Reading Policy

Hindsford CE Primary School

Name of policy: Reading

Statement of Intent:

The 2014 national Curriculum states that pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended  prose and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Reading is singled out as of extreme importance since through it “pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually” (p13). Reading allows pupils to “acquire knowledge” and to “build on what they already know” (p13).

At Hindsford CE Primary School, staff recognise that reading development is closely linked to that of writing, for it is by reflecting upon and talking about the texts that they encounter that pupils come to understand how writers write and to develop an awareness of the relationship between author and reader. At our school, we strive to make this link clear by providing learning opportunities which are based on quality texts that engage the pupils, immersing them in a rich language environment. Our hope is that children leave our school at the end of year 6 having established a love of reading and with experience of as wide a range of texts as possible.


We aim to develop literate children who:

  • Love reading and get excited about potential books
  • Have the opportunity to listen to stories that are beyond their own reading ability, for enjoyment
  • Are given the chance to participate in class reading sessions where literature is explored, discussed and linked to real life
  • Enjoy reading at home
  • Understand the sound and spelling system and use these to read accurately
  • Read with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct
  • Have an interest in a wide range of texts, reading for enjoyment and information
  • Have an interest in words and their meanings
  • Understand a range of text types and genres
  • Can evaluate and justify their preferences
  • Have developed their imaginations, inventiveness and critical awareness


In order to develop fluent, confident readers, teachers at Hindsford CE Primary are expected:

  • To follow a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics via the Read Write Inc programme (See Read Write Inc policy)
  • To discretely teach comprehension strategies through quality whole class direct teaching and guided group work
  • To actively promote and foster a love of reading by reading to their own class
  • To further develop children’s vocabulary by “magpie-ing” during English lessons, other subjects and class reader sessions
  • To make the link explicit between reading and writing

Organisation and Leadership

Reflecting the leadership structure across the rest of the curriculum, English is lead by a Strategic Subject Lead (Mrs C Ball) who is supported by a Subject Manager (Miss G Worrall). The leaders are teachers from both Key Stage 2 and Foundation Stage. In this way, we ensure that pupils of all ages receive the best possible English teaching provision.

Teaching Approaches

The 2014 Curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions:

  • Word reading/ decoding
  • Comprehension

We recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We acknowledge that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary (see Writing and Spoken language Policies). We also understand that reading is a developmental process and part of life-long learning and we encourage and praise children at every stage of it.

Reading in School

Children at Hindsford CE Primary School first learn to decode, segment and blend words through rigorous, daily phonics teaching, following the Read Write Inc programme (see Read Write Inc Policy). Through this approach, pupils learn to read easily and fluently. Particular attention is paid towards vocabulary extension and basic comprehension strategies. Once pupils have “graduated” from the Read Write Inc programme (most children are off the programme by the end of Year 2), they participate in daily English lessons where their reading teaching continues through shared and guided reading. Teachers actively model comprehension strategies and make use of talking partners and “reading as a reader” or “reading as a writer” to further develop children’s inferential skills and knowledge of authorial intent. Any Key Stage 2 children who struggle with reading continue with the Read Write Inc programme, under the guise of “Fresh Start” which provides a phonic approach that is age-appropriate for older children. In addition to the daily English lessons, children also participate in daily Guided Reading sessions which are designed to further enhance their comprehension and vocabulary.

At our school, reading is taught in its own right, as well as being a tool which permeates the entire curriculum. Children read outside the daily English lessons for information-gathering, research and for pleasure. All classes have regular opportunities to listen to and enjoy texts that are beyond their own reading ability in the guise of Class Novel. In these sessions, the teacher reads to the class, pausing to address particular learning points and to tailor the teaching needs of the class.  This allows teachers to further develop pupils’ vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as imparting a love of reading for pleasure.

Reading at Home

Children who participate in Read Write Inc take home reading books that are phonetically decodable and are a level below those in which they are reading in lessons. This is a deliberate methodology which allows pupils to celebrate their growing reading competency with their parents, ensuring that the first home reading experiences are positive, motivating experiences. Once children have moved on from Read Write Inc, they take home levelled reading books that have a broader range of vocabulary and expose children to fiction, traditional tales, non-fiction and poetry texts.

Teachers monitor pupils’ progression through the reading scheme and respond to individuals’ needs. For example, a child who races through a reading stage and reads all the books at that level may be given extra comprehension activities to ensure that they have secure skills before moving on. Likewise, a child who makes good progress in Reading may skip levels if appropriate for their ability so that they are not needlessly “kept back”. Children’s own interests are taken into account and respected – teachers will willingly swap a child’s book if they are not enjoying it. Likewise, higher ability readers are able to choose  books from the school library or home rather than the school reading scheme in order to maintain their passion for reading. Children’s progression through the reading stages is celebrated and rewarded.

Pupils are further encouraged to read widely and for pleasure through the use of the school and class libraries.

Reading forms part of the essential homework. There is an exception that as part of this homework, all children from Year 2 upwards will read their reading book (or agreed alternative by agreement for more able readers) at least twice a week, which contributes to their weekly TEAM stamp. Children in Year 1 are expected to change their reading books twice a week in order to promote regular reading at home.

Inclusion and Equal Opportunities

The ability to read is fundamental to children’s development as independent learners. We believe that all children are entitled to high quality teaching and learning and we embrace the philosophy of inclusion. All children at Hindsford CE Primary have the opportunity to read at an appropriate level through the provision of carefully planned, targeted work in their English lessons and within the wider curriculum. Intervention groups are in place to further support children with additional needs or those who have any difficulties in a particular area. As mentioned above, children who struggle to read continue to follow a phonics programme for Reading until they possess the skills to move on. The needs of children on the SEN register are planned for as necessary and a variety of teaching methods, based around those which are Dyslexia-friendly, are used to support the learning styles of different children. In this way, no child will be excluded from participating in reading activities.

We celebrate diversity through recognising our children’s skills and knowledge and by the study of material from a variety of cultures. Texts used represent all cultures in a positive light and show both genders in a range of roles. The interests of both boys and girls are taken into account in the selection of materials to support the development of reading skills.


Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and is used to:

  • provide the children with clear and regular feedback
  • assist the children and teachers in planning their next steps
  • evaluate the effectiveness of teachin

Teachers use daily AFL strategies to ensure that all teaching is accurately levelled and challenging. Ongoing teacher assessment of reading informs individual and group reading targets. Ongoing assessment is recorded as annotations on weekly English planning. Additionally, teachers keep up to date records of children’s progress towards the end of year expectations. Summative assessment for reading takes place termly when children throughout school undertake formal reading tests. Teachers then re-group children accordingly. Any pupils who are deemed to be underperforming are swiftly  identified and participate in booster/intervention sessions which are designed to close the gap betweeen themselves and their peers.

Monitoring and Review

The SSL and SLT monitor and evaluate the work schieved. In consuktation with the governors, the leaders identify areas for development, resource needs and moderate standards across the shcool.

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