Reading

“Pupils read regularly and in a range of contexts.”

Ofsted, 2016.


We have developed a book-led curriculum to excite and engage children, where books are the driving force for learning new knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Core texts have been carefully selected to ensure they are high quality, engaging and support learning linked to the National Curriculum, with supplementary texts to ensure topics are enriched with a range of literature. 


We use the First Class Reading Scheme to ensure our curriculum is detailed and progressively mapped out, whilst also corresponding with our phonics programme. Assessments are made daily through guided reading, 1:1 reading, and when reading across the curriculum. We use NFER tests three times a year to support teachers’ own assessments and KS2 pupils also complete STAR reading tests four times per year.


To equip children with the skills and passion to become competent lifelong readers, we use the following approaches:

  • Daily Guided Reading: Our timetables for guided reading include fluency practice, extended reading, and close reading.
  • Reading Aloud: Teachers read aloud to children daily during STAR time (Stop Teaching and Read) to develop a culture of reading for pleasure.
  • Phonetically Controlled Books: KS1 children take home phonetically controlled books to match our phonics programme First Class Phonics.
  • Reading in other areas of the curriculum: Our book-led curriculum means reading for purpose is evident across the school day.
  • Accelerated Reader: Children are given books carefully matched to their reading age and motivated to keep making progress with reading certificates, the word millionaires board, and exciting rewards.
  • Reading Practice: We encourage children to read for at least 20 minutes a day and teachers monitor children’s progress through homework books.
  • Reading Environment: Reading corners and book displays promote reading and showcase our current topic-themed books.
  • Life-Changing Libraries: Opened by Cressida Cowell herself, our two Life-Changing Libraries are well stocked with high quality, diverse and inclusive books, as well as magazines and a Toniebox for audiobooks.
  • Team Read: Our reading role models share book recommendations and help out as school librarians.
  • Author Visits: Children have met authors and illustrators including Cressida Cowell, Tom Palmer, Joseph Coelho, Steve Smallman, Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Emma Jackson.
  • Reading Events: For example, children celebrate World Book Day, World Poetry Day, and Book Trust’s Pyjamarama.
  • Books At Home: We are committed to ensuring every child in our school not only has access to books at home, but also access to their own books. We aim to build each child’s personal library in the following ways:
    - Prizes in school are always books.
                - Books are bought as Christmas presents.
                - Scholastic book fairs.
                - Last year, we were lucky enough to have a reading roadshow from Wood Street Mission, where each child was able to choose 5 brand books to take home.
                - More recently, each child has chosen a book to buy with additional funding.

Our Reading Curriculum is built upon the objectives within the National Curriculum and we use the First Class Reading Scheme to ensure our curriculum is detailed and progressively mapped out. This scheme matches our chosen phonics programme.

Reading Curriculum


To fulfil the intent of our reading curriculum, we use the following range of approaches:

Daily Guided reading

KS2 use their topic-related books and texts that are matched to the reading age-related expectations for their year. KS1 use phonetically controlled books linked to phonics lessons. Teachers use the First Class Reading scheme and question stem cards which ensure all reading objectives are progressively studied. We are developing our approach to teaching guided reading by using evidence-based research from Christopher Such. Our timetables for guided reading include fluency practice, extended reading and close reading.

Reading in other areas of the curriculum
Each English unit, beings with reading lessons that engage the children with a high-quality text to ensure that reading is inspiring their writing. Shared reading is carefully planned considering questions linked to the content domains, teaching new vocabulary and providing additional practice in decoding. Our book-led curriculum means reading for purpose is evident across the school day.

Reading Aloud
To develop a culture of reading for pleasure, teachers read aloud to the children daily. We call this STAR time (Stop Teaching And Read). Teachers choose high-quality texts from the Reading Spine or from their carefully selected class libraries. We also have a KS2 reading club who have been reading Thomas Taylor's series of books 'Legends of Eerie-On-Sea' together.

Phonetically controlled books

KS1 children take home phonetically controlled books that are carefully matched to our phonics programme, First Class Phonics. Our main scheme for home readers is Project X and Dandelion Readers. Guided reading books for KS1 are also phonetically controlled. Our main scheme for guided reading is Pearson's Bug Club. The children also have access to these books at home through the ActiveLearn website.

Accelerated Reader

KS2 children take home reading books that are carefully matched to their reading ages. We use Accelerated Reader, which assesses their reading ages at least 4 times per year.  After reading their book, children are required to take a quiz that assesses their comprehension of the text. Teachers monitor the children’s progress and provide targeted, prompt interventions when needed. Accelerated Reader provides lots of opportunities to motivate and reward the children for independent reading. We have a word millionaires board, award certificates in assembly and give reading rewards like the family reading cafe.

Reading Practice

We aim to ensure our children read for a least 20 minutes each day. Reading is promoted as the most important form of homework and this is monitored daily by staff through homework books. Children in reception and KS1 are listened to read 1:1 to ensure they are decoding successfully and gaining fluency. Children who are still developing fluency in reading in KS2 are also regularly listened to read 1:1. Assembly times are used for reading interventions to help children keep up and catch up.

Reading Environment

Reading and books are showcased and celebrated all around the school. These book displays are changed regularly and reflect the current themes and topics being explored. Children can be often found reading around the school at break and lunchtimes. Classroom doors display books that have been read by the class to promote discussions. The corridors that lead to our KS1 library, are invitingly decorated with the children's favourite characters. Classrooms have well-organised libraries that are stocked with high quality, carefully chosen texts, including multiple copies of books from the year group’s reading spine and topic themed books. Whole class sets of books have been invested in and are continuing to grow. 

Life-Changing Libraries

Here at Saviour, we are extremely lucky to have two brand new Life-Changing Libraries, opened by Cressida Cowell herself. The libraries are well stocked with an abundance of high quality, diverse and inclusive range of books. We also have regular magazine subscriptions and a Toniebox for audiobooks. The children are able to visit the library as often as they like and take out books/magazines to read at home. A dedicated slot on the timetable also ensures all children experience the library, and that staff can support and enthuse the children when choosing a book.

Team Read

We have an elite group of adults and children who are passionate readers. They wear a special badge and it is their job to spread their love of reading, recommend books and be reading role models around the school. We also have seven special ambassadors who are our school librarians. See Team Read's top tips for home reading here.

Author visits

A key part of taking part in the library initiative is giving the children the opportunity to meet authors and illustrators. We ensure the children have a range of opportunities to meet inspirational people throughout the year. In the last year, the children have met Cressida Cowell, Tom Palmer, Joseph Coelho, Steve Smallman, Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Emma Jackson. Visiting authors sign the author walls in our libraries.

Reading Events

Although books are celebrated every day at Saviour, we also hold special reading events to promote awareness, create excitement and highlight the importance of reading to the whole school community. These events include World Book Day, World Poetry Day and Book Trust's Pyjamarama.

Books at home

The school is committed to ensuring the children in our school not only have access to books at home but also own their own books. We aim to build each child’s personal library in the following ways:

  • Prizes in school are always books.
  • Books are bought as Christmas presents.
  • Last year, we were lucky enough to have a reading roadshow from Wood Street Mission, where each child in the school was able to choose 5 brand books to take home.
  • More recently, each child has chosen a book to buy with additional funding.
  • A Scholastic book fair once a year.

Assessment

Assessments are made daily through guided reading, 1:1 reading and when reading across the curriculum. We use NFER tests three times a year to support the teachers' own assessments and in KS2 children also complete the STAR reading tests four times per year.