Gilberdyke Primary

Intent: Reading


Reading Is the Window to The World

Reading has a critical place in education and in society. A high-quality education in reading will direct pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others; being a fluent reader also allows others to communicate with them. Through reading, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature plays a key role in such development. Reading is therefore given the highest priority at Gilberdyke Primary. We see it as the window to the world and it is at the heart of our whole curriculum, underpinning every subject area. Our reading curriculum covers all aspects of the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum.

Reading is such an important life skill that in order for the children to have the will to read and be able to read to learn, it is imperative we enable them to become independent readers who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for their next stage of their education. By teaching reading, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding, confidence, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals and to become literate members of society who engender a genuine love of reading. Our reading curriculum has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become fluent, confident and accurate readers as quickly as possible, regardless of their background, needs or prior attainment. Here at Gilberdyke, children will experience reading for purpose and for pleasure, applying their comprehension skills across the curriculum. Reading also plays a vital role in the Writing process and every writing genre begins with a high-quality text, acting as a stimulus to ‘hook’ the children in.

As soon as children walk through the door into our EYFS, they are immersed in a wealth of rich and diverse reading experiences and high-quality texts. To ensure that children receive broad and balanced reading opportunities, the diet consists of specifically selected books containing well-considered tier 2 vocabulary, reflecting a range of different contexts and themes which engage and excite children, develop their vocabulary and language comprehension, broaden their minds and enthuse their love of reading whilst building cultural capital. By the time they leave Gilberdyke, pupils will have had a wide and varied reading diet, filled with Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry; they will have experienced all of the wonders of reading and will have a desire to continue on their quest to discover new and wonderful worlds through the power of books.

Our robust approach to teaching Early Language Comprehension is carefully and systematically planned, using up to date research, so that children are taught a balanced approach to reading comprising of language comprehension and word recognition. At Gilberdyke, we follow the Little Wandle programme for Phonics and Early Reading development throughout EYFS, KS1 and beyond where necessary.


Phonics and Early Reading

At Gilberdyke Primary we have the highest expectation that children will become confident, fluent and proficient readers through our consistent implementation of our chosen Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme – Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. We follow this programme throughout EYFS and KS1 and until the children have the skills and fluency to access age-appropriate texts.

Our phonics approach delivers a high-quality systematic synthetic phonics programme of proven effectiveness, followed with rigour and fidelity so that children are taught consistently to use phonics as the route to reading unknown words. The pace of the phonics programme is maintained through high quality teaching and same day intervention, so that children become confident, fluent and independent readers. Children’s reading books show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know to support decoding skills and building fluency.

Foundations for phonics in Nursery

We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

• sharing high-quality stories and poems daily

• learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes

• activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending

• attention to high-quality language.

We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

• We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.

• Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.

• We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:

o Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.

o Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.

Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read

• Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

• We timetable daily phonics sessions for any child in Year 2 and above who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Rapid Catch-up assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Rapid Catch-up resources – at pace.

• These short, sharp lessons last 15-20 minutes daily and have been designed to ensure children quickly catch up to age-related expectations in reading.

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week

• We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:

o are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children

o use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids

o are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.

• Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

o decoding

o prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression

o comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

• In Reception these sessions start in Autumn 2. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.

• In Year 2 and KS2, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.

Home reading

• The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.

o Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.

o We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.

Additional reading support for vulnerable children

• Children in Reception and Year 1 and beyond who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.

Ensuring consistency and pace of progress

• Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.

• Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.

• Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.

• The Reading Leader and SLT regularly monitor and deliver coaching and practice sessions; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.

