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Reading Intent: Our aims and how we plan and structure our reading.

We are a reading school and we value and nurture all aspects of reading.

We recognise that reading is an essential life skill. Children must acquire good reading skills in order to access the information that will support their development in all curriculum areas. We also believe that reading for pleasure can support wellbeing and aid relaxation.

The EYFS Framework states that; “it is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading,” and like the programmes of study for reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 states that reading consist of two dimensions:

• Word reading;
• Comprehension (both listening and reading).

Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions.

Our Intent for reading is that our children;

• develop a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment;
• read with confidence, fluency and understanding
• understand a range of text types, media types and genres;
• have a suitable technical vocabulary to respectfully articulate their responses in any discussion.

We aim to foster positive attitudes to reading through carefully designed teaching activities and classroom provision.

For all children our two, newly developed, Library areas in the lower and main building helps to provide a cosy area to share and look at books. It signals to the children the importance and value we place on reading. The children help to develop the displays in the room so they feel that the room belongs to them.

In addition, we have reading materials specific to particular year groups to ensure that our children are exposed to a wide range of traditional and modern literature as they progress through the school.

Reading initiatives have been a feature of the school’s reading for pleasure goals for a number of years and this has included themed days, extreme reading time, book clubs on the Chatterbooks model, pupil librarians, reading challenges, participation in our local library summer reading challenge and of course, World Book Day participation.

How we Plan Reading


Our planning uses non-statutory Development Matters guidance to help deliver the EYFS learning requirements. Regular, daily opportunities are planned where books, songs, poems and rhymes are read to and shared with the children. Planning also includes using non-fiction books based around the theme being taught or following the children’s interest to develop the children’s vocabulary and knowledge.

Key Stage 1 and 2

Whole Class: Our English planning follows the HFL (Herts For Learning) scheme of work. This provides a well-structured teaching sequence which leads to quality written outcomes and offers regular opportunities to explore different genres including; fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.

Implementation: How we teach Reading:

Early Years Foundation Stage Reading

Within the Early Years at St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, early reading forms a vital part of all that we do. We develop early reading through many different types of activities;

Our daily phonics sessions introduce phased phonics teaching following the Letters and Sounds scheme. (supported by other materials such as Jolly Phonics) The children begin with auditory, speaking and listening activities in phase 1 and progress in phase 2-5 in learning the name and sounds individual and collections of letters make.

Through our phonics sessions the children learn to “sound talk” – segment and blend the phonemes taught to build up words. They are also introduced to tricky words (which do not follow phonic rules) so that the children can read them in their individual books.

These words and phonemes are displayed in the classroom environment for the children to see and use during child initiated learning.

Reading scheme books are linked to the phoneme being taught – we have a progressive reading scheme (Collins – Big Cats) which follows directly our phased teaching. Lilac books are introduced to the Nursery children, as they are ready for them but all Nursery children take a library book home for sharing with their carers/parents.

In Reception reading records are checked most days to monitor home reading, books are changed once the children have completed our four step reading approach (see below)

The children are heard to read in class twice a week and parents/carers are expected to support the reading of their children at home at least four times per week. If this not happening, then further provision is offered in the classroom. Children have a reading record which notes the times they have read.

Four Step Reading Approach

As a school we have looked carefully at reading and how best to support our children. Upon consultation, we are satisfied that the evidence strongly points to the re-reading of texts to boost phonological awareness and deeper reading experiences. As a result, we should see children reading more fluently and connecting better with the text.

So what does this look like in practice?

Whilst it is hard to put an exact amount on the amount of times a book should be read, we are starting with 4 times. Although this might sound onerous, children thrive on familiar texts which is why they enjoy hearing the same story read multiple times to them.

The first read will be slightly stilted and the children will be relying heavily on blending their sounds together. It may take a few days to read the book in its entirety as the children will be working extremely hard to decode the words. This is a good time to point out new vocabulary but to not make this the focus of the read.

