Reading Curriculum


It is our Intent that all children leave as confident, passionate readers. We are determined to ensure that our pupils are able to speak, read and write fluently so that they can succeed in future life. We prioritise the importance of early reading by delivering a robust phonics programme in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, this is paired with a reading scheme which supports the application of phonics. Through thorough tracking we ensure that no child is left behind; those few pupils who find learning to read a challenge are supported through quality first teaching. It is our intention that all children develop a love of reading; we encourage children to read widely across a range of genres for pleasure and to support their learning across the curriculum.

The ability to read is fundamental to many aspects of life, and is central to general progress & developing an understanding in a wide range of areas across the curriculum. The teaching of reading is to be given a high priority by all staff. Success in reading is crucial in developing children’s self-confidence and motivation to learning in general.


The school’s curriculum objectives for reading will be reflected in long term, medium term and short term planning. In all plans there should be careful consideration for activities which are well matched to the range of ability. 

Short term plans will list specific objectives for each lesson and give details of how the lessons are to be taught including challenge activities for the more able pupils and activities for those who are underachieving. 

Teachers in the Foundation Stage work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals which underpin their curriculum planning. Later, during the Foundation Stage year, the National Curriculum is used alongside the Early Learning Goals to ensure continuity and progression from one framework to the other. All National Curriculum Programmes of Study statements must be covered at least once in each key stage.

Teaching and Learning

As for all areas of the curriculum, imaginative and challenging activities together with varied approaches, such as discussion, trying out ideas or working with others, are needed to engage, maintain and respond to pupils’ interests.

Teaching assistants have a vital role to play. They should not be expected to take sole responsibility to support pupils with low levels of achievement (this is without question the role of the class teacher) but to observe, assess and support pupils from all ability groups. 

There will be plenty of opportunities to forge strong links between plans for reading activities and those for writing, speaking and listening. In the same way that ‘talk’ can be used to prepare for and help improve children’s writing, so too it can be used to improve children’s level of understanding of a text. We actively encourage opportunities for children to talk in pairs or small groups to broaden their understanding of the text.


Foundation Stage

In the Foundation Stage children should be given opportunities to become immersed in an environment rich in print and possibilities for communication. They use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum, and they are given opportunities to speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities. 

Reading stories from big books enables the children to see how books and stories work. Systematic synthetic phonics and knowledge of high frequency words, taught on a daily basis, are key features of the best practice which should lead to success in reading decodable texts from an early age.

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage One, we aim to continue the learning from EYFS so that children begin to read a range of texts independently and with enthusiasm. Guided Reading represents an important means to improve the knowledge, skills and understanding of reading.

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage Two, children should read a range of texts and respond to different ‘layers’ of meaning, both literal and inferential. They should explore the use of language in a variety of texts. Guided and Shared Reading represent important tools in this key stage. 

Children in EYFS plus years 1 and 2 will be taught phonic skills through Read, Write Inc. Where needed this will continue into key stage 2. The school will ensure the children have a choice of both fiction and non-fiction texts, reflecting different cultures and gender choices. There will also be books relevant to the topic/theme being studied each term.  Teaching strategies aim to enhance children’s motivation and involvement in reading and to develop their skills through the following:

  • Reading with other children
  • Reading with an adult
  • Shared Reading
  • Guided Reading (see below)
  • Reading aloud (child and adult)
  • Independent reading
  • Questioning
  • Building phonic skills
  • Comprehension Activities
  • Tasks related to the text

Our reading books include a range of commercially produced schemes which are supplemented with a range of hard back & paperbacks. The reading schemes give children the opportunity to practise their developing reading skills with texts which have appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure related to assessment focuses. 

Children will also have access to a range of other books, with varying levels of difficulty, which they will be encouraged to read for pleasure and information. 

Children are also taught to read ‘High Frequency Words’ out of context and Y1 need to be able to read nonsense words for the ‘phonics check’ which takes place during the summer term. 

All children will have access to the key stage collections of books enabling them to periodically choose non scheme books in agreement with the class teacher. 

Children will be taught in their normal class groups and within the timetable there will be weekly Guided Reading sessions. 

Materials and resources to support pupils are available to teachers and teaching assistants to help children. 

Enrichment activities are used across the school to foster a love of reading, these include:-

  • Visits from authors
  • Activities linked to World Book Day
  • Themed events
  • Scholastic Book fayre

Links with other areas of the curriculum

There will be additional time outside of the English Lesson to develop reading skills across different areas of the curriculum. The teaching of reading develops skills through which our children can give critical responses to the questions they meet in their learning for science, geography, history, PSHE & other subject areas. Their understanding and appreciation of a range of texts should bring them into contact with their own literary heritage and texts from other cultures. The organisation of lessons will allow children to work together and provide them with an opportunity to discuss their ideas.

