Reading takes pupils beyond first-hand experience: it enables them to project themselves into unfamiliar environments, times and cultures; to gain sympathetic understanding of other ways of life and to experience joy and sadness vicariously.” At Woodfield we believe Reading is the path to successful lifelong learning and much more than simply a skill to be mastered. We see our school as a community of readers and every child as part of that community.

Our aim is that Children will:

  • Read with purpose and pleasure
  •  Read independently, confidently and fluently both aloud and silently for increasingly sustained periods for time.
  • Use phonics as the first and primary approach to decoding unknown words.
  • Read phonetically irregular words quickly and efficiently to speed up their decoding.
  • Read a wide variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, developing their own powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
  • Read with a ‘writerly’ eye
  • Be able to choose their own reading materials both for information and for pleasure and evaluate and justify their preferences.
  • Use their reading skills across the curriculum
  • Be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic and contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes.
  • Be taught to navigate texts e.g. skimming, scanning, information retrieval, visualising and predicting.
  • Be taught comprehension strategies e.g. speculating, deducing, inferring, interpreting, making connections and authorial intent.
  • Develop responses e.g. likes, dislikes, questioning, re-evaluating, connecting with own experience, empathising, referring to text to support views, considering overall impact.

Our aim is that Teachers will:

  • Place reading and books at the centre of the curriculum.
  • Read, talk with enthusiasm and recommend books.
  • Build time for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day.
  • Make use of every opportunity the curriculum has to offer to teach children to become life-long readers.

Senior/Midde Leaders will:

  • Engage, involve and harness the enthusiasm of parents to ensure the culture of reading developed extends into the home.
  • Devote time to staff training so that they are equipped to support children’s acquisition of skills and enjoyment of reading.
  • Spend money and time to support reading including the purchase of materials, developing the reading environment and involving the school community in special events to raise the profile of reading and engage children.

Shared Reading

Shared reading sessions will regularly form the first part of the teaching sequence and will provide opportunity to read, respond and analyse text in detail. Shared reading also provides an opportunity for the teacher to model fluent, expressive reading for the whole class. For younger children the focus will also be on the application of early reading skills. The role of the teacher is crucial in explicitly encouraging children to start to unpick the writer’s craft and to begin to gather ideas for writing and to ensure they are secure in their knowledge and understanding of the structure and language features of each text type. The text used will be carefully chosen to engage and enthuse children. Shared reading is an ideal opportunity to help children to develop a wider vocabulary, understand why words are spelt in a particular way and to use ‘talk’ as a vehicle to explore their own responses to texts. This type of discussion can be reinforced during guided reading and writing sessions. When planning shared reading sessions, teachers should be aware of the assessment focuses for reading.

Guided Reading

Guided reading sessions form the bridge between shared and independent reading. During each guided reading session pupils will be given the opportunity to read as guided reading provides the teacher and pupil with the primary approach to teaching reading. Guided reading extends the opportunities provided by shared reading with a sharp focus on the target needs of a particular group with similar reading ability.

Guided reading books are organised according to IOE Book Bands structure. Within Key Stage 1, the levels are linked to the ELG and National Curriculum sub-levels. Guided group work will give the opportunity to address the specific needs of a particular ability group of children. The planning and delivery of these sessions will focus the areas of development of the group which will form their reading targets for the term. Planning and teaching in guided reading will sharply focus on the objectives for the session as well as the group targets. Staff will use the agreed planning format for guided reading. Questions relating to a specific assessment focus will be recorded on the planning format. Each class has a ‘Guided Reading Activity’ box. It contains resources to encourage interactive and kinaesthetic activities that address each assessment focus. Staff will use the agreed planning/guided reading records to make notes and form assessments of pupil’s progress.

Sessions will generally follow the sequence below:

Book introduction: Strategy check: Independent reading: Returning to text: Response to text.

Individual Reading

Regular individual reading is vital for building reading stamina and fluency. Teachers and teaching assistants will hear Reception and KS1 children read at least once a week. These sessions will be used to monitor progress and to teach decoding strategies. Through KS2 individual reading will ensure children are making progress and monitor the selection of appropriate reading material. These books go home and a reading record booklet will be used for parents and teachers to exchange information on the child’s progress and to give specific suggestions. Staff will write appropriate comments which relate to each pupils reading level/phonic phase. The ‘Target Statements for Reading’ booklet will be used as a core bank on which to draw.

ERIC (everyone reading in class) will take place after lunch each day for 10-15 minutes, creating an environment conducive to sustained independent reading. These sessions will allow pupils to read books of interest quietly, without being disturbed and encourage them to become, from an early age, immersed in the text.

 Reading Buddies

Buddy systems will be set up across school and buddies will be trained to read using strategy check prompt cards. Buddies will read together weekly.

