7 Aspects of Reading

How do we prioritise reading?

  • Each of our classrooms has a reading corner where pupils can sit comfortably during the day to read a book.  Books are rotated regularly by staff to match the class topic and pupils’ interests. The area is resourced with comics, magazines and newspapers to extend reading for pleasure and in the EYFS, Y1 and Y2 classes, teddies and puppets are used to encourage reading aloud and re-telling stories.
  • Each classroom has a selection of books as a mini library with a selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. 
  • We endeavour to use books and high quality texts to enrich the learning and provide access to a range of genres.
  • We have clear expectations for children's home reading and communicate this with parents at the start of the year, as well as with regular reminders. 
  • Reading is celebrated regularly through our Accelerated Reader Rewards system, as well as additional stickers and rewards for reading in EYFS and Key Stage One. 
  • Our 'Reading Overview' found on the main English page details the curriculum weighting for reading and phonics in each class. 
  • Early reading is encouraged by providing pupils with picture reading books in the first instance.  Once they have developed their phonics and decoding skills they are then moved on to texts that match their phonic ability and are fully decodable.
  • Pupils have access to our library and are encouraged to take school books home, in addition to their regular reading books. In EYFS and KS1 pupils take a book home as a 'book to share for pleasure' as part of their home reading. 

How do we promote a love of reading?

  • All staff are expert readers, modelling reading skills, discussing texts read with the pupils and sharing their own love of reading.
  • Teachers read class stories to promote a love and enjoyment of stories, immersing them in the world of imagination.
  • Our learning opportunities incorporate a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, to expose pupils to different texts they may enjoy.
  • Whole class or group reading sessions allow time for pupils to discuss their reading, helping them to make sense of what they have read. 
  • Pupils are encouraged to access the library and enjoy reading and sharing books on a regular basis. 
  • We encourage pupils in each class to share their love of reading e.g. by inviting them to recommend great reads to their peers; taking part in regular reading buddy sessions; volunteering as student librarians. 

How do we make sure pupils make progress?

  • Phonics is taught following the Song of Sounds progression of sounds to ensure a systematic approach. Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of revisit, review, teach, practice, apply. Planning includes assessment for the graphemes taught. Phonics is assessed at least half termly to identify gaps in learning to inform future planning and intervention.
  • Children who are not making expected progress or are at risk of falling behind are swiftly identified through targeted assessments including phonics assessments, 1:1 reading, Reading Planet Quizzes, daily phonics session observations, Star Reader assessments. This also includes a termly reading comprehension assessment. Some children also have precision teaching assessments which use probes to identify key words or sounds pupils are working on. 
  • The school supports pupils to be expert readers by explicitly teaching the key skills necessary for effective comprehension.  See our St Andrew's reading skills menu for further detail. 



  • There is a clear progression of reading skills from Reception to Year 6 against which pupils’ progress is measured and gaps are noted and acted on.
  • Pupils who are struggling with decoding skills (preventing them from accessing reading material) have targeted interventions or are part of a smaller reading group.  Targeted intervention follows the Song of Sounds programme in a more personalised manner, or can include: precision teaching for reading, 1:1 phonics focused reading, Better Reading Support partners. Some children who enter Key Stage Two are not yet fluent readers. These children have a specific reading scheme to follow which mirrors the progression of Song of Sounds. 
  • Pupils who need further opportunity to practise reading because they do not read at home, are given priority to read to an adult in school. Class teachers ensure volunteers, who come into school to hear readers, are trained to support reading appropriately.
  • Staff have termly pupil progress meetings and the Reading Lead collects pupil voice relating to reading. The Reading Lead collects information half termly on the lowest 20% of readers to ensure that they are making progress. 
  • We assist parents with supporting reading by providing parents meetings, reading information meetings, information on the website and letters home.

How do we match the pupils' reading books to their phonic ability?

  • Pupils are assessed half termly using the Song of Sounds assessments. Teachers also collect formative assessment tracking pupils' progress and phonics knowledge when they listen to children read. Assessment then informs which books match to the pupil’s phonic ability.
  • Staff in EYFS and KS1 are responsible for changing and or checking the pupil’s reading books. 
  • We use the Collins Big Cat and Rising Stars Phonics books in Key Stage One and EYFS. We monitor progress in reading and then match ability to the stage of reading on the scheme.  This is done through notes from phonics sessions and from teachers hearing pupils read individually. Staff monitor and check that these books are changed regularly.  Staff will move them onto the next stage when they are confident they have mastered the skills of the stage.  When pupils are confident readers in KS2 they become ‘Free’ readers.

  • Pupils in EYFS and KS1 have their books changed when they have demonstrated reading for fluency. (Books should be read at least three times.)
  • Staff monitor the books chosen by ‘free readers’ through use of reading logs and Accelerated Reader quizzes in Key Stage Two. 
  • Whole class guided reading books are also selected carefully to challenge pupils' reading, ensure that those who are not yet confident readers are not held back from accessing their year group's content. 

How do we teach phonics from the start? 

Phonics teaching begins with our youngest pupils from the time they join us in Reception. Phonics skills are promoted and embedded within the curriculum, exposing pupils to sound rich activities which provide the foundations for reading and writing. We complete baseline assessments in communication, language and literacy to support and identify speech, language and communication needs.

Pupils begin learning letter sounds on entry to Reception. Following the Song of Sounds, pupils are immersed in a directed teaching approach which embeds systematic and synthetic phonics skills as the core skills for reading. We teach children the sounds and mouth shapes necessary to say sounds, but also to blend and segment. Sounds are taught in a specific order, and regular assessment informs future planning and interventions.

Please see our phonics page for further information.

How do we support pupils to catch up?

  • Summative data is submitted once a term and pupil progress analysis is taken from this. Pupils identified by class teachers and in pupil progress meetings as not making progress have interventions planned for them and teaching staff are aware of who is a priority for intervention/support.
  • Formative data informs day-to-day planning and teachers adapt and change this according the pupil needs.
  • Pupils who did not achieve their phonics check receive interventions (daily reader/extra phonics support) and/or work in a group which is teacher driven.
  • Where progress becomes a concern, parents are invited to a meeting with the teacher and advice is given as to how they can further support their child at home.


How do we train staff to be reading experts?


  • Teaching staff, including Teaching Assistants receive reading and phonics training as part of yearly training, and additionally as and when required. This may be a specific focus on the SIP (school improvement plan) or a personal target identified in performance management or specific training identified by staff. This may include in-house training or external training depending on the needs of the staff.
  • Subject leads for writing and reading attend locality network meetings and cascade relevant information back to the school.
  • The Headteacher, School Improvement Partner and subject leads monitor reading and phonics lessons and collect pupil voice (with a focus upon the lowest 20%, pupils with SEND and pupils in receipt of the Pupil Premium funding) to ensure agreed approaches and consistency are applied across the school.
  • Further training is provided including: precision teaching training, Better Reading Support Partners training, Accelerated Reader Training. 
  • The reading lead monitors reading and offers guidance to staff with follow up actions.