Bliss Charity


Reading Provision

In their time with us at The Bliss Charity School we want children to establish an appreciation and love of reading at all stages of their learning journey. We are passionate about developing our children as readers as it is an essential skill which enables children to become active members of society. It allows children to both acquire knowledge and build on what they already know as well as supporting their cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual development. Furthermore, we want children to actively choose to read whatever interests them for pleasure. 

We are committed to sharing high quality and vocabulary rich texts across the curriculum so that children may develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. We encourage our pupils to discover new information and develop their comprehension skills by reading widely using both fiction and non-fiction texts which (where appropriate) are linked to their topics across the curriculum. 

By the time our pupils leave Bliss, we envisage that they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, seek out books from a range of different genres including poetry and engage in discussion about author choices or impact on the reader. Once our pupils have unlocked the key to reading, it is our intention that they will be able to apply their reading skills to access any subject in their secondary education and beyond. 

When children start in Reception, they begin the Read Write Inc. phonics programme which teaches them ‘pure’ sounds. Parents are supported with using phonics strategies at home. As children begin to know their sounds, they use them, through blending, to read words and are then introduced to phonic reading books, which are matched to the Read Write Inc. programme. Parents are supported with using phonics strategies at home. The children are also introduced to ‘Red Words’ (words that cannot be blended) regularly through their reception year.  

When children are ready (either towards the end of Year R or during Year 1), they will then be moved onto the school book band scheme which supports their continued development of phonics through the use of phonically decodable texts such as the ‘Read Write Inc. Book Bag Books’, ‘Project X’ and ‘Explore with Biff, Chip and Kipper’.  All children working through the phonics scheme have a phonically decodable book to take home which matches their level of phonic learning in class. They are also allocated an appropriate book band. Within this book band, there are many texts and children are encouraged to make their own choices to promote a love of reading and so they can develop the skills of choosing a book that they want to read. Children change their own books to develop their responsibility and can choose whether to do this on a daily basis or whether to keep books and re-read them. In addition to reading in daily phonics sessions, children in Key Stage 1 are heard to read regularly and decisions are then made about whether they can progress to the next book band level. Books are not banded solely based on phonics as children are also encouraged to use other decoding strategies such as using initial sounds, spelling clues and context.   

Children have daily Read Write Inc. phonic sessions in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to develop their knowledge of sounds and blending. Children stay on the Read Write Inc. program until they have completed it. Depending on a child’s progress, this may be in KS1 or in KS2. Children take home a Read Write Inc. reading book alongside a school colour banded book. Phonic sessions are streamed across KS1, into smaller adult-led groups, in order to tailor teaching to the child’s development. In Reception, phonics is also streamed into small adult-led groups, but within the Reception cohort. If children are still on the Read Write Inc. program in KS2, their phonic sessions continue as an intervention strategy as they progress through the school. 

Word reading continues as a focus after children finish the phonics scheme with reading lessons continuing to support children with their decoding and fluency skills. As they progress through Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2, children are expected to progress through the book bands with texts of steadily increasing difficulty and are encouraged to engage a range of decoding strategies, including their continued use of phonics, to tackle unfamiliar words and build a wider vocabulary.  

Alongside word-reading skills, children are also taught comprehension skills. At first this is through shared reading, questioning and discussion. Towards the end of Key Stage 1, as children’s decoding skills develop and they are then free to think about the meaning of what they read, children start on the school’s topic-linked guided reading scheme; texts are high quality fiction and non-fiction and are chosen to support termly topics and give all children, regardless of their starting point, a wider knowledge and vocabulary base to draw upon when talking and writing about their topic.  

Whilst we recognise the importance of phonics in helping children to read, we encourage children and families to read and share a wide variety of texts to cement their love of reading. This is supported by having a well-stocked library with a range of interesting fiction and non-fiction books which children have the opportunity to borrow. Each teacher also reads aloud regularly to their class using texts from the literacy spine. These support curriculum topics and/or important issues and represent a wide range of authors and characters.  