 Reading Journals

Pupils in year 2 onwards will have reading response journals. These will give pupils the opportunity to be reflective readers who make connections. They will provide teachers with the opportunity to assess pupils’ understanding. Where responses link to assessment post –its will be used to show/record this, informing a further evidence trail of the individual pupils strengths as a reader.

 Assessment of Reading

  • APP (classroom monitor):- will be used to assess pupils progress against the assessment focuses. This will be updated termly and used both as an assessment record and planning tool.
  • Book Bands:- a ‘best fit’ level based on book band levels will be used to track on going progress.
  • Guided Reading Records:- will be used to monitor pupil’s progress against the reading assessment focuses; to teach, probe and assess both reading acquisition and comprehension skills through targeted questioning to deepen understanding and move children forward in their reading.
  • Individual Reading Records:- will provide evidence to support APP judgements
  • Observations:- will be made during shared reading, independent reading and group discussions, relating to pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills. They will be noted on post-its and placed on each pupils observation sheet to build a ‘reading picture’ of what they can do. These will record ‘land mark’ assessments which support evidence gathering for APP
  • Reading Journals:- will be used to support evidence when making judgements using app.
  • Summative Tests:- Statutory end of Key Stage and optional tests will be used.

 School/Classroom Library Provision

  •  Children will be surrounded by high quality books and reading material and encouraged to browse and select from the earliest stages. There will be regular audits of classroom and library stock.

Intervention of Reading

Effective formative assessment will enable teachers will know where every child is as a reader, both their strengths and the areas in which they need to develop. Through careful and rigorous assessment of pupils against the requirements of the National Curriculum, teachers will identify where the gaps in children’s skills and knowledge lie and then plan how to close them. Intervention programmes will be put in place through consultation and liaison with the SENCO.

Teaching Assistants along with the SENCO have received training on using paired reading as an intervention strategy to engage reluctant readers and increase reading fluency.

Early Reading


Children will:

  • Know grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) correspondences (the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequence.
  • Apply the highly important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes in order, all through a word in order to read it.
  • Apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell
  • Know that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.

Following the Rose Report recommendations, staff will use ‘Letter and Sounds’ as the core basis for teaching phonics (along with ‘Jolly Phonics’.) SEE PHONICS POLICY.

Letters and sounds is a systematic programme of high quality phonic work, time limited and reinforced throughout the curriculum with careful assessment and monitoring of children’s progress as they move from learning to read towards reading to learn, engaging with diverse texts for purpose and pleasure. At Woodfield School we will carry out the recommendations relating to best practice in the teaching of phonics which may be summarised as follows:

  • greater attention will be paid to the development of speaking and listening skills
  • high quality, systematic phonic work will be taught discretely.
  • phonic work will be set within a broad and rich curriculum that takes full account of developing the four independent strands of language-speaking, listening, reading and writing – and enlarging children’s stock of words.
  •  high quality phonic work will be a priority within ‘quality first’ teaching to minimise the risk of children falling behind in reading.

To be systematic, phonics teaching will be carefully planned, reinforcing and building on previous learning to secure children‘s progress. It will be taught discretely and daily in a way which is engaging and multi-sensory. The programme will be followed consistently and with ‘fidelity to the programme’ to secure the necessary pace and progression.

During shared reading sessions the teacher will explicitly teach the skills needed to help children tackle unfamiliar words. It is vital that links are made to the skills and knowledge taught during the discrete phonics sessions.

Top Tips for Reading at Home with your Child

  • Read aloud to your child.  It’s a great opportunity for you and your child to talk, to be close and share a few laughs!
  • Encourage your child to read aloud to you.  The most important thing you can do to support your child’s reading is to offer encouragement and patience. 
  • Make sure your child has a cosy, comfortable place in which to read – with no television!
  • Help your child to choose books that he or she will find really interesting.  Do you know the name of your child’s favourite author?  It’s time to find out!
  • Read anything and everything, comics, magazines, leaflets, instructions, recipes, posters…the list is endless.
  • Borrow books free of charge from your local public library; buy second-hand books from charity shops and car boot sales.
  • Don’t worry if your child wants to read the same book over and over again, or if your child chooses a book which seems to be too easy or too young for him or her.  The most important thing is that your child enjoys reading.   
  • If English is not the language your family speaks at home, enjoy sharing books written in your home language. 
  • Encourage your child to talk about books they’ve enjoyed, talk about the characters and ideas that come up in the book. 

Did you know?

People who work in libraries and book shops love to talk about books?  Ask librarians and booksellers to recommend great books for your child to enjoy.

You can find hundreds of book recommendations on the following websites.

Book Trust

Love Reading 4 Kids

To download a copy of these tips to print off and keep at home click on the link below.