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Reading and Phonics


        Mrs Abernethy
Learning Support Manager (Secondary)
Mrs Eccles
Primary Phonics Lead


"Leaders have prioritised reading, They have developed reading areas and libraries; invested into a wide range of books, carefully considering pupil's interests. This helps pupils to become fluent readers." Ofsted 2021

At West Kirby School and College, we are passionate about supporting our pupils in being able to read. Our Reading Leads work closely with the English teachers, Librarian, Class Teachers and our Learning Support Mentor, to support all pupils at West Kirby School and College. They oversee the assessment of pupils, support and interventions, including the Read, Write, Inc. Fresh start programme. 

Phonics programmes and Reading schemes

We use a variety of schemes and programmes to support our English teaching.

Read, Write, Inc.

Read, Write Inc Phonics scheme (RWI)

Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is the chosen scheme at West Kirby School for teaching literacy for our Primary pupils.

Primary pupils (In Foundation Stage to Year 4) who are reading below age related expectations are taught RWI Phonics on a daily basis. They complete RWI reading and writing activities on a 1:1 basis as ability levels and individual needs can vary greatly. The timings of lessons are personalised as some pupils require short breaks to self-regulate between tasks. Assessments are carried out every six weeks to ensure progression and identify/target gaps in learning.

Read, Write, Inc. has a large collection of lively phonic story books and also phonics non-fiction books. These are closely matched to pupils' increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.

Other resources to support our pupils include:

  • Picture Sound Cards; Green and Red Word Cards
  • Picture Friezes; Simple and Complex Speed Sound Posters
  • Phonics practice quizzes and activities

Read, Write Inc Fresh Start

Pupils in Y5 and above who are reading below age-related expectations and have gaps in their phonic knowledge partake in Fresh Start lessons on a 1:1 basis. Pupil progress is tracked every six to eight weeks, which ensures all pupils are working at their full potential and sustaining expected progress. Form tutors and English teachers are informed of each pupil's progress.This level of communication is paramount in order for all teachers to know how best to support children’s early reading and writing skills through all lessons. 


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Star Reading test

All pupils' reading and comprehension are assessed at West Kirby using a 'Star Reading test', this is repeated every year. Pupils will be given a Reading Level, which they know as a coloured band. (In school this is called a ZPD range). This gives them a range of reading books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation.

Star Reading assessments are integrated into our Accelerated Reading programme, which is used in the school library to assist pupils in choosing books to read for pleasure.  

Accelerated Reader 

Pupils across the school at West Kirby School and College access 'Accelerated Reader''. This is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Each pupil has their own log-on, that can also be accessed from home.

All books in the library are banded based on Accelerated Reader levels. Pupils pick a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. Each book has it's own Accelerated Reader quiz which means when they finish the book, they can log-on, take a short quiz on the computer or ipad - in school or at home. Passing the quiz is an indication that pupil’s have understood what was read. 

Accelerated Reader gives staff feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

For parent information on Accelerated Reader and how this works please visit For any information on how to support your child at home please contact Mrs Abernethy by email


Reading Support at West Kirby School

Pupils have the opportunity to attend individual and group interventions with our highly experienced Reading Support team. Across the school all pupils are encouraged to read and are read to. Throughout the year a number of reading initiatives take place including visiting author days, storytellers, World Book Day, trips to local book shops to purchase new books for the library and publishing pupils' books. 

Dyslexia friendly school

Mrs Abernethy, Learning Support Manager, is able to do Dyslexia screening with our pupils. We use GL Assessment Dyslexia Screener, an online program which identifies dyslexic tendencies and recommends strategies for ages 5-16 years. It also provides a profile of strengths and weaknesses, which are shared with staff across the school.

For more information on this visit 

West Kirby School and College, Meols Drive, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 5DH

0151 632 3201