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Reading Rationale

The ability to read is fundamental to many aspects of life, and is central to developing knowledge and understanding within a broad and balanced curriculum. Our approach to the teaching of reading encourages children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning.

The importance of laying firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum should not be underestimated. We aim for a consistent, whole school approach to the teaching of reading where every child perceives themselves to be a reader.


We aim for all pupils in the South Hams Federation to:

  • Be taught a systematic synthetic phonics program
  • Learn the specialist knowledge and language needed to read.
  • Read clearly and with expression.
  • Develop an interest in books and a love of reading.
  • Become independent readers, who read accurately and fluently.
  • Develop the ability to read from a variety of sources for a variety of purposes.
  • To widen our knoweldge and awareness of culture and diversity within our wider world.
  • Develop reading strategies appropriate for a range of reading activities.
  • Be able to read a variety of texts through the use of libraries, ICT and other media.
  • Develop reading skills alongside writing skills.


We have read research by the EEF based on Whole class reading and comprehension skills. We have looked at the research of Rosenshine and the impact of explicitly teaching comprehension skills.

“The average effect size for explicitly teaching strategies is equivalent to around four additional months’ progress.”


Learning to Read in Reception and Key Stage One

Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of reading are laid out in the National Curriculum Document.

Reading at Malborough Primary School is taught alongside the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme, initially in Reception and Key Stage One (see Phonics rationale).  Through  individual reading and Guided reading sessions we create opportunities to practise and consolidate skills through independent reading. During these sessions, all staff use a wide range of strategies to enhance the teaching of reading.

In the Reception we begin by encouraging ‘book talk’. The children learn to handle books, turn the pages and finger trace the words along the line from left to right. All this is happening alongside a phonics programme so that, where the children are learning Letters and Sounds, they can always apply these skills to the books they are reading. Each child will have a Colour banded book, a phonics  online book and a library book go home.

  • In Reception and KS1, Pupils will be taught phonic skills explicitly using the Little Wandle Document.
  • Phonic sessions take place daily in FS and KS1 and follow the same format to encourage consistency.
  • During these sessions staff model the use of appropriate vocabulary and sounds.
  • Tricky words are also taught explicitly and are displayed in classrooms.
  • The techniques of reading will be taught using an understanding of phonics alongside and building early comprehension.
  • Pupils will hear texts, both fiction and non-fiction, read aloud every week.
  • Pupils will be provided with the best available literature which may be beyond their own reading ability.
  • Pupils will be given weekly spellings in KS1
  • Staff will explain new vocabulary and develop children’s understanding of how to use that vocabulary within a context.
  • Pupils will be taught how to read silently.
  • Pupils will have opportunities to read a range of materials including books about subject specific learning, newspapers, posters, ICT texts, information booklets, banded guided reading materials and online phonics books.
  • Weekly visits to the school library to select a fic/ non- fic text to take home to borrow.
  • Reading intervention groups will also be planned for those pupils who need further support.

Reading in Key Stage 2

Through the consistency of teaching and strategies R and KS1 Most children are reading fluently by the time they begin KS2.

Through daily whole class reading learning is focused on:

  • Developing children’s understanding of new vocabulary,
  • Skimming and scanning techniques to locate literal answers to questions,
  • Using inference to answer questions and show understanding of the text.
  • Developing deduction to speculate on the reasons for authors’ character, setting and plot choices.
  • Making predictions based on what is already known.
  • Summarising what has been read.
  • We use Accelerated Reader to make sure that children’s comprehension skills are developing alongside their ability to decode increasingly difficult and new vocabulary
  • To make sure the children’s understanding of the text is keeping up with their ability to read fluently.
  • Children use new texts as an opportunity to grow a rich spoken vocabulary.
  • Children read non-fiction texts to deepen the children’s knowledge across the curriculum.
  • To ensure children appreciate reading helps them to understand the world around them.
  • To aim to use reading as a tool to increase the children’s vocabulary across every Curriculum area.
  • Pupils will have opportunities to read a range of materials including books about subject specific learning, newspapers, posters, ICT texts, information booklets, online reading books, books by BAME authors and culturally rich and diverse texts.
  • Through daily Class reads by the teacher, pupils will be provided with the best available literature which may be beyond their own reading ability.
  • Weekly comprehensions recorded by child in English book.


