1, these groups may be made up from children from Years 1,2,3. As we know, children learn at different rates, therefore we tailor our phonics teaching to the need of the children to ensure they are secure with letter sounds before moving them on. This makes sure that children have a solid phonics knowledge, which they then build upon, making them fluent and able readers and writers.

Alongside, ‘Read Write Inc Phonics’, reading is also taught through specific interventions for certain children in order to help them to catch up with their peers. Reading accuracy and fluency skills are taught through; a modified version of the internationally renowned reading programme Reading Recovery delivered through daily one to one sessions with a qualified teacher; and BRP (Boosting Reading Potential).


Throughout Denbigh, children’s understanding of the content domains is hooked onto our ‘Reading dogs’ which you can see below. Children become more familiar, year on year, with each content domain and build on prior knowledge and the skills required for each one.  

Supporting Your Child With Their Home Reading

Questions To Ask Your Child While Reading With Them – Year 1

Questions To Ask Your Child While Reading With Them – Year 2

Reading In KS2

Support with reading continues into KS2 as we continue to develop children’s phonological knowledge and understanding through ‘Fresh Start’ (Read Write Inc) while improving reading accuracy and comprehension skills through BRP (Boosting Reading Potential) and Inference Intervention. We provide additional support to those children that find comprehension challenging. We are committed to supporting children to overcome any difficulties they may have in their ability, to ensure that our children find reading a pleasure.


In KS2, children continue to build on their reading skills through structured whole class reasing sessions, which teach key skills and probe children’s understanding. These sessions allow children to experience a wide range of text types and genres, with clear links with other curriculum areas. Children develop an understanding of vocabulary and real-world issues – learning about science and history – through a range of written short extracts, websites, articles and chapters of books. Children’s understanding of these texts and their themes is challenged through questioning linked to the content domains. 


Throughout Denbigh, children’s understanding of the content domains is hooked onto our ‘Reading dogs’ which you can see below. Children become more familiar, year on year, with each content domain and build on prior knowledge and the skills required for each one.  



In conjunction with our dedicated teaching, we use Accelerated Reader to give children the opportunity to delve into new books independently whilst building reading speed and fluency.

At Denbigh, we continually invest heavily in our library to provide children of all abilities or learning difficulties with a wealth of books that will excite, inspire and develop children to become life-long readers. To supplement our extensive library, we use MyOn (an online catalogue of ebooks) as well as Accelerated Reader Articles to ensure a range of relevant, age-appropriate and interesting fiction and non-fiction texts are available to all children, irrelevant of their reading age. 


Finally, at Denbigh, we strive to foster a love of reading in all of our children. We share stories and class novels with our children daily. Our texts are chosen carefully to reflect appropriate challenge and interest levels. Furthermore, our texts are chosen to reflect diversity and real-life scenarios (with strong links being made to our life skills curriculum). Children are given the opportunity to talk about their class novels and any real-life scenarios, recap on the storyline and delve into a deeper understanding of character and actions through a weekly catch up session. Children are able to reflect on and justify their thoughts. 

You can see our KS2 Class Novel spine below.


Dyslexia Friendly School Award

Denbigh Community Primary School is a fully inclusive school that ensures that all pupils achieve their potential personally, socially, emotionally, physically and educationally. We are extremely proud of the level of support that we offer our pupils with additional needs.

 The school has achieved the Dyslexia Friendly School Award (2016 and 2019) and is able to identify and support children who are at risk of having dyslexic difficulties early in their schooling, following a graduated approach. 

The staff and governors are aware that dyslexia affects many children and that it has nothing to do with their ability or background. We want to prevent children having emotional and behavioural problems because their dyslexic tendencies have not been identified at an early stage. We want to take the fear out of school for children with dyslexia.

We work alongside the North Tyneside Dyslexia Team to assess children and to offer tailored programmes of intervention to support any child identified as having dyslexia. 

The Dyslexia Friendly School Award however ensures that classroom practice is designed in such a way that it supports all children irrelevant of ability and specific need.

Denbigh Primary School