Reading at Slater Primary School


  • At Slater we believe that children learn best when there is consistency and continuity in our approach to the teaching of reading. This policy has been written with clarity and a clear focus in mind in order to achieve those aims. It is our expectation that all children will leave Slater as good readers with a love of reading for lifelong learning and enjoyment.


    We invest in reading

    • All members of staff are fully trained in all aspects of the teaching of reading. This ensures that they have the subject knowledge and practical understanding of how to plan, assess and teach reading to the highest possible
    • Resources which inspire and interest young readers are essential. We continually budget to ensure an up-to-date diet of reading is accessible to all children, whatever their stage of development or


    A Whole School Approach

    In all years groups the children work with a range of texts to create breadth and stimulate interest in learning to read and reading to learn. Our on-going reading provision includes:

    Stories, novels, poems, biographies & autobiographies, reports, recipes, magazines and comics, songs, rhymes, instructions, leaflets, eBooks and multi-media sources.

    We demonstrate high expectations and a commitment to the teaching of reading through:

    • long and short-term literacy plans and guided reading plans
    • daily guided reading groups
    • cross curricular reading
    • learning environments in classrooms
    • evidence and pupils books
    • the school website


    The reading curriculum is regularly monitored and evaluated by the Senior Leadership Team through

    • Learning Walks
    • Lesson Observations
    • Planning Scrutiny
    • Data analysis
    • Pupil progress interviews

    Feedback from these activities provides a basis for professional dialogue, identifying next steps for further improving the quality of reading across the school


    The Teaching of Reading

    The children are taught to read using a wide range of graded materials which are finely tuned to meet individual’s needs through a levelled system. Books are accurately matched to apply the decoding strategies taught within the discrete phonics scheme and the National Curriculum key stages.

    Everyone in school is confident and competent in using this system to select books to support learners.

    To support children in the early stages of reading, the school follows DfE guidelines which state:

    ‘Pupils are invited to practice by reading texts which are entirely decodable to them so that they experience success and learn to rely on phonemic strategies. It is important that texts are of the appropriate level for the children to apply and practise the phonic knowledge and skills they have learnt. Children should not be expected to use strategies such as whole-word recognition / cues from context, grammar or pictures’. (DfE, 2011)



    The phonics programme Letters and Sounds (2006) is used to teach the children the phonic skills and knowledge required to support the decoding of print. The scheme ensures that the children make rapid progress by teaching the children a new letter or sound each day. Our phonics lessons are active, engaging and lots of fun and the children really enjoy them. We play lots of games and the children learn the new letters and sounds very quickly. Actions from the Jolly Phonics scheme are also used to help the youngest children learn new phonemes through a multi-sensory approach. As children remember the new phonemes, the actions are no longer needed and independence is increased.

    Alongside phonics, children are taught to sight-read ‘tricky words’ as per the National

    Curriculum scheme of work.

    The reading knowledge/skills required to read EYFS and KS1 books are summarised

    on the front cover of the Pearson Books, in order to support pupils and parents

    reading at home.  


    Quality First Teaching

    Reading is specifically taught through Literacy lessons and guided reading sessions. Each reading session is well planned with specific learning objectives and success criteria, being fully differentiated to meet the learning needs of individual children. Teachers successfully demonstrate the teaching of reading through high quality modelled and shared teaching strategies with guided groups.

    Literacy lessons are planned in a sequential way to ensure that children have a step by step scaffold for developing new reading skills and techniques. Text based units of work usually last between one- four weeks and encompass all elements of literacy teaching. All sessions are interactive, engaging and meaningful to the children, making links with their experiences and the wider curriculum.


    Language Acquisition

    Language acquisition levels on entry to run are well below those recognised nationally. We seek to redress this balance by specifically improving language skills through a diverse range of activities across the curriculum which includes:

    • discussion
    • paired talk
    • drama
    • role play
    • puppets
    • peer assessment


    Practising Reading

    Children enter Slater with a range of prior experiences in reading. To extend and increase opportunities for children to practice and develop their skills the timetable includes:

    • Phonics or guided reading daily
    • 1:1 reading opportunities each week with staff and volunteers (De Montfort University Students & governors)
    • 1:1 tuition for targeted pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant
    • Shared class book
    • Reading session at Fosse Library (once per half term)
    • Independent reading at home (3-5 times per week)


    Lunchtime reading clubs also offer additional opportunities for children to practice their reading and be read to



    EYFS and KS1 Resources:

    • A range of fiction and non-fiction Pearson independent reading books from Phonics Phase 2 to old NC Level 2A
    • Multi-copies of a range of fiction and non-fiction reading books as above for guided reading sessions
    • A range of real books (novels) at old NC levels 1-3
    • A small class library incorporating multi-copies of fiction/non-fiction books for shared class reading across the curriculum and Fosse library books
    • Sets of books for inference skills

    Key Stage 2 RESOURCES

    • A range of fiction and non-fiction Pearson independent reading books up to old NC Level 5A
    • Multi-copies of a range of fiction and non-fiction reading books as above for guided reading sessions
    • A range of real books (novels)graded at old NC levels 3-5+
    • A small class library incorporating multi-copies of fiction/non-fiction books for shared class reading across the curriculum and Fosse library books
    • Sets of books for inference skills
    • Whole class sets of novels for class shared reading


    The Teaching of Reading

    Reading can be split into 2 areas: word reading and comprehension. Word reading is the skill of decoding using phonics and other strategies, comprehension is the understanding of what has been read.

    The teaching of word reading starts in the EYFS through the teaching of phonics and some sight words. Although simple comprehension starts in EYFS, comprehension is the main focus of reading in KS2. As children in KS2 develop their comprehension skills and start to become more active readers, they will begin to come lifelong readers and have a love of reading.

    Children who enter the school mid-term and who are new to English will be taught phonics starting at the appropriate level for them. This may include daily phonics lessons and additional interventions. In KS2 they have access to Pearson Rapid Phonics to match their skills level but which are age appropriate.

    Dual language books are available to those children who are literate in their home language. We also ensure we have books that support and celebrate children’s different cultural backgrounds.

    Every child always has the opportunity to experience success as the home reading books are levelled and are easily matched to the reading levels of individuals. These are allocated by the class teacher and based on on-going assessments. The emphasis is on fluency, building self-esteem, confidence and enjoyment. The children also take home a book from the class library / school library. The emphasis of this text is always one of enjoyment and comprehension.

    Parents are encouraged to participate in reading these books with their children wherever possible. They know how to support their children as a result of:

    • Discussions with the class teacher
    • Parent Reading Workshops
    • Pamphlets sent home on ‘How to Support Your Child With Reading At Home’


    Celebrating Achievement and Effort

    Children at Slater are encouraged to read widely and practice their developing skills on a daily basis.

    Reading has the highest profile in our school. Regular annual events in which the whole school community is involved include:

    • World Book Day
    • Library Visits
    • Annual Book Fair
    • Best Book (WIT) Summer Year 5
    • Author visits
    • Local Authority reading promotions e.g. Author Week