Reading Leaders R. Altoft and L. Northen

RWI : K. Gardner and S. Mclntyre

Brandesburton Primary School Reading Policy

The teaching of reading forms part of our English Curriculum. We aim to promote high standards of reading through clear progressive planning and effective teaching. Reading is an essential life skill that provides access to the experiences of people from different cultures and times. Children must acquire good reading skills in order to access the information that will support their development in all curriculum areas.

Reading Intent

We want to foster a lifelong love of reading by exposing our children to various literature across all curriculum areas. We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places , meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures, Through building up the children’s vocabulary it gives them the word power they need to become successful speakers and writers as well as confident readers. Reading is a key life skill and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. Providing opportunities for children to read both independently and aloud as well as allowing them the chance to discuss and recommend books they have read to their peers. Reading and quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our children to various genres and famous authors and to enhance the variety of exciting topics that we teach. Above all, we want children in our school to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Essentially, we want children to enjoy reading.

Reading Implementation

Reading is a vital skill that will support children’s learning across the whole curriculum. As a school, we will ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding through a variety of discreet and cross-curricular learning opportunities. Reading is taught regularly, right through school from Nursery. Children begin their reading journey in Nursery with a focus on Phase 1 phonics. This concentrates on developing speaking and listening skills and has an emphasis on enabling children to become attuned to the sounds around them whilst developing the skills of oral blending and segmenting. In Nursery, this is a time where pupils are given an opportunity to familiarise themselves with books. Pupils learn how to hold a book the right way, how to turn pages, how to explore pictures, and are exposed to hearing stories – all vitally important skills to begin the reading journey. Within Reception, reading is taught through both literacy-focussed activities based on books and through specific teaching of the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. From year 2 – class 5, the whole school plan guided reading sessions based on a progression of skill approach. This builds on individual starting points following the progression of skills document.

Whole school Reading

We use a synthetic phonics programme ‘Read Write Inc.’ Using Read Write Inc., the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write. When using Read Write Inc. to read the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk.
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out.
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

Reading Schemes

As a school we subscribe to Oxford Owl, a whole-school phonically based online reading scheme with interactive activities that hooks children into a lifelong love of reading through stunning books and an incredible online reading world filled to the brim with popular characters. Each child has a personalised homepage where they’ll find the eBooks they’ve been allocated by the teacher and motivating rewards. This will be the book they have been reading in their RWI session at school and will be developing confidence with. This ensures that each child can find a book at exactly the right level for them. The online reading world ensures children can access independent reading resources anywhere at any time. New books will be allocated regularly.

In addition to this will be a book sent home in their book bag. This will either be a fiction or non-fiction book and they will keep this book until the following Wednesday. Children are supported to read each day and develop their fluency i.e. they read the book three times and in order to develop their understanding, there are a couple of questions at the back of each book to discuss. The name of the book and the dates on which the book was read is recorded in their Reading Log.

This cycle will be repeated each week. The intention of the Read Write Inc scheme is that the reading, both in school and at home, is appropriately challenging.

Individual Readers

 At Brandesburton, we have an established group of volunteers who read with all children across the school. This is in addition to home readers which is encouraged daily and monitored by class teachers.  During these individual reading sessions children are heard read a chosen book from the reading scheme or from personal choice if a child is a free reader. The reading material is matched to the child’s ability, with some degree of difficulty – in any page there should be a couple of words which provide challenge. Children who have been identified as needing support to improve their reading are targeted for additional reading whenever possible. Every child has a reading record/diary and an individual scheme reading book. Within the reading diary, each adult records the title of the present book; the page numbers heard read, the date and the adults’ initials. All adults encourage the children to decipher unknown text for themselves – using the strategies taught in class and in particular those skills and strategies taught in their guided reading sessions (application of RWI). Children are then questioned about the text. A constructive/positive comment is then made by the adult in the reading diary, sometimes with targets for development. If there are particular words of difficulty these are recorded for the children to practice.

Virtual Library

Reading – Brandesburton Primary School

In addition to the books and online texts, the school have a virtual library. This offers the children a broad range of texts and activities. The books are read and when clicked on, take you to the author reading the text. The texts cover a range of themes (friendships, empathy, similarities and differences) as well as specific books for each subject area.


We have an outstanding school library which contains books for all abilities. Our librarians keep this organised along with parental support. Librarians and school councillors meet weekly and keep our library up to date and support our journey for all children to have a love of reading. Classrooms also have their own reading corners (mini-libraries).

