Reading Policy

Revision History

Version Date Comments Review Date
6 Spring 2017 Approved and Issued Spring 2018
5 Spring 2016 Approved and Issued Spring 2017
4 Spring 2015 Amended, Approved and Issued Spring 2016
3 November 2006 Approved and issued November 2007
2 November 2005 Approved and issued November 2006
1 September 2005 First draft



To ensure that all pupils:

  • read confidently, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • use a range of strategies for decoding and understanding unfamiliar words using a progressive whole school approach to the teaching of reading
  • are familiar with the structure of fiction and non-fiction texts
  • who require additional support and intervention are identified through monitoring progress in reading and by assessing reading ages each term.
  • are immersed in a culture of reading by providing a rich language environment within the classroom and throughout the school.

The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.  Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words.  This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading when they start school, using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world.  Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.  All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.  Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.  Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

Throughout the school, pupils read aloud regularly to an adult.  As pupils begin to develop their reading, they are given books at an appropriate level which will allow them to practise and refine their skills.  As they move to become fluent and established readers, pupils are encouraged to select their own choice of reading material.  In both cases, the reading material is monitored by the class teacher or teaching assistant.

Teaching Reading –

Early Years.  On entry to Nursery, pupils are taught Phase 1 and Phase 2.  Reception pupils begin Phase 3 in September but will continue to reinforce Phase 2.  Phase 4 (Blending) is taught in the Summer term with Phase 3.  It is expected that all pupils will be secure at Phase 3 by the end of Reception.  Focussed intervention is delivered to pupils not secure at Phase 3.  In Spring Nursery pupils are given a home reading book (picture books to begin with) and a reading diary.  In Summer Nursery pupils that are ready receive a Guided Reading session by the Teacher and/or Teaching assistant.   Reception pupils are given a home reading book and reading diary in September, which is changed twice a week.  Each child receives a Guided Reading session by the Teacher and/or Teaching assistant each week.

Key Stage 1:  On entry to Year 1, pupils are taught Phase 5 (Phase 3 and 4 continues to be reinforced.  Year 2 pupils are taught Phase 6 in mixed ability groups, (Phase 3, 4 and 5 continues to be reinforced).  Focussed intervention is delivered to pupils not secure at their own year groups phase.  Each child receives a Guided Reading session by the Teacher and some pupils will also receive a Guided Reading session by the Teaching assistant.  Y1 pupils Phonic knowledge is assessed at the end of October and a statutory test (Phonics Check) is given in the following June.  Y1 pupils who do not pass the Phonics Check receive a focussed intervention in July.  Y2 pupils who have not passed the Phonics check are reassessed in December and those who still do not pass receive a focussed intervention in Spring.  If they do not pass the statutory Y2 Phonics recheck then pupils will be put on a Pupil Passport (SEN) with parental permission.

Key Stage 2:  Spelling is taught following the statutory requirements of the New English Curriculum.

The link between the Phonics Phases and Book bands can be found in Appendix 3.

At St John’s, pupils read their reading book at home with an adult on a regular basis.  Every child is given a reading record in which all reading with an adult can be recorded, both in and out of school.  Pupils are expected to have their reading book and diary in school every day.  In the Early Years books are changed twice a week, Key Stage 1 are changed three times a week and Key Stage 2 change them as required. Home reading books should usually be at the same level or a level below their Guided Reading level.

At St John’s reading is taught mainly through a daily 25 minute lesson of Guided Reading.  These lessons provide pupils with the opportunity to be taught the skills of reading in small groups which are led by the teacher or teaching assistant.  All pupils will be involved in at least one guided reading lesson per week.  During guided reading lessons, pupils are given the opportunity to read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts from different.

Reading is promoted and encouraged in a variety of ways:  Book Week, reading a class novel/book at the end of the day, theatre productions at school, story tellers at school e.t.c

Reading Policy Version 6 Spring 2017