Whole Class Reading

Until children can read books which contain the appropriate level of vocabulary and comprehension themselves (independent decoding), the skills of Early Language Comprehension and Phonics are taught separately through whole class reading lessons so that pupils are supported to access a broad range of literature. High-quality stories, rhymes and texts are revisited and repeated through the breadth and balance of the planned curriculum and this builds familiarity, reinforces vocabulary, increases emotional connection and deepens understanding. In EYFS and Year one, there is a daily 15-20 minute whole-class reading lesson where adults read aloud to the children, giving them the opportunity to understand what is being read as well as listen to excellent use of expression and intonation. Children have a rich, broad and diverse reading diet and are exposed to many genres and a range of authors both ‘Old and Gold’ and ‘New and Bold’, as well as high quality non-fiction texts and poetry, the context for which have been driven by wider curriculum subjects and areas of study and/or the intended outcomes of Broad-Mindedness, Independence, Aspiration and Self-Assurance. Teachers often select texts from the Reading Spines, which have mapped core texts to promote children’s understanding of vocabulary, grammar, the world and global events, as well as improve their ability to communicate effectively. There is a heavy emphasis on explicitly teaching and revisiting unfamiliar and new vocabulary to support children’s Early Language Development. In EYFS, Children also have a daily ‘Rhyme Time’ and weekly poem from the ‘Poetry Basket’.

From Year two to Year six, children read everyday during ‘Whole Class Reading’ lessons. They have the opportunity to read individually, in pairs or in small groups once unfamiliar or challenging vocabulary has been discussed and the teacher has modelled how the text should be read. Throughout the week, the children read their core text, whilst also exploring a broad range of other genres. Once the text has been read, the children engage in taught activity which encompasses the breadth of study as outlined in the national curriculum, including opportunities for drama, recital and comprehension. Learning may be recorded and will often involve completion of a series of questions based on the reading domain skills to ensure the component knowledge has been learnt.

Whole class reading lessons in every year group from F1 to Y6 at Gilberdyke use the class text as a stimulus for approaching complex themes, challenging preconceptions or stereotyped ideas and sensitive subjects in a supported environment. The opportunity is provided for children to explore fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts which develop contextual knowledge and understanding whilst also providing opportunities to support learning in other areas of our wider curriculum.

Our whole class daily reading lesson structure from Y2-6 follows this structure:

Vocabulary Check – Teacher Models Reading -Child Reads – Retrieval – Questionning Strategies (following the Gradual Release Model)

At Gilberdyke Primary, we have created a positive reading culture whereby children love to read and do so for intrinsic motivation. There is a real buzz around school with both adults and children, with teachers being seen as readers and regularly sharing their own reading choices. This culture has been developed through:

• Upskilling adults in their subject knowledge of texts and regular ‘Book Clubs’

• Taking part in the English Hubs Transforming Schools Reading Culture Programme

• Reading aloud to children at least once a day.

• Providing time and space for children to share their recommendations and opinions (weekly ‘Book Club’ in every class, Recommended Reads Scrapbook and vote for your favourite book).

• Well-organised class libraries with a range of age-appropriate high-quality texts

• High priority given to books in our school environment, such as on displays and in ‘book nooks’

• Encouraging reading at home. Children take home books that closely match their independent reading abilities (Little Wandle fully decodable or fluency books), but also take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book from their class library.

• Reading ‘Bedtime Bag’ which is awarded to one pupil in every class to take home each week along with hot chocolate and cakes

• Super Seven set of core texts in each year group

• Weekly Stay and Read sessions in EYFS and KS1

• Links with the local Library- Fiction boxes, Poetry and Non-Fiction text boxes, extra books available in Goole library of Gilberdyke’s Recommended Reads and Gilberdyke Mobile library

• Author visits


A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our reading curriculum. The impact of learning is measured through daily formative and regular summative assessment. Children are assessed against key performance indicators with those who are not achieving in line with expectations being given intervention sessions in order to address any misconceptions and to allow children to progress with their learning.

Subject leaders monitor the effectiveness of the reading curriculum through carrying out regular evaluations and delivering weekly practice and coaching sessions. The effectiveness of our reading curriculum is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.

By the end of KS1, there is the expectation that all children will be fluent at decoding. Our phonics screen check score has been consistently above 90% in Year 1 and typically 100% by the end of Year 2.

By the end of KS2, the vast majority of our meet age related expectations for reading with a high proportion exceeding them. Our children are able to read with confidence, fluency and good understanding, drawing upon a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct. They have an interest in a wide range of reading materials and read spontaneously for enjoyment and pleasure. They read confidently to acquire information and acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.

Further Information

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Quotes from Year 6 pupils

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Quotes from Year 6 pupils

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Quotes from Year 6 pupils

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Quotes from Year 6 pupils

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Quotes from parents

‘The best thing about Gilberdyke is that we accept everyone for who they are – that’s the thing I’ll miss most.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils