Reading at Charlton

reading 1


Current context:

Research has indicated that pupils’ reading habits are declining nationally. One study revealed that:

  • 22% of children and young people rarely or never read in their own time
  • 54% prefer watching TV to reading
  • 17% would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading

from: Children’s and Young People’s Reading Today, National Literacy Trust, (2012)



What do we want for our pupils? 

  • All pupils become confident, keen, fluent and expressive readers.
  • All pupils learn to love and value books.
  • All pupils read for enjoyment as well as for information.
  • All pupils develop both comprehension and a variety of discreet reading strategies which will enable them to tackle a wide range and sometimes challenging reading material (see pedagogy section).
  • All pupils develop positive attitudes to reading that will allow them to become life-long readers, with all the accompanying benefits that follow (see culture section).
  • All pupils develop an interest in words and the effect they have on the reader.


How do we achieve this at Charlton? 


  • We prioritise high quality teaching and a systematic approach to developing:
    • word-reading skills (both phonic recognition and quick recognition of exception words)
    • comprehension (including retrieving information, summarising, making inferences and using evidence from the text to justify)
  • We develop pupils’ understanding of:
    • the language of books
    • different genres, authors and the choices authors make.
  • We provide dedicated time every day for pupils to read or listen to stories for pleasure.
  • We build in time every week for all pupils to:
    • read independently (to promote reading for pleasure)
    • read aloud (to develop intonation, fluency and expression)
    • be read to (teachers model their enthusiasm for reading and create a positive and engaging reading experience)
  • We invest in staff training so that staff have the expertise and confidence to help every child become a successful reader.
  • Provision for reading is planned carefully and is a central part of every English unit.
  • We strike a balance between pupil preferences and inviting them to try new types of books to expand their horizons and spark new interests.
  • We provide high quality, engaging texts that are constantly reviewed and updated.



Expectations of the teaching and learning of reading in each phase at Charlton



  • In Early Years Foundation Stage pupils have the opportunity to enjoy books, rhymes, songs, play with letter shapes within a literacy rich environment. Activities based on Phase 1 of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ program support pupils in differentiating sounds.
  • Pupils have a daily discrete phonics session, with the opportunity to consolidate their learning with their play in continuous provision as well as regular adult focussed activities.
  • The teaching of Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds ensures that pupils develop a good understanding of phoneme/grapheme correspondence.
  • During Phase 2 pupils build on their phoneme knowledge, blending and segmenting CVC words and learning to read the common exception words.
  • Pupils take books home to share with their parents/carers.
  • Pupils progress through phase 2, 3 and onto phase 4 when they are ready.
  • Pupils share books with adults in a small group on a weekly basis to encourage book talk.
  • Pupils are given opportunities to tell, retell and create stories.
  • Key texts are available in the classroom throughout the year to allow pupils to become familiar with quality texts.
  • Pupils develop their reading skills through a guided read in a small group or 1:1 with an adult.


Lower School

  • Pupils experience 1:1 reading time with an adult regularly- focusing on decoding skills and comprehension skills. This is recorded in pupil’s reading diaries; which can be completed by those adults hearing the child read at school, as well as at home.
  • Pupils progress through a series of book bands that are matched to pupil’s individual needs. Book bands are matched to offer opportunities for consolidation, acquisition of new skills and an element of challenge.
  • EYEs are used by teachers to assess pupil’s progress and to assist planning. EYEs are referred to in teacher comments in the reading diaries.
  • Pupils have daily phonics and spelling sessions building on the work in EYFS. These are targeted at the appropriate phase for individual pupils / groups of pupils. These sessions follow the Letters and Sounds sequence of teaching and the Spelling Programme of Study for Years 1,2 and 3.
  • In Year 1 most pupils progress through phase 4 and 5 of ‘Letters and Sounds’. Any pupils who are not at this level, will have targeted support to rapidly make progress. Pupils will take part in the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1.
  • In Year 2 pupils who have not met the expected standard (either not having completed phase 5 phonics or passed their phonic screen test) have targeted support to rapidly make progress.
  • Pupils have a group reading session as they move higher through KS1- building up comprehension skills and ‘book talk’ language and skills (see appendix 3).
  • Pupil’s experience the teaching of reading through 1:1 sessions with adults, guided reading in groups, whole class texts and paired reading with a partner.
  • Pupils experience high quality class texts to promote and develop book discussion around characterisation, plot and themes.
  • All pupils have weekly library class library sessions where books are reviewed and new books chosen to take home.
  • Targeted interventions for groups or individuals are delivered to pupils who are not making adequate progress.
  • Parents are made aware of where they are able to change their child’s book and additional guidance and support will be given to those pupils who may not receive parental support with this.
  • There is an expectation that parents will read with their child at least 3 times a week at home. This should be recorded in the child’s reading records by family members. Teachers will monitor reading records and pupils who are not supported at home will take priority with volunteer adult readers.
  • Phonics information leaflets are made available to parents when a new phase begins. This will ensure that parents can support the child’s learning at home.


