Welcome to Costessey Primary School! Our vision is 'Ambition for All'. We strive to be a school where every individual achieves their personal best, academically and socially in a supportive but challenging environment.



Key principles

  • Reading plays a central role in our curriculum

  • Children are supported to develop a love of reading and to explore a range of genres

  • Appropriate and targeted additional support is given to all children who need it


Read Write Inc. is a nationally recognised synthetic phonics programme which systematically introduces and teaches each sound.   Children are grouped according to their current attainment (see sequence of groups below).  Our children work through this program in EYFS and continue until the end of Year 2. 

RWI Book Bands



Phoneme – a sound

Grapheme – the letter or letters that make a specific sound

Digraph- the use of two letters to create one sound, e.g. th, sh or ch

Split digraph- the use of two letters to create one sound but those two letters are separated by another, e.g. the a and the e combine in the word late to make the ay sound [l ay t].

Trigraph- the use of three letters to create one sound, e.g. igh, air, or ure

Special friend- the term used in Read, Write, Inc. for digraphs and trigraphs.  Children are encouraged to look for these in new words to help them decode them.


Home reading & rewards

It is very important that children regularly read at home.  Even in Year 6, children still benefit greatly from reading to or with an adult.  Below are some tips for making the most out of this reading time to support the development of the full range of reading skills.  When children read outside of school, we ask that an adult record this in their reading record; adults in school collect these each week and reward pupils who have read on three or more occasions in that time (although we recommend that all children read every day, even if only a small section).

Supporting your child’s reading:

Parents often wonder how they can help to develop their child’s reading skills. The most important thing is simply to engage with books by finding texts that your child wants to read and to talk about what they like (or don’t like) about the book in front of them. This naturally leads onto conversations about other books, type of texts and authors that they might like. Regular reading, even in short bursts is also key: this can be a mixture of listening to them read, reading to them or reading with them. We often think of learning to read as being simply about knowing how to sight-read (decode) but this is just part of the process: to become good readers, during their time in primary school children need to learn lots of different skills in order to become skilled readers. The main skills are as follows:

Decoding: this is the skill that parents are generally most familiar with, and deals with the varying strategies used by children to make sense of the words on the page. Even fluent readers can be stumped by an unfamiliar word, and it is useful at these times to discuss the range of strategies used to make a sensible guess. This includes checking that what they have read makes sense to them and reading back if necessary. Can they break difficult words down into the individual sounds first before trying to blend them together? All of our children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 do daily phonics so they are well-versed in being asked to do this. Retrieval and recall: early readers need to develop this skill, in order to locate important information, to retell stories and describe events. Useful ideas for questions to target this skill include asking about the events, the characters and the setting. Retrieval questions focus on answers that can be found on the page without needing to infer further details.

Inference (reading between the lines): teaching of this skill begins towards the end of Key Stage 1 and continues throughout Key Stage 2. It is about encouraging children to make inferences based on clues in the text and their understanding of the context of the book. Answers to inference questions cannot be found explicitly on the page and will require a little detective work. These may focus on considering why certain events happen, or on characters’ motives or emotions. In Key Stage 2, children are taught to provide evidence to back up their answers, e.g. “I think he was feeling angry because on page 4 it says…”

Please remember to sign your child’s reading record each time they read (to you / with you / independently).


Guided Reading

Guided Reading is taught throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.  The purpose of these sessions is to support pupils’ development of reading comprehension skills.

In Key Stage 1, the key skills are:



 In Key Stage 2, the key skills are:

Key Stage 2 SkillsIn Years 2-6, these sessions are sequenced in units of 4 lessons, beginning with a session on the vocabulary that will be found in the text to be studied (1a/2a), followed by retrieval work (1b/2b) on the text itself, and ending in a focus on an additional skill (1c-13/2c-2h).   In this way, children study texts in detail and learn to use a wide range of skills to support their understanding of texts.



Each term, we use a range of assessments to help identify areas of strength and areas in need of development.  Throughout their time in our school, all pupils are assessed on their phonics, sight-reading of common exception words, fluency and comprehension.  This enables us to provide target support.