We want our pupils to develop a love of reading that will be a lifelong pleasure for them.  In order to ensure that our children become fluent and confident in this crucial life skill, we make reading a key focus from the moment our children join us. Our main aims are:

-To ensure that children can read with fluency, accuracy and understanding.

-To develop an understanding and appreciation of literary, non-fiction and non-literary texts.



Teachers plan discrete reading lessons, as part of their English planning, where texts or excerpts from texts are studied and a progression of reading skills are taught. Objectives are made explicit. Pupils know which reading skill is being practised.

Each classroom has a selection of books in their classroom which are directly linked with class topics. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.

Children also benefit from daily guided reading sessions, where the teacher can highlight specific skills to be taught to differentiated groups of children. Pupils are able to demonstrate their understanding.

In Reception and Year 1 (and Y2 at Warthill) Read, Write Inc is used to form these sessions. This is a synthetic phonics programme produced by Ruth Miskin. Read Write Inc is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. As part of this, children have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.

In higher year groups, pupils develop reading strategies and comprehension skills through a series of adult led and independent reading activities.

Daily phonics sessions are planned and delivered in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes (when applicable) to ensure all pupils are able to decode to a high standard by the time they leave Year 1.

Reading for pleasure

We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.

We take part in national initiatives such as World Book Day, Secret Reader and Pyjamarama, and run our own initiatives in classes and within the whole school to promote the importance of reading.

Every teacher reads a class story/novel to their class weekly or more frequently, as appropriate; this has three main aims:

-It allows teachers to model fluent reading.

-It allows some children to access a higher level of story than they could access themselves.

-It supports our reading for pleasure ethos.

-We also provide opportunities throughout the year for children and parents to buy books through second hand sales and Book fairs.

Reading Schemes

Both schools use reading schemes matched to our phonics schemes, which supports children to develop their reading skills at school and home. Developing readers take home books which match the phonics stage they are working at, alongside books which help them develop other reading skills. This enables the children to access a wide range of genres and text types. Adults listen to individual readers at least twice a week and those who are more able readers in KS2 at least weekly.

Regular practice allows children to develop their reading skills as well as enjoying a wide variety of texts and discovering the pleasure and excitement of reading. Planners are used to record and enable home-school links. Teachers use these notes to tailor support in school.

Pupils progress through a series of RWI books and then move on to progressive colour book bands, before becoming a ‘free-reader’, at Warthill.

At Sand Hutton, children use a selection of books which help them progress through the colour book bands form lilac to brown before becoming a ‘free reader’.

Once children have progressed on to ‘free readers’ there is a large selection of books for children to choose from and they are encouraged to read a variety of text types and books by different authors by adults in school.

The Environment

The School Library is available to all classes. Adult helpers and Librarians ensure this environment is well cared for-attractive and engaging through the use of competitions and initiatives.  

Class libraries are well stocked and updated frequently. They offer a range of genres and authors. Staff assist pupils in selecting texts to broaden their reading. Staff use a range of strategies to signpost children to new material and texts they may not discover or select by themselves. Examples include adult and cross federation recommended reads and top reads. Pupils are involved in this process to give them ownership.  

Reading is on display in school and in classes. For example, pupils use interactive displays to engage with new authors, celebrate texts and find out more about a topic.

Additional support

Pupils in need of additional support are identified early and support is put in place swiftly. For those children who join us without the requisite reading skills for their age we have a range of strategies to use to help them to improve. These include:

-Regular discrete, interactive phonics session

-1:1 work with class reading volunteers

-Focused 1:1 or small group intervention work

Pupils who do not achieve the standard in the Phonics Check in Year 1 are given additional support in Year 2 and beyond.


 Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

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Sand Hutton Primary School
North Yorkshire
YO41 1LB
01904 468308

Warthill Primary School
North Yorkshire
YO19 5XL
01904 489296

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