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Bottesford Infant School

Tall Oaks From Little Acorns Grow



At Bottesford Infant School we aim to develop the abilities of all children to communicate effectively in speech and writing, to listen with understanding and to become enthusiastic and responsive readers so they can cope with language demands throughout the curriculum and into adult life. Teaching and learning of reading and writing will always be active, engaging and empowering to ensure our pupils become lifelong learners. We offer an exciting curriculum where we provide real life purposes for speaking and listening, reading and writing. 


We follow the objectives set out in the National Curriculum. Literacy skills are taught on a daily basis in Reception and Key Stage 1. These skills are then applied in cross curricular learning opportunities.



Our aim is to develop a love of books and to ensure that every child becomes a fluent reader. This is based on a determination that every child will learn to read, together with a step by step approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling systematically through phonics.

Phonics is taught across school for 35 minutes each day. We follow the Read Write Inc Programme developed by Ruth Miskin.

Our approach to teaching phonics is extremely successful as is evident in our Year 1 phonics screening results. In 2023 93% of pupils passed compared to the national average of 79%. In 2022 97% of pupils passed compared to the national average of 75%. 

Children are supported in their reading through whole class reading sessions, library sessions, reading activities, daily Read Write Inc sessions, regular reading opportunities with teachers, teaching assistants, students and parent helpers (please talk to your child's class teacher if you can spare any time for this). Each half term your child will meet with their reading buddy and share their reading books with them, the children are paired up with someone from a different class that they can share their books with. 

The reading books are levelled according to the Read Write Inc. Scheme to ensure progression in the formative years. Each week your child will take home a Read Write Inc. book and a library book (this book may be too difficult for your child to read alone; sharing this book together will develop your child's comprehension skills and love of reading). We encourage you to read the Read Write Inc. book at least three times during that week to develop your child's fluency. If your child reads three times a week they will be entered into a weekly raffle and will receive a golden ticket! The lucky winner will be drawn during achievement assembly and can choose a book to keep. 


In every class during snack time we have daily story time/poetry time to develop a love for reading. As the children enter school each morning the excitement for the daily story time builds as they get to vote which story they would like to hear at snack time. We love to hear their views and opinions on their book choice. Daily story time is an opportunity to model how to read with fluency and expression whilst exposing the children to new vocabulary. The children love choosing a new or interesting word as their word of the day. We have build up a jar full of interesting vocabulary that we now know.


What do I need to know to help my child to read?


  • Green Words

'Green' words are phonetically decodable words that the children learn to read. They allow the children to become fluent readers because regular reading of these words means that they become familiar and are able to recognise/read them on sight. They can use their knowledge of these words to read similar words more quickly. 

  • Red Words

These are words that the children will need to learn on sight because they contain parts that are not decodable. For example the word 'the' could be decoded as 'theh', but children must learn the correct pronunciation and spelling. They might only be red words until a specific sound is learnt. 

  • Fred Talk

Fred is our Read, Write Inc mascot/friend. He can only speak in sounds though, so we have to help him to learn to say words instead of sounds. For example Fred says- 'c-a-t' instead of 'cat'. We also teach him to not add 'uh' to our sounds in order to keep them pure. For example we say 'c' not 'cuh'. 

  • Fred Fingers

We use 'Fred Fingers' to help to make the transition between oral sounding out and spelling on paper. Firstly we count how many sounds we can hear: "cat, c-a-t, 3 sounds". Then we hold up that many fingers. For each sound we use our other hand to squeeze a Fred Finger and say the sounds in "c-a-t". Watch out- words such a fish need 3 Fred Fingers "f-i-sh". Words such as chair need 2 Fred Fingers "ch-air". As children become more confident with their sounds and spelling words they will move away from using their Fred Fingers and instead rely on sounding out in their head. 

  • Read Write Inc. Books

After the children have learnt enough sounds they will begin to read 'Ditty' books in their Read, Write Inc lessons. Ditty books contain three short stories that the children read. These stories are made up from green and red words. Following Ditty books children continue to read groups of books that are specifically written to support progress through the scheme. These books follow their own colour scheme and match the home/school reading books. Each colour band contains ten main books, with extra books to support non-fiction reading as well. Children are taught to read the 'green' and 'red' words at the beginning of each book. The children talk about the book before reading it three times. The first time is to practise decoding the words, the second time is to practise expression and the third time is to read for comprehension. Each books focuses on a particular sound allowing the children to practise the sounds they already know. The children will move their way through the books at their own pace. 



The children visit the library during class time every week, where they have the opportunity to change their library book. Library books are not staged/levelled in any way, they are for the children to share with their families for their enjoyment. The children choose their own library book based on their own interests.

We ask that library books are always in their book bag in case their library day needs to change due to other events in school. If they haven’t finished reading their library book they can renew it and take it back out again.


Reading Leaders

KS1 children are invited to apply to be reading leaders. Ten children are then selected and are awarded a reading leader badge in assembly. The reading leaders are based on the veranda on the playground where two different children are on duty each day. During playtime and dinnertime the reading leaders will encourage children to read, they will read books to younger children and ask them questions about their book. 


Children are given practice in writing in the full range of genres with an emphasis placed on the teaching of grammar and punctuation. Writing is linked to our project based learning and children will write with a real purpose such as a letter home or leaflets created for their exhibition. Wherever possible, the teaching of writing is based on the deconstruction of an existing high quality text and then writing is modelled by the teacher (shared writing), prior to the children starting their own writing. Speaking and listening activities are also used to enhance the quality of their writing. Our talk for writing approach ensures the children receive high quality scaffolding whilst developing language before they begin to write.

Speaking and Listening
We believe speaking and listening to be a valuable skill that children need to be using throughout the curriculum. We use a range of activities to develop children's skills in speaking and listening such as: hot seating, partner work, group work, presentations and using apps to record their speech. We aim to make children aware of the need to communicate clearly, to listen carefully and then respond appropriately.
We take part in the annual speech and drama festival and children regularly present their learning to their families at exhibitions. For world poetry day each class rehearses a poem over a period of time to then perform to the whole school during assembly. 

The school follows a cursive handwriting scheme. Daily practice is given and emphasis is placed in the need to present work that is easy to read and understand. Children in reception will develop their fine motor skills with a range of activities such as cutting, threading, use of tweezers and many more. 

Visit to The Rabbit Hole Bookshop

Reading for Pleasure