High Ercall Primary School

KS1 Christmas challenge winner

Our school librarians reading with younger children

School librarians enjoying a book with a younger child.

KS2 Christmas challenge winner

At High Ercall Primary School we love reading! We value reading for enjoyment enormously, and we encourage all our children to read regularly at home and school. We want all our children to find books they enjoy, challenge themselves to read different genres, to find new authors and to read for different reasons. We want all our children to learn to read, and read to learn.


What does reading look like at High Ercall?

At High Ercall Primary school, we want all our children to become proficient and fluent readers. We encourage and support all children to have knowledge of and read a variety of genres and authors. This will enable them to become skilled and fluent readers, who can use and understand a wide range of vocabulary in their spoken and written language.

The intent of our reading curriculum is to:

- enable our children to build on and acquire new substantive knowledge, by progressively teaching both word reading and comprehension

- develop the disciplinary knowledge of reading and books, to ensure that our children have a breadth of understanding of literature

- follow the National Curriculum expectations for each year group

- deliver a curriculum accessible to all to enable children to know more and remember more, building upon their starting points

- recognise that literature also plays a key role in supporting the children’s development – culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually

Our curriculum has been built to include our key curriculum drivers:

- our school values, the 5Rs

- the role of active learning

- building our children’s understanding of diversity.

In their time at High Ercall, we ensure the children access a wide variety of literature and well mapped out books to support this broader development and disciplinary knowledge. In our curriculum we have also considered the journey of a child through the school, so that our curriculum is progressive even when a child remains in a class for 2 years. Each class has a two year rolling programme of both their reading curriculum and class books.

What do we want children to be able to do by the end of Year 6?

We follow the National Curriculum expectations for reading and expect that our pupils will have met or exceeded the expected standards for Year 6 pupils. Our reading targets extend to expectations in Year 7, both nationally and for our local feeder schools, to support transition into secondary school.

We expect our children to develop their substantive knowledge - word reading and comprehension are taught progressively as they move through school. Phonics is taught systematically through from Reception, and up into Year 3, if necessary, to enable the children to become skilled at rapidly decoding and recognising familiar words. There are clear expectations of the knowledge to be taught, which is set out in the curriculum for each year group, and reading targets set across school.

We expect our children to develop their disciplinary knowledge - their wider understanding of literature, genre and authors - to apply it to their understanding and enjoyment of reading

How will this support the children in lifelong learning?

It is essential that by the end of their time at High Ercall in Year 6, our pupils can read fluently, and with confidence to use these skills in any subject in their secondary education. It is also essential for us that our children have developed a habit of reading widely, for pleasure as well as information, and through this have acquired a wide vocabulary they can apply to all subjects – including writing and spoken language.


Implementation (see also English policy)

How is the curriculum for reading organised and how do we teach it?

All children read and are read to daily. Children in KS1 access phonics taught daily. The children in all classes will hear quality texts, they will read as a group, as a class, individually or with a peer. They read for pleasure, or for information within other subjects using library books.

Phonics is taught daily in KS1, using a systematic scheme created by Pearson Phonics Bug. The children are taught as a group in a 20 minute session each day. Some children have additional 'keep up' sessions in the afternoon to boost progress if needed. This includes the use of Precision Teaching - a tool that all have have had training in to target specific aspects of phonics to enable rapid progress. Over a half term, staff rotate around phonics teaching groups so that teaching staff teach all the children on rotation. There is clear planning in place for all staff to follow and use for ongoing assessment. 

Guided group reading is also taught daily. Children in Key Stage 1 read in a group with a member of staff at least twice a week. They read a text which matches taught phonics to ensure development of substantive knowledge and practise of taught phonemes. Some children will also read individually to teaching and support staff, to give additional support and opportunity to build knowledge and fluency. Across a week in guided reading, each child will take part in a variety of reading related activities designed to promote a love of reading, promote progress in reading and enable the children to access a variety of text types, including audio books. This will include a pre-read of texts and re-reading books from taught sessions to enable automaticity of taught phonemes.

Whole class reading: Children in Key stage 2 are taught reading daily as a whole class – with a focus on developing comprehension knowledge and vocabulary skills, through VIPERS. Some children will also be targeted for additional individual reading. All taught reading sessions use targets from the National Curriculum as teaching focus, and over the course of a year children cover all expectations for their year group. VIPERS is an acronym for: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise. These are planned and taught progressively to match the expectations of the National Curriculum. As part of our inclusive teaching and learning at High Ercall - all children access this high quality teaching, and support is used in class to target pupils who may need additional teaching.

Individual reading: Across school, some children will read additionally to adults on a 1:1 basis. This will build fluency, automaticity and confidence in applying substantive knowledge. For some children this will be word reading, and applying phonics knowledge, for others it will be using and applying taught aspects of comprehension. It is important at High Ercall that children with lower reading skills are given additional reading teaching on a 1:1 basis, as well as accessing the high quality teaching and learning in reading with their peers in the classroom.

During each week, children in KS2 will have time for DERIC (Drop Everything Read in Class). They may read individually, or to a partner, or read and recommend books to each other.

At High Ercall, there is a clear school long-term plan for whole class reading, including class novels for each term (or shorter for KS1) and other texts including poetry and non-fiction books. These are read daily with the children for enjoyment and discussion. This long term plan is reviewed annually to ensure there is a clear progression of vocabulary and texts, but also to take into account new texts published and content relevant across the curriculum. We are also building reading into each subject - and considering how reading filters across into all the curriculum. This is part of our action planning for 2022-23. Reading texts across the curriculum will be planned further into the long term plan.


Reading Schemes:

At High Ercall we use the following phonics and reading schemes:

• Pearson – Phonics Bug
• Project X for our more confident readers who are reading phase 6 and beyond.

All children in Reception and Key Stage 1 read texts which are matched to the teaching in phonics. In this way they can practise their word reading skills and apply the taught knowledge from their phonics lessons in both guided group reading and individual reading at home and school. Books are sent hone each week to read which also match taught phonics. It is important that children read and re-read books in order that they become fluent and confident in their reading. To supplement books purchased, children are also allocated online books.

We have also purchased Phonics bug as an online resource. Your child should have the username and password in their reading diary. For further information on this resource, look on the 'Phonics' page. Books are allocated online which match the taught phonics.

Once children are confident with their word decoding, and have successfully completed phase 6 in phonics, children choose individual readers which are colour coded, but also organised in genre. This enables the children to choose texts which match their word reading ability - but also supports their wider disciplinary knowledge of genre and the features of different text types.

Children with SEND

Our children with any additional needs access the same high quality teaching and learning in reading as their peers. Our curriculum is fully inclusive. They may also be supported through an Individual Provision Map with additional 1:1 reading or specific phonics teaching through a programme called 'Precision Teaching' or specific teaching in a small group about an aspect of reading comprehension.

Where necessary a differentiated curriculum is fully planned to take into account individual needs within the high quality whole class teaching. In reading, this could mean that a child:

- has a pre-teach reading session to support with vocabulary

- has extra time to process reading comprehension questions

- has TA support to articulate ideas and record responses

- uses phonics resources around the classroom to support decoding

This is monitored by our SENDCO - Sarah Roberts - and parents are fully engaged and involved.


How do we review learning in reading?

Reading in our school is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are accessing books of the right level and are being challenged in their reading.

If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making expected or more than expected progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Termly informal phonics assessments
  • Group reading records in KS1 and records of targets in KS2
  • Pupil reading diaries
  • Phonics screening results – Year 1
  • Book band colour – assessed using Benchmarking
  • Summative assessments
  • End of Key stage SATs results
  • Talking to the children about their reading progress
  • Lesson observations and feedback to teaching staff
  • Professional development for all staff
  • Parental response to school initiatives such as World Book day
  • Parent feedback

All of our staff, senior leaders and Governors are involved in measuring the impact of our reading curriculum in differing ways. This is planned through the School Development Plan, using our annual monitoring cycle and termly development plan to map out monitoring and review over the year.

Sarah Roberts, is our English Subject Leader. There is a clear monitoring cycle in place which evaluates reading teaching and learning, outcomes, pupil and parent voice. These outcomes feed into action planning to continually evaluate and improve our teaching and learning in reading.