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Description automatically generatedAIRS

Acorns Inclusive Reading Scheme

AIRS is an inclusive reading scheme that every child in school can access.

It offers individuals the opportunity to develop and make progress in reading skills at their level i.e. pre-readers, early readers and readers.  



  • To provide opportunities for children to develop a love of reading by accessing a literacy-rich environment with a wide range of high-quality books and resources.
  • To use a range of teaching and learning strategies that are relevant to individual children so that they can acquire functional reading skills.
  • To offer a systematic, synthetic phonics scheme for all appropriate children.
  • To develop children knowledge of language across the curriculum through the use of curriculum rich vocabulary


Developing a Love for Reading

  • Reading looks different for every child, and at Acorns we want to provide the opportunity for EVERY child to develop a love for reading. 
  • The way we approach teaching and learning in reading will be different for every child, but the love of reading is at the heart of what we offer. Enthusiasm and engagement around reading is developed by offering a range of activities, stories, books and resources. 
  • Every class in school has their current story displayed on their classroom door to promote discussion adults and children in that class. 
  • Children are offered structured curriculum time to work on reading skills but they also have access to reading opportunities throughout the day.


What could reading look like at each level?


Early Readers


  • Building the routes for reading
  • Recognising objects and people (e.g. mirrors)
  • Recognising and responding to sounds and pattern
  • Objects of Reference
  • Sensory stories
  • Story umbrellas
  • Outdoor stories
  • Massage stories
  • Song and rhyme
  • Listening to stories
  • Building attention e.g attention autism sessions
  • Joint attention activities
  • Tac-Pac
  • Nursery rhymes
  • Music sessions
  • Story time




  • Red Rose Phonics phase 1
  • AIRS Reading scheme books – pink – orange
  • Non word books
  • Listening – recognising and identifying sounds
  • Rhyming
  • Naming objects
  • Learning that print has a meaning
  • Matching words/ pictures/ symbols
  • Functional words, signs and symbols – out and about/ community
  • Symbols/ PECS/ Communication boards
  • ‘Guess the sound’ games
  • Initial sound activities
  • Story time
  • Sequencing strips/ Now and next boards – learning about reading from left to right
  • Red Rose Phonics phase 2-6
  • AIRS Reading scheme books turquoise and above
  • See and Learn – sight reading
  • Year 1 phonics test
  • Developing reading strategies
  • Reading books
  • Comprehension – use of colourful semantics/ sequencing/ answering questions
  • Word recognition
  • Fluent readers
  • Alphabet
  • High frequency words
  • Tricky Words
  • Guided reading
  • Story time
  • Developing topic and curriculum based language



A description of some of the activities offered through AIRS

Reading Corners

Every class in school has their own reading corner.  This looks different in different classes.  Sofas and books, boxes of books, bookshelves or a range of symbols to request books, no matter what the book corner looks like, all children have access to a range of stories.


Class Stories

Every class has a story that they are sharing.  This story might last a week or a full term.  Classes share these in a range of ways appropriate for the class, this could be an Interactive Whiteboard story, a sensory story, or a big book.  Every class has their current story displayed on their classroom door.

Sensory Stories

Stories are experienced through the senses.  Simple text is used with a sensory experience to support the telling of the story.  Sensory stories are repeated to aid children to understand the sequence and offers opportunities to communicate preferences and develop anticipation skills.

Story Massage

Combines creativity of a story with positive touch.  Each part of a story is matched with a story massage touch and can be shared repeatedly to build children’s awareness and anticipation.  Staff in school have participated in training to be able to deliver the story massage programme.

Colourful Semantics

Colourful semantics is an approach that aids children in their understanding of a meaning of a sentence.  The sentence is separated into four themes – ‘Who?’ ‘What doing?’ ‘What?’ ‘Where?’ Each theme is represented by consistent colours. Further themes are developed as children gain understanding; these are ‘when?’ ‘To whom?’ ‘What like?’ ‘Why?’  

Tac Pac

Tac Pac is a sensory communication resource using touch and music. It combines objects with specifically composed music to provide sensory alignment.  It is used to build communication skills between a giver and receiver.


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