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‘Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become

a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging

material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn.

The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.’

(RWI Parent Information Booklet)

Learning to Read

When children are learning to read, they develop two distinct sets of skills;


  • Word Reading
  • Comprehension


Word Reading


For word reading, children learn to recognise sounds, say them correctly, and then blend these together to make words. This is learned through phonics. Phonics is taught at Faringdon Infant School using Read Write Inc Phonics. You can read about this on the Phonics page. 


Some words are not straightforward to read using phonics but do appear frequently in the English language. These words are taught as 'tricky words' or 'common exception words' (exceptions to the rules of phonics). These are listed below for Year One and Two.




It is equally important that as children learn to read, they develop comprehension. This is about understanding, interpreting and learning from what they read. This process begins before children are even able to read words for themselves! It is first developed by listening to stories, poems, songs and rhymes and talking about these with the adults who share them. 


At Faringdon Infant School, we recognise how important 'Book Talk' is in developing children's vocabulary, understanding and love of reading. Reading to our children is so important to us, as it allows children to experience books which will ignite their interest and fascination, which they would not yet be able to read for themselves. Talking about what is happening in a story, how it makes us feel, and the words used by the author or poet is just as important as working out what the words say using phonics. 


Alongside practising reading by reading school reading books, we are committed to spending time sharing books which are read to the children and which may be at a level beyond their own reading ability. We strongly suggest that parents and carers continue to read to their child alongside supporting them with their reading book at home. There is nothing quite like a bedtime story after all!


Here are some suggestions and questions which can help when reading with your child at home.



Reading with Read, Write, Inc.

At Faringdon Infant School, we use reading books which correspond with our phonics approach, Read, Write, Inc. The Read, Write, Inc. books are colour coded to match the right stage of phonic learning for your child. This means that the books will contain sounds which they have been taught and either already know, or are practising and securing. This helps your child to experience some success with their reading.


Read, Write, Inc. books are intended to be read at least 3 times. 


1. Read to decode the words - on this first read, your child may have to spend time and use effort to sound out and blend words for reading using their phonics. This may take time and mean that the first read of their book could feel a bit disjointed. They might need to use the pictures to help them or for you to write a work on paper and let them draw sound buttons onto it to help them work out what it says. This is fine! Try to help them to work out words for themselves instead of telling them straight away (but don't leave them to struggle!). 


2. Read to develop fluency and pace - on the second read, your child will have decoded the words at least once before. Now they might remember some of the words and not need to work quite so hard on sounding out. This means that they can read with a bit more pace and fluency so that the phrases or sentences flow better. This stage might need repeating; reading takes practice! That is fine too!


3. Read to understand! - The goal is for your child to develop enough fluency and pace when reading the book, that they can also begin to understand the meaning. This is comprehension. At first this might just be following the general events of the story. Your questions will help them with this and will allow you to check that they do understand what they read (see our document link above - Questions to help you get more from reading with your child). Reading without any understanding will not be as enjoyable for your child, so it is worth investing the time to read the same book until you can get to this stage. 

Our Reading Books

Friday Family Reading on the Field

Future of Faringdon, Including all, Supporting everyone to grow