Focussed Readers at Brandesburton

We have implemented a focus reader initiative where within each class during the half term there are selected children who need additional support. This is to broaden their knowledge of texts, language and understanding and to develop and nurture a love of literature. All support staff have been trained in how to deliver ‘Quick Reads’. These are short reading sessions which focus on reading fluency and retrieval. These are planned and timetabled from class one to class 6, monitored and reviewed termly.

Class Reads / Story Time

Class reads are planned into the curriculum from class one to 5 and are embedded into the reading routines across the year with a book focus for each term. Books are chosen based upon current pupil interest or linked to the curriculum topic being studied. A class read is a class text that pupils read and analyse together as a class over an extended period of time. Class read sessions allow children of all attainment levels to be immersed in the same high quality texts and promote valuable discussions. Class reading sessions provide teachers with the opportunity to model the fluency, pace, intonation and expression key elements of reading with the notion that children will try to emulate this in their own reading. During discussion of the text, the teacher will model the expectation for high quality responses identifying key evidence and explanations to provide support to justify responses, a key skill that children need to acquire during their school journey. Teachers can implicitly point out to the children the language and authors intentions that sometimes children unless exposed to miss. Coverage of genres is balanced between narrative and non-narrative.

Author Focus

Each term each year group select an author to focus upon. The purpose of the author study is to expose children to the key works of various authors allowing them to compare and contrast writing styles and to support them when establishing their own writer’s voice. In addition to this, we plan for author visits and workshops to inspire our children and develop a good understanding of this career pathway.

Foundation Stage

The curriculum in the Foundation Stage offers many opportunities to develop the skills required for reading. Speaking and listening are two of the first skills to be focused upon; these are developed through listening to stories, shared reading, role-play, opportunities for talk through continuous provision and Phase 1 sounds. To try and develop parental awareness of our approach to reading, we offer a weekly ‘Reading Workshop’ where parents are offered the chance to come into school and observe how reading is promoted and taught to their child with an opportunity to put what they have seen into practise.

Within Foundation Stage, there are dedicated reading areas both with indoors and outdoors provision that promote the love of reading. The use of sound buttons to record key questions to support building the language and comprehension plays a key part. Within the provision, there are key story props and costumes to allow children the opportunity to retell and act out stories or plays that have been shared.

Read Write Inc.- In Nursery, the children are introduced to phonics. Through different activities, children begin to develop their phonological awareness. During the summer term in readiness for Reception, the children participate in the more focussed aspects of the Read Write Inc. phonic programme where they take part in daily 10 minute short sessions. In Reception, the children are introduced to the initial letter sounds (Set 1) during autumn term. Sessions are daily and last for approximately 15 minutes. As the year progresses, the children are grouped dependent on ability and on their individual progress children. Children will begin to learn digraph and trigraph sounds, using this knowledge to help them read and write sentences as the year concludes. Children that are working at ARE will be complete an hourly phonics/literacy session daily. Children receive Same Day Intervention and planned guided interventions for ‘at risk of delay’ children.

Building on the Foundation Stage provision

There are dedicated reading areas within Year 1, where children have the opportunity to read and act out stories, using the costumes and items provided linked to the topic or theme. There is a wealth of literature to enhance displays and provision areas.

Reading for Pleasure Learning Environment In our school

We will strive to give pupils a stimulating environment, where reading materials are presented in an attractive and inviting way. Books are used to enhance displays and to provide reference points for deeper learning. Furthermore, within English lessons we create an environment that stimulates the generation of ideas from texts where all ideas are accepted and valued. Each classroom has a dedicated reading area to encourage and motivate children to read. These areas provide a comfortable and relaxing area where books can be shared and enjoyed and are changed on a termly basis to ensure that interest is maintained. Each classroom reading area is stocked with a rich variety of books based upon the children’s interests thus allowing the children to have access to a significant ‘library’ collection of books of various genres for the children to enjoy. Within each reading environment children have access to various age appropriate question stems linked to the content domains that support with developing reading comprehension these are also referred to as prompts and reminders for adults when listening to children read.

Inspire Sessions Planned

Throughout the year are opportunities for parents to visit school to participate in reading focused inspire activities such as the ‘Christmas read’ and ‘Book Week’. During these sessions, teachers model how to support with developing reading fluency and comprehension skills and provide opportunities for parents to explore text activities with their child.

Parent Workshops during the year

 Parent workshops are delivered. Within these sessions, parents are able to observe how reading is taught within school and gain advice on how to support their children at home is shared with support packs with resources to use are provided.

Attainment and impact

We aim to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of formative and summative assessment procedures, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school.