ICT Provision

The use of ICT will be incorporated into the teaching of reading for specific reading skills and activities, accommodating all ability levels. When planning reading related activities, teachers will consider the available digital resources in school. 

The extensive use of ICT will involve children in reading a range of text types for a number of purposes. 

Where needed children will also have access to Lexia, this can be used to support phonics and to stretch and challenge more able children’s understanding of how our language is made up.

Assessment and Record Keeping

Foundation Stage

In the Foundation Stage we keep a record of each child’s phonics skills, detailing which sounds and high frequency words are recognised by the child. Later in the year, records for guided reading indicate how well children’s accuracy, fluency and understanding are developing. Teacher and EYP records of child initiated and teacher led activities are recorded to indicate progress against early learning goals and Foundation Stage criteria. 

The progress of individual children will be discussed at termly Parent consultations

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1 we keep a record of each child’s phonics skills, detailing which sounds and high frequency words are recognised by the child. Children’s reading skills, related to a child’s progress, are, in the main, recorded during Guided Reading sessions. This is supported by end of term reading assessments and SATs for Y2.

We also keep records to show progress with the colour coded graded reading books. The progress of classes and individual children will be discussed at Parent consultations.

Key Stage 2

Reading will be assessed in Standard Assessment Tasks. Continuous assessment of the strategies employed by the child, during independent reading sessions are ongoing in addition end of term reading assessments will be used. The progress of individual children will be discussed at termly consultations.

In addition we use termly NFER reading assessments to ensure children are on track and those not making the required progress are given targeted support.

Intervention Support

During each key stage the assessment of individual pupils’ progress, including phonic knowledge and skills, is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify the pupils who are failing to keep up with their peers. Effective provision for them to catch up is put in place as early as possible.

Home Learning/Involving Parents

Throughout the primary years parents are encouraged to play a vital role in their child’s reading development and we must use all possible approaches to demonstrate ways in which they can foster a love of reading in their children. Children will take home books to share and enjoy with their parents. A home/school reading diary will accompany their books with parents being encouraged to comment on their child’s progress and response to the book. 

Arrangements for taking books home to read are as follows: 

EYFS – graded reading books, HFW word lists and a free choice book from the library

KS1 – graded reading books together with free choice books from the class library are expected to read with their parents 4 times a week. Reading log books are used to record the pages read together with a comment from the parent. 

KS2 children are expected to read at home at least 4 times a week. Reading log books are used to record the pages read together with a comment from either the child or parent. The log books are monitored by the class teacher/TA.  In the main the children take home books from the free choice collection but the class teacher will also encourage children to choose from other collections such as news papers. Each half term a teacher will monitor the children’s progress on the NFER tests to identify those children who have not made sufficient progress. 

Parents are informed about their child’s progress in reading at parent teacher consultations, held mid-way through the autumn and spring terms, and in the annual report.

Guided Reading

Planning and teaching guided reading is an extremely effective approach to teaching specific reading skills and is a crucial component of our reading policy. This practice can be used, not only as a discrete activity to focus on key skills from the long term objectives, but also to link reading and literacy with specific genres and other areas of the curriculum. We teach guided reading sessions on a weekly basis to: 


  • support children to make progress in reading
  • motivate children to read and discuss texts, in pairs or small groups with a teacher/teaching assistant
  • encourage other children to work independently of the teacher and the teaching assistant
  • provide effective differentiation, including challenge for the more able children
  • demonstrate how children can read, enjoy and analyse a range of texts.

Role of the Reading Leader

It is the responsibility of the Reading leader in liaison with the class teacher to: 

  • monitor the implementation and effectiveness of guided reading
  • review assessment data to track progress in all classes
  • audit and organise reading resources within the key stage to ensure we have the best materials available to teach children to read
  • plan and oversee training and support for teaching assistants as necessary
  • keep up to date with current good practice and pass on information to colleagues
  • ensure that the school’s long term objectives translate to medium and short term plans

Equal Opportunities

We will ensure all children have equal access to the curriculum, regardless of gender, race or ability. Children with specific reading, speech and hearing difficulties will be identified and supported through intervention programmes in school. 

The books which our children read will be chosen carefully so that issues related to equal opportunities are handled sensitively. 

The interests of individual children will be taken into consideration when reading activities and materials are selected. 

We will ensure that the books and literature available to children represent as wide a range of cultures as possible.