  • EYFS/ Yr1 phonics/ KS1 /KS2 data
  • Reading age through age standardised score – Sept/ February
  • Yr3 -6 NFER Reading Comprehension standardised score Sept /July
  • Daily AFL for phonics / Guided Reading/ Whole class reading/Comprehension
  • Phonics assessments – half termly EYFS/Yr1
  • Half termly Benchmarking – colour banded texts
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Online reading comprehension quizzes
  • Range of vocabulary used in own writing

Intervention is based on:

  • Targeted individual reading
  • Small group guided reading
  • Key word recognition
  • High Frequency word recognition
  • Personal interventions based on comprehension skills needed
  • Phonics intervention based on questions to consider to create personal intervention plans
  • Does the child use the first letter to decode a new word?
  • Is the child confusing letter sounds and making mistakes for that reason?
  • Does the child attempt to sound out every single word in the book?
  • Is the child misreading digraphs or blends?
  • Does the child understand how to use short vowels?  Long vowels?
  • Does the child look for patterns and recognise word chunks?
  • How does the child attempt multi-syllabic words?

Reading Environment 

  • The teaching and learning of reading will run across the entire curriculum. We aim to provide rich reading environments to develop the children’s skills in reading. Teaching strategies aim to enhance children’s motivation and involvement in reading and to develop their skills through the following:
  •  Interactive displays Posters and notices.
  • Phonic sounds and key words on displays.
  • Pupils’ work in a variety of styles
  • A wide variety of texts – different genres, formats, difficulty, which show cultural, social and linguistic diversity.
  • A Reading Area in each classroom.
  • Books for more able readers.
  • Lunchtime book club.
  • A lunchtime library club – i.e Science book club.
  • Books relevant to the current topic on display.
  • Opportunities to listen to and read stories.

Involving Parents 

  • Parents have a fundamental role to play in helping children to read. We can inform parents about what and how their children are learning by:
  • Holding parents’ evenings to discuss children’s progress.
  • Sending an annual report to parents in which we explain the progress made by each child and indicate how the child can develop their learning.
  • Explaining to parents how they can support their children with reading and comprehension .
  • Sending home reading diaries for parents with next steps for reading and appropriate strategies and 
questions for FS, KS1 and KS2.
  • Encouraging parents to listen to their children read at home and write progress made in their child’s Reading Diary.
  • Sending home word tins in Reception.
  • Holding open afternoons (reading skills focus).
  • Organising a yearly Easter book fair.
  • Organising a monthly bedtime story swap for parents and children
  • Pupils receiving a free dictionary from the Rotary Club to develop their home library.
  • Pre School to Reception transition meetings.
  • Transition meetings between year groups

Role of Coordinator 

  • Promote a love of reading
  • Monitor data and discuss with H of Sch
  • Monitor and discuss texts used.
  • Support Teachers /TA’s with interventions for LA children based on decoding / comprehension
  • Monitor and order resources.
  • Support staff.
  • Induction for new members of staff
  • Keeping up to date with information and initiatives – disseminating to all staff.
  • Arranging visits from local Librarian
  • Organise INSET days e.g. phonic training.
  • Organise the book fair.

Role of the Teacher

  • Promote a love of reading
  • Share the expectation that all pupils will become independent readers.
  • Develop decoding alongside comprehension
  • Explicitly teach the skills of comprehension
  • Model reading.
  • Assess pupils progress as readers providing guidance for development.
  • Planning short term interventions where needed.
  • Support guided reading.
  • Plan support and assess daily whole class reading
  • Create a stimulating reading environment.
  • Read one-to-one with pupils/ Targeted readers
  • Provide challenging texts which are carefully chosen and matched to ability.
  • Model respect for books.
  • Ensure pupils are aware of the library and how to use it.
  • Identify pupils who aren’t at the appropriate level and provide interventions.

Intended Impact

In the South Hams Federation, our intended impact is that all children will be confident readers with a love of reading, who use a wide range of decoding and comprehension skills to understand a range of high-quality texts. We will ensure children have an understanding of texts and literature across the curriculum which builds their understanding and knowledge.

Key Vocabulary

Decoding – To use knowledge of letter-sound recognition to read written words

Retrieval – To locating information in a text to answer a question

Inference- To draw out information from the text using clues and own experiences

Prediction- To use information in the text to predict

Opinion- A personal belief or feeling about a text

Summarise- To identify main ideas or events within a text