Children and families are encouraged to read outside of school from the moment they start with us. In Reception, a reading meeting is held where strategies to support early reading are shared with parents. In all other year groups, reading at home is encouraged through yearly curriculum meetings with parents; by giving all children a professionally produced reading record in which to record their reading; by having an awards system for reading which recognises children’s efforts at home; and by holding holiday reading challenges. 

Timetable expectations 


1:1 reading to an adult on a weekly basis. 

Additional daily reading for those who need additional support. 

Daily phonics lesson – 15-25 minutes. Sound learning and word blending (through speed sound lessons) will be taught at the beginning of the year, moving on to story book sessions as in Key Stage 1. These focus on decoding, fluency and comprehension.  

Daily story, rhymes, poems with talk around these as appropriate. 

‘Turtle’ and ‘Octopus’ words sent home for children to practice with parents (First 20 high frequency words in the RWI books). 

Reading homework linked with handwriting – sound sheets sent home to reinforce in-class learning, moving on to RWI book bag books when appropriate (Spring term onwards). 


Daily phonics lessons follow the RWI approach to early reading. More detail on this can be found in ‘The Bliss Charity School Phonics Intent, Implementation, Impact’ document. Lessons are discrete and last for approximately 30 minutes per day. Lessons always follow the same sequence of focusing on decoding, fluency and comprehension on a 3-day cycle.  

Children’s phonic progress is assessed each half-term and children are grouped accordingly so that lessons match their current level of learning.  

Children take home a book bag book linked to their current phonic ability and a banded-book to share with someone at home. 

Children in the bottom 20% of each cohort receive 1:1 phonics tutoring for approximately 5-10 minutes each day focusing on decoding and fluency.  

Whole class read alouds (rhymes/poems/stories) at the end of every day from the Bliss Reading Spine– Year 1 use the RWI ‘Talk Through Stories’ strategies alongside the ‘Super Six’ comprehension strategies in their discussions. Moving forward into Class 2, the ‘Super Six’ strategies are built on as children move towards the end of the key stage.  

As children move off the RWI phonics scheme, the expectation is as follows: 

Children continue to have 1 x 30 minute lesson of phonics each week to recap the sounds. 

4 x 30 minute sessions – 1 x independent reading (using book band book), 1 x inference lesson, 1 x recall, 1 x prediction.  

1 x 30 minute guided reading session using guided reading topic linked text focusing on mixed comprehension skills. 

Children who are still on the RWI phonics scheme continue with daily phonics sessions.  


3 x 30 minute (minimum) reading sessions per week using topic-linked guided reading books as set out in the Bliss Literacy Spine: 

Day 1 – Reading – to include an introduction to the text (giving relevant background knowledge and introducing challenging words), adult modelled reading of the text and adult-led discussion of the text using chosen ‘Super Six’ comprehension strategies.  

Day 2 – Partner reading/ re-reading to build fluency and utilise modelled strategies; child-led discussion using the ‘Super Six’ comprehension strategies. 

Day 3 – Comprehension session focusing on deeper understanding of the text and developing structured answers to comprehension questions (using all of the super six strategies) 

RWI intervention 3 x 30-minute sessions per week for children who are still following the scheme 

Additional reading interventions for those who have finished RWI scheme but are working below their year group on at least a weekly basis focusing on area of need 

Class read alouds – class to be read to at least 3 times per week from the class reader (see literacy spine) 

Children’s independent reading to be monitored on a termly basis to assess whether children are reading at the right book-band level.  

Children’s reading at home to be monitored on a weekly basis through checking the reading records.  

Multiple opportunities given each week for children to read independently and change their books.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become increasingly confident readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter even when they have come to the end of the RWI programme. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school; accessing a range of texts independently.  

Attainment in reading is measured at statutory points such as the end of EYFS and Key Stage 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of RWI half termly and screening assessments, standardised reading papers plus ongoing teacher assessment.  

More importantly, we believe that reading is the key to unlock all learning and so the impact of our reading goes beyond the statutory assessments. We give all the children the opportunity to enter the amazing new worlds that a book opens up to them and share texts from a range of cultures or genres to inspire them to question or seek out more for themselves. When children leave Bliss, we want them to possess the reading skills and love of literature which will help them to enjoy and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future.