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.


What does reading look like at High Ercall?

At High Ercall Primary school, reading is at the heart of all that we do. We encourage and support all children to have knowledge of and read a variety of genres and authors. This will enable them to become lifelong, avid readers, who can use and understand a wide range of vocabulary in their spoken and written language. Our reading curriculum enables our children to build on and acquire new substantive knowledge, and so we progressively teach both word reading and comprehension, following the National Curriculum expectations.  We recognise that literature also plays a key role in supporting the children’s development – culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually, which link to our key curriculum drivers: our 5Rs and the 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.

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 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.

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 in some 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, following Letters and Sounds using Phonics Bug. The children are taught in mixed age groups, according to ability within the different phases of phonics. Each child has a 20 minute taught session each day. Some children have additional catch up sessions in the afternoon to boost progress if needed. Staff rotate around 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

Whole class or 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. Some children will also read individually. Across a week, 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.

Children in Key stage 2 are taught reading daily as a whole class – with a focus on developing comprehension 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 2014 as teaching focus, and over the course of a year children cover all expectations for their year group.

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 to 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.

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.

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.

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.


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. At the same time we provide books to ensure that children read for pleasure and learn to love 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
  • Lesson observations and feedback
  • 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.