  • Upper School


  • Classes have a weekly reading skills lesson. This is based around a high-quality, challenging text. The intention of which is to build up the children’s ability to discuss a text, including key themes within it and complete a range of tasks centred on the text (see appendix 2 for suggested book deepening activities).
  • Teachers may also identify groups of pupils who would benefit from a group reading session- either based around the text being used for reading workshop sessions, or another text, specifically chosen for the group’s needs (see appendix 3).
  • Individuals will have targeted 1:1 reading time with an adult if they require additional support with reading.
  • Specific support will be put in place for those children who have not reached Phase 6 by the end of Key Stage 1. Intervention groups will be created to support children in achieving the expected standard.
  • High-quality WAGOLLs will be used in English lessons to immerse the children in examples of rich vocabulary.
  • Sustained individual reading times will be built into class timetables.
  • Library sessions are planned to develop strategies for selecting a wide-range of different reading materials and to provide opportunities for sustained reading.
  • Classes will each have a high-quality class reader to promote and develop book discussion around characterisation, plot and themes. This will be read regularly to the class at an appropriate time
  • Pupils are expected to read at home at least 3 times per week; this could be to an adult or independently.
  • In Years 5 and 6, pupils have access to Accelerated Reader. Each day, a period of time is dedicated to independent reading and throughout the week, pupils have access to iPads and/or Chrome Books so that they may complete quizzes based on the books which they have read.



  • We recognise that being able to read well is a key life skill for pupils and opens up a world of new ideas and experiences, whatever their background.
  • We therefore put reading at the heart of the curriculum.
  • We believe that every pupil can learn to read with the right teaching and support.
  • We acknowledge that not all pupils will have the opportunity to develop a love of reading at home, so this has to be taught and encouraged at school.
  • We recognise the importance of the school reading environment (school library, class book areas, outside reading areas and displays) and invest time and money in developing spaces which inspire a love of reading and books.
  • We believe that every teacher should be an advocate for reading.
  • We actively seek to involve all parents so that the school culture extends into home.
  • We develop reading stamina by providing children with independent class reading time and timetabled library sessions. Children are given opportunities to discuss the books they have completed and make recommendations to their peers.
  • We actively support pupils’ book choices by promoting high quality texts and encouraging them to try something new
  • We encourage the support of reading volunteers and invest time in training and supporting.
  • How will we know we have succeeded?


    Assessing our culture for Reading


  • Pupils are “hooked on books” and talk enthusiastically about their reading.
  • Pupils actively recommend books and authors to their peers.
  • Pupils have good reading stamina. At age 7 we would expect that children can sustain their reading for 10-15 minutes and can talk about several books they have finished. At age 11 we would expect that children can sustain their reading for 20-30 minutes and can compare plots and themes between different books they have finished.
  • Pupils read for pleasure a wide of range of authors and genres (some of which they may not have previously chosen for themselves).
  • Pupils can increasingly select books independently to research a topic of interest or to find a book to read for pleasure.


