Castle Wood

Together, children first...

Literacy Development

At Castle Wood, we aim to promote a love of reading for all children regardless of their needs or abilities.  Children take part in a wide range of reading activities such as library visits, sensory stories, structured phonics sessions and role play.


Before children begin to recognise letters and the sounds that they make, we develop listening and sound discrimination skills using musical instruments, listening games, rhythm and rhyme and nursery rhymes.

We also teach children how to interact with books and stories e.g. turning pages, expressing a preference for a text and listening to an adult read a story.

Once children are ready, we begin to learn about letter sounds in a fun and interactive way.  Children will play games where they practice their listening skills and tuning into words that have the same initial sound and will begin to match these sounds to a written letter.  We also begin to develop letter formation through sensory-based fine motor activities such as writing letters in glitter.



At Castle Wood we use Read Write Inc to teach children to read and write through synthetic phonics.  We learn sounds in a systematic order allowing children to practice the skill of reading and spelling from the beginning.  For example, once children recognise the sounds m, a, s, d and t, they are able to read and write words such as mat, dad, sad, sat, etc.  After learning the next group of sounds (i, n, p, g, o) children can read and write words such as tip, dog, and, dig and top.

The order in which children learn the sounds is:

Set 1


Set 2


Set 3 (including different ways of making Set 2 sounds)


While children are learning both the sounds and the skills of reading and spelling, they read decodable books which are matched to their level.  Some children will also take part in writing activities linked to these books.


Reading for pleasure

Additionally, we encourage children to access a wide range of tests such as personal books, sensory books, non-fiction text and to read for a range of reasons e.g. for pleasure, to information (eg a recipe) and for interest.

Each year, classes take part in an author study to ensure that across their years at Castle Wood children will be exposed to a range of authors.


Year A

Year B


Eric Carle 

Nick Sharratt

Year 1 and 2

Julia Donaldson 

Jill Murphy

Year 3 and 4

Oliver Jeffers 

Nick Butterworth

Year 5 and 6

Michael Morpurgo 

Roald Dahl