On the second read, you should notice that the children are beginning to recognise some of the words they have read previously, there will be an increase in fluency and they may begin to ask questions about unknown vocabulary etc. The children will be able to ‘read around’ the word more accurately to determine meaning.

By the third read, adults can begin to ask them deeper comprehension questions. I will be providing a reference sheet for you to use at home to ask meaningful questions to deepen the understanding. It would be helpful if your child’s responses can be briefly noted in you reading record so I can understand what has been asked.

The fourth time the book is read, the children should be almost completely independent. This is the ‘fun’ read and shouldn’t take long. You may even find they can read the book in one go by the final read.

As a rough time scale, the children will have a book for approximately 5- 8 reading days (a week if read everyday)- 3 days for the first read, 2 days for the second reading and third read and 1 day for the final time through.

Guided reading  In Reception the children undertake weekly guided reading sessions with an adult. This is a designated time where the children focus on a shared text and discuss the content, developing their phonic skills in context. Records are kept about the children’s progress.

Whole class reading books (Modelling) in both Reception and Nursery class – we have a variety of reading books, which the staff use to demonstrate reading from left to right, use of pictures to support their understanding etc. Staff also read a variety of picture books to help engage the children and expose them to the richness of language and vocabulary.

Buddy reader – the younger children have regular opportunities to read with their older reading buddy from key stage 2. (This is not happening through Covid-19 period)

Library areas – our dedicated reading room in the lower building helps to provide a cosy area to share and look at books, which the children use regularly in small groups or as a whole class for story time.

Reading areas in the classroom – both areas have a variety of good quality books for the children to look at and share during child initiated learning. In the good weather books are also available in the outside provision.

Visits from local librarians are often organised to inform the children to outside availability of books.

Story Time– is reading for fun and broadens the children’s experience of story. This may occur at different points of the day as appropriate to the curriculum being taught or as a spontaneous led by the children’s interest.

The skills learnt from the different types of reading are as follows

• Teaching skills – spaces, sentences, decoding, picture cues, left to right, top to bottom, contextual cues,  non-fiction features, vocabulary and prediction.
• Modelling how to read – characterisation, volume and speed
• Sharing – a warm and pleasant experience.
• Collaborative learning

Key Stage 1

As the children progress through Key Stage One, we continue to build on the children’s early reading experiences in order to help develop confident readers who have a love of books.

The Herts for Learning scheme of work ensures that our teaching of reading has clear structure and is developed sequentially. “Take one Book” modules each term offers an opportunity for the children to explore a text in detail, using it to support their writing but also providing specific reading instruction.

In addition – reading is taught through:

Daily phonics sessions continue in Year One. This supports the children in their fluency as they begin to grow in confidence in applying their phonics knowledge to their reading. The children continue to use the skills and strategies taught in EYFS but these are refined and encouraged to be used in a way that is appropriate to their stage of development (e.g. not needing to sound out a familiar word because they feel they have to sound out every word). Children also begin to think about exceptions to the rules and how a range of strategies (such as: reading ‘around’ the word, using a glossary) may be needed when reading books with increasingly harder words in.

In Year 2 phonics continue to be taught where children still require this approach alongside the teaching of spelling rules in phase 6 of letters and sounds.

Early identification of reading problems happens as a result of constant monitoring of children’s receptivity to text and phonics sessions. Speaking and listening skills in conjunction with decoding and blending skills are indicators to staff of appropriate development and serve to highlight developmental issues.

Reading characters are taught to help the children identify different types of questions and interpretation of the text. In Key Stage 1 we use;
Rex Retriever,
Prediction Pip,
Suki Sequencing,
Victor Vocabulary
Inference Iggy. Together, they are called the Totally Paw-some Gang.

Reading scheme books: We have a progressive reading scheme (Collins – Big Cats) which follows directly our phased teaching. This scheme is supplemented by ‘real’ books to increase the children’s exposure to high quality literature. Using the reading scheme books, children are offered regular opportunities to read an appropriately levelled book, with an adult, who will support and encourage their reading.

