Phonics and word vocabulary 

At Coulsdon C of E Primary School we use the ‘Read, Write Inc’ scheme which is a synthetic phonics programme to promote early literacy skills. The structured programme is designed to ensure all children learn to read accurately and fluently through daily fun with engaging rhymes, characters and props.  

Using synthetic phonics, which is the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word, the children learn to read and write using sounds.  As the children learn each group of sounds they are provided with the appropriate books to support them in using and practising these sounds.

The children are continually assessed on their phonics and reading skills, which encourages them to progress onto higher coloured-banded readers to become independent and engaged children who love to read.  

As the children become more confident in using their phonic skills they progress onto our Mrs Wordsmith programme.  The programme is a regular dose of rich, descriptive vocabulary for all aspects of storytelling, from describing characters’ appearance, actions, and emotions to creating vivid, memorable story worlds.  

The programme integrates words based on what children need to strengthen their vocabulary and reading skills as well as their writing skills.  Mrs Wordsmith stands out from the crowd because they have created an intuitive and visually stunning programme for the children to follow.

Covering 180 richly descriptive storytelling words from year 2 through to year 6, it aims to develop word understanding and awareness, with synonyms, word pairs, story starters, and more.  The programme is research-backed and aligned to the national curriculum and our children love it!


We are striving to encourage children to progress from learning to read, to children who read to learn; igniting their interests and passion in order to create a love of reading which enables them to further access our engaging and creative curriculum. 

We strive to encourage and support all children in reading; regardless of their ability, background, age or needs.  We ensure all pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations.

We do this through:

  • Daily phonics teaching in EYFS and KS1 to support decoding and comprehension skills
  • Daily story time
  • Individual reading
  • Group reading
  • Class readers linked with each class topic
  • Highly engaging class book corners that are well stocked
  • Literacy games to build skills through LiteracyPlanet
  • Online access to Rising Stars Reading Planet
  • Phonic phased books 
  • Colour banded books
  • Story books to share with parents

At Coulsdon C of E Primary School we are striving to engage children with books and instill a love of reading to fully enable them to maximise their potential and unlock a world of imagination. 

Through a range of phonic- phased and colour-banded books covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry and picture books we aim to encourage children to independently read on a regular basis. 

Through frequent small group reading we encourage and build comprehension skills and discussions.  While working with an adult the children have an opportunity to predict what may happen in the story, recall events, characterise and engage in discussions about what they enjoyed and why. These skills are taught within the early years and are continually fostered and added to throughout their time at Coulsdon C of E Primary School. As the children develop their skills further we actively engage them in discussions about the books they read in order for them to interpret, react, articulate and express their thoughts.  Through comparing and contrasting stories children are able to gain a better understanding of the world of literature, link stories to real life experiences and be immersed into a vast wealth of imaginative journeys.

Class readers which are aligned to our engaging curriculum throughout the school which further support a wide range of topics, are provided for children to share with a book partner.  Through regular reading at home and within school the children are given further opportunities to be exposed to the written word as well as being further immersed into their current topic.  

Coulsdon C of E Primary School is ideally located within a very short distance of our local library which actively welcomes children and parents in the local community to browse their vast array of interesting books. 

We would encourage all parents to take time out, relax and read a story with their children regularly. The enjoyment of reading is modelled and developed by both family and school environments and it is the love of reading that will be the key to success, learning and motivation to read further.  

 Training Resources for Parents