Formative and Summative Assessment

  • We recognise that effective formative assessment is one of the major factors in teaching every child to become a reader. Frequent observations and formative assessments are part of good classroom practice and teachers use these to inform their next step planning. We use the EYEs (End of Year Expectations) to assess pupils’ progress against the National Curriculum expectations. Where evidence is seen or secure, it is recorded on the EYEs Progress Trackers.
  • We use PIRA (Progress in Reading Assessment) to provide summative assessments 3 times per year. This also provides diagnostic information for pupils causing concern.
  • At the end of Year 2 and Year 6, children will complete SATs tests in reading. This will assess whether children are working below, working at or working above expected standards.
  • Pupil Progress meetings are used to review the learning of all children and any child who is not making expected progress in reading is discussed and actions decided upon to enable them to make accelerated progress. Any interventions which are decided upon are documented on provision mapping documents and regular checks made on progress.
  • In EYFS, assessment systems are used to track individuals and the cohort to ensure that progress through the ‘Letters and sounds’ scheme is appropriately challenging. Interventions are put into place for any children falling behind expected standards.
  • At the end of Year 1, children will complete the statutory phonics screening check. This will be administered by the Year 1 teachers. The results from this are used to plan all pupils’ next steps.
  • If children do not pass the screening check, additional support will be provided for these children in Year 2 to allow them to reach expected standards. They will then resit the test in Year 2.
  • In Years 5 and 6, reading progress is regularly monitored via Accelerated Reader. Teachers reflect on the books which pupils are reading and the progress which they are making. Teachers have conversations with pupils about their chosen books and guide them towards selecting books which are appropriate to their age and reading ability.
  • Teachers share attainment and progress with parents at parent meetings in November and February and in in end of year reports in July.


In a typical week at Charlton, children will:


  • Listen to at least one quality class story each day
  • Complete a book based activity once a week during our quiet time session
  • Use the Foundation Stage ‘Library’ system, supported by an adult
  • Read to an adult at least once a week, once they have been given a levelled reading book.
  • Read or share a book at least 2 times a week at home
  • Have a daily phonics session. 1 or 2 new sounds are introduced each week
  • Receive targeted phonics support, if identified as needing it to help make rapid progress
  • Encounter graphemes, books, labels, key and tricky words within the continuous provision (both inside and out)


Lower School

 (Years 1)

  • read to an adult at least once a week at school
  • have a daily phonics session
  • have at least one visit to the class library and read for a sustained period of time (building up to 10-15 minutes).
  • listen to a high-quality class reader daily for 10 minutes
  • have opportunities to read independently
  • read at least 3 times a week at home
  • if needed – will receive intervention sessions to help make rapid progress


Year 2 and 3 

  • have a weekly guided reading session (lasting 30 minutes)
  • have a weekly opportunity to complete tasks that enable pupils to respond to the texts they have read.


Upper School (Years 4-6)

  • have a reading skills lesson, centred around a class text
  • have experienced high-quality texts in curriculum areas
  • have time to read independently each day in Y4, Y5 and Y6
  • read at home for at least 20 minutes, three times per week
  • if needed – have received intervention sessions to help make rapid progress
  • where needed – read to an adult


Guided Reading Ideas- (from Teaching the Reading Curriculum , Oxford School Improvement)

Foundation children should:

  • listen to picture books in small groups, trying to accurately anticipate key events
  • be encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge to decode regular words
  • be encouraged to read common irregular words in context
  • read and discuss simple sentences in simple picture books
  • respond to what they have heard / read through discussion, actions and questions
  • be encouraged to share their understanding by talking to others about what has been read


Key Stage 1 children should:

  • read a range of short texts across the school year, in small groups, becoming familiar with traditional tales, poems and rhymes
  • read and discuss information books in small groups, ideally to support topic work
  • be questioned carefully in order to help them to make inferences and sensible predictions about what might happen
  • have regular discussions about what has been read and express their views
  • be encouraged to explain their understanding of what they have read
  • be encouraged to answer and ask questions about the shared text
  • learn to take turns and listen to what others have said in group discussions
  • be encouraged to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decoding words
  • read independently and aloud, texts which are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge
  • be taught to draw on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary when discussing a text
  • check that texts make sense to then as they read and be reminded to correct inaccurate reading


Key Stage 2 children should:

  • demonstrate accurate reading and good decoding skills. They should be able to make good attempts in pronouncing words that they might not have heard before.
  • build up to reading at a speed that is sufficient for children to focus on understanding rather than decoding
  • read silently and then be able to discuss what they have read
  • read a wide range of high quality texts, including stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, which are structured in different ways and which are read for a range of purposes
  • be taught to identify and discuss themes and conventions across a wide range of books
  • become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who are confident to discuss what they have read in small groups
  • use sessions to retrieve, record and discuss information from non-fiction texts
  • draw inferences about characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions and be able to justify and discuss these ideas with evidence from the text
  • have discussions about what might happen and make sensible predictions
  • discuss how language, structure and presentation of a text contribute to its meaning and the effect and impact this has had on them as a reader
  • have discussions about comparisons within and across different texts
  • be taught how to summarise the main ideas from one or more paragraph
  • be encouraged to ask questions to improve their understanding
  • be challenged to provide reasoned and full justifications for their views


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