Reading records are checked most days to monitor home reading. Books are changed once the children have either completed our four step reading approach (see above), for shorter, earlier reading scheme books, or when the child has finished a book in the case of longer texts. We encourage our children to read at least four times a week at home. Children have a reading record which notes the times they have read at home and at school.

Guided reading
The children are heard to read in class once a week as part of our Guided Reading carousel. Guided reading sessions, with an adult, help to develop the children’s comprehension of the text, explore vocabulary and, where appropriate, practise their phonic knowledge.

Whole class guided reading
Alongside the use of small guided reading groups, whole class guided reading serves to reinforce all the skills that are taught. Use of the dog reading characters (see above) in these sessions helps to identify concrete skills that the children can describe across a range of genres. These characters act as an aide memoir for children of all reading abilities and assists in the development of reading comprehension skills which will be assessed through SATS.

Reading areas in the classroom – We believe that children should have access to high quality books in the classroom. Children will select from these as part of their Guided Reading carousel as well as when they have choosing time and as a reward for finishing work.

Visits from local librarians are often organised to expose the children to outside availability of books.

Story Time: We frequently read for fun to broaden the children’s experience of story. The children will experience a range of narrative forms (poetry, non fiction/fiction combinations)- from short picture books to longer, chapter books. The adults will use this time to model expression and how to search for clues from the text thereby increasing the inferential skills of the children.

Key Stage 2

Good quality reading materials continue to be explored and read in Key Stage 2 through the “Take One Book” modules of the HFL scheme of work and through the broader curriculum.

Reading characters are extended to help the children identify different types of questions and interpretation of the text.
In Key Stage 2 we use;
Victor Vocabulary
Rex Retriever
Summarising Sheba
Inference Iggy
Predicting Pip
Cassie the Commentator
Arlo the Author
The children are also encouraged to question, summarise, clarify and predict read texts.

Opportunities for teaching reading beyond and included in the HFL scheme include:

Shared reading – is an interactive reading experience that occurs when the children join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by a teacher. The teacher explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression. This may include ‘Echo’ reading where the teacher reads exactly how text should sound and then children ‘echo’ it back.

Whole class reading – involves regular reading comprehension opportunities and ensures that children are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote. Classes have a whole class reading session at least once a week.

Small group reading is used where necessary as a booster using schemes such as ‘Project X’ Similarly phonics continues to be taught in Key Stage 2 as necessary.

Independent reading – the children are given, or guided to choose, a reading book at the correct level. Books have been colour-coded to ensure that children can independently select a suitable book. After completing this process children are equipped and enabled to self-select appropriate reading materials from home or school.

Home reading – Every child is actively encouraged to read to a parent at least four times a week. A shared reading record ensures communication between the teacher and parents.

Herts for Learning text recommendations list: are organised by year group and available on class pages on our website to support and guide our parents, carers and children in their book choices.

Class reading books are used to encourage children’s enjoyment of literature. This is read regularly – and may be linked to the half-termly topic/area of interest.

Reading Impact

Reading is a strength in our school. We have high standards in reading and children enjoy reading.
Our staff have a confident knowledge of how to teach reading and question and encourage the children well.
Our children are exposed to a wide variety of reading materials and genres.
Children in our EYFS and Year 1 use their phonic knowledge to decode words and our older children confidently use dictionaries and thesauruses to further deepen their understanding of words.

Measuring Progress

We measure the attainment and progress of our children at least termly, through both formative and summative methods.

As evidence for our judgements we use:

• HFL reading TAFs
• Regular phonics screening results
• Assessment during individual, guided and whole class reading sessions
• Reading test papers (Y2 and KS2)
• Reading reviews – written by the children
• Reflections in their Reading Journals (KS1)
• Reading record books which record books read by the child.

During the year the children’s progress is monitored and children who at not working at an appropriate level access intervention groups for regular pre and post teaching of the required phase.