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Reading at Newlands Primary School


At Newlands, we value Reading as a vital life skill and aspire to make every child a reader. We consider reading to be about fully immersing children in texts and exploring all aspects of reading through fun, well planned activities. ‘Book talk’ and sharing books plays an important role in the daily reading diet we provide for our younger children and this dedicated story time continues right through Key Stage 2. Through this we can expose children to new texts beyond their reading experience and widen their vocabulary, allowing them to develop the ‘language of books. We are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers with a rich and varied knowledge of different texts from their time with us. We do this by implementing the following:


  • Daily Reading sessions in every class guided by enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers and staff members. In the early reading stages this will be approached through ‘Book talk’ sessions designed to develop verbal comprehension of knowledge of text structures
  • Wide exposure to different texts across the curriculum for ALL children
  • Opportunities for children to develop and demonstrate their understanding and thinking about what they have read
  • Access to a wide range of reading books from Reception to Year 6
  • Every classroom contains topic books directly linked to our Learning Challenge Topics to help support and encourage independent research and provide an opportunity for children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum
  • Every classroom has an inviting, comfortable and stimulating Reading Area with a range of books to suit ALL abilities within the class so all children can access a book for pleasure.
  • Children are read to daily by their class teacher, providing an opportunity for all children to enjoy a story at the end of the day. This could be a text chosen by the teacher or a recommendation from the children themselves. This can be linked with Learning Challenge Topics but is not explicit
  • Children who are not yet ‘Free Readers’, will work through our school reading scheme – these start with decodable books which match the children’s current phonics knowledge and move into banded books that develop fluency skills in age appropriate books.
  • Those children who are not reading at age related expectations will be supported reading intervention which may include small group or daily 1:1 reading with our skilled staff members – these children will be assessed whilst reading for fluency, accuracy, speed, comprehension and decoding (based on their current attainment.)
  • Every year the school has a World Book celebration. This is a whole school approach to encouraging children to read with different activities such as a dress up day, a big read with the adults in school reading to the children, decorating the classrooms doors, a book swap, visiting authors and design competitions. It is an interactive, fun opportunity for children to be immersed in texts and helps develop the enjoyment of reading for all.
  • Opportunities to pre-teach vocabulary for children that will benefit from warming up the text to build confidence and aid comprehension in class.



Teachers are provided with time during weekly PPA sessions to plan and assess reading sessions for their class. They must plan a sequence of lessons containing:

  • A cycle of Reading lessons, differentiated to suit the needs of ALL learners
  • Lessons that are based on the objectives from the National Curriculum, which we have used to develop Newlands Reading skills progression, as well as meeting a range of different content domains
  • Use of content domains explicitly taught in lesson and around school – identifiable through cartoon images and colours
  • Teachers to plan questions to deepen and extend thinking of all learners
  • Use of a wide variety of different text types to engage learners of all styles and create well rounded readers
  • Opportunities to discuss unknown vocabulary in texts that we read – teachers plan for this by reading texts beforehand and identifying tier 1, 2 and 3 words that may need explicit pre-teaching for some or talking about in lessons as a class
  • Creation of word banks to support encountering new vocabulary and extend our readers arsenal of word choices
  • Fun activities that will enthuse children and help excite them about reading
  • Opportunities for ALL children to read aloud in class

Teachers assess regularly in class against Reading skills progression from Years R-6 and have opportunities to moderate judgements in phase teams at termly intervals. In addition to this all children, where needed Reading Age and Comprehension Age tests are used to assess and help identify any gaps in knowledge.



Through the teaching of 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. We implement key interventions to support those children that do not achieve this (for whatever reason) and have a whole school goal of all children leaving us being able to read fluently. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two as well as termly NFER testing in Years 3-5. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 as well as termly phonics assessments using our systematic synthetic phonics programme.


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. We give all children the opportunity to enter 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 to review their books objectively and know that their voice and opinions matter. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles and instils the knowledge that our children are confident and competent lifelong readers.


Click on the picture for more information on what Reading looks like at Newlands Primary School.