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Northbourne ce
Primary School

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At Northbourne Church of England Primary School, reading is a priority and a key driver for our curriculum, allowing pupils to access the full curriculum on offer. Therefore, we have a dedicated Reading and Phonics Lead.

It is our intention to ensure 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. Our aim is that through reading, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We intend for reading to feed children’s imagination.

We therefore intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction texts and different genres, to develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live and to establish an appreciation and love of reading. Children will acquire knowledge across the curriculum and build upon what they already know and develop their comprehension skills through a range of high quality and immersive texts, which provide challenge. We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material and stimulating learning environments throughout Northbourne CE Primary. We aim to ensure reading is embedded within meaningful contexts across a range of subjects and that robust assessments of reading are carried out through both summative and formative data, where teachers can use moderation to secure judgements. 


The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout the EYFS and Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught using the Little Wandle Phonics Letters and Sounds Revised Scheme. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not passed the phonics screening in Year 1. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, that represent them using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels and as soon as needs are identified, following the keep up materials from Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Reading skills are given a high priority throughout, using reading sessions delivered three times a week, in EYFS and Year 1, focussing on word decoding, prosody and comprehension. Parents are informed of pupil’s progress with these texts, using reading contact books. In Term 1 parents/carers are invited into school for a meeting to introduce the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme and progression of Early Reading. Children take home a phonics book matched to their current phonics knowledge and are encouraged to complete the appropriate activities with parents/carers, to support with the development of their decoding, prosody and comprehension skills using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme.

At Northbourne CE Primary when children have completed Little Wandle Letters and Sounds, in Reception and Year 1, they then move on to our sequential, levelled reading scheme books, which are linked to their current abilities and next steps identified. Therefore enabling children to develop their skills further and develop their confidence and enjoyment of reading. This is usually in Year 2. Our reading scheme has a broad range of genres and non-fiction/fiction texts from a variety of publishers. Once children are confidently reading, they move on to Reading Pro books. This generally happens in Year 3. At Northbourne CE Primary we ensure all texts are accurately matched to pupil ability, as all books within the Reading Pro scheme are sorted in to Lexile’s, to ensure progression and challenge for all children.

Reading Pro is a programme which matches a range of books to children’s comprehension skills and usually begins when children enter Key Stage 2. Once a book is completed, all pupils complete a Reading Pro assessment to check their comprehension and inference skills. It is of high importance that pupils answer questions about these texts in order to ensure that they have understood them and can make deductions and analyse a range of texts.

At all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils. The reading curriculum is evaluated through analysis of Little Wandle Phonics Letters and Sounds Revised termly assessments, Salford reading age assessments, termly 60 word checks and Reading Pro assessments throughout Key Stage 2. All teachers and the Reading Lead use the Reading Pro reports generated/Little Wandle Assessments and 60-word checks/Salford Reading Age assessments to identify teaching approaches that will address the areas of need for individual or groups of children. The Reading Lead works with teaching staff to support with identifying low progress and setting targets.

Whole class/group quality texts are carefully selected by teachers, with the knowledge of how they link to other areas of the curriculum and link to termly planning. These texts are also selected taking in to account their appropriateness to the children’s age or reading skills and pupils development in their reading progression skills. This approach ensures books are always at the heart of the curriculum. Reading skills are taught through whole class reading time, individual reading and DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read). DEAR time is a daily expectation for at least 15 minutes. During this time teachers can model reading with fluency and enjoyment and hear individual readers.  Children can read individually, read to a peer, listen to a peer or a child can read to a group or the class. In Key Stage 2 teachers are expected to share a chapter book with pupils for pleasure. In all year groups teachers read to pupils regularly and time is put aside for daily reading.  Visits from local authors are invited to speak to EYFS, KS1 and KS2 children about the process of becoming an author and lead workshops to encourage reading for pleasure and writing their own books.

At Northbourne CE Primary we use Literacy Shed resources and planning tools to support with the delivery of a rich and varied English Curriculum. Units chosen offer opportunities for book studies and throughout the Literacy Shed plans, there are opportunities to use VIPERS activities. The book studies aid the discussion of texts in small group or whole class reading sessions.  Teachers can use VIPERS questions for each section of the texts used. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading.

VIPERS stands for:

Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequence or Summarise

Classes in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 have a book corner with a variety of genres to promote reading for pleasure. Key Stage 2 classes celebrate reading through displays within the classroom. Reading is celebrated in classes. At Northbourne CE Primary the Reading Lead undertakes Reading Pupil Voice with pupils throughout the school to monitor children’s enjoyment, the use of DEAR time and reading skills.


The Reading curriculum at Northbourne CE Primary will inspire children to discuss their learning in reading confidently with others. Children will speak and listen with enjoyment through spoken word, poetry and performance and engage with a variety of genres. It will ensure all children can read easily, fluently and with good understanding. Children will appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage. When children leave Northbourne CE Primary they are readers for life and show a great enthusiasm for reading. 

Children at Northbourne CE Primary will use a range of different effective and efficient support strategies such as phonics, thesauruses and dictionaries to support reading new words and vocabulary. Children will read diligently as part of the Phonics Little Wandle Scheme, book banded schemes and Reading Pro and take pride in their progress. They use the SPAG tools in a confident way to decode prosody when reading. Children use their literacy learning confidently and enjoy reading for pleasure.  Children are aware of and use a range of strategies and questions to support with their comprehension skills, using VIPERS. Children will feel confident and prepared to use literacy in the next steps of their learning journey.  

Summary- A systematic approach to teaching phonics (LWL&S) is resulting in strong phonics outcomes. Pupils are learning to decode and encode quickly and successfully thereby providing a firm foundation for further learning. Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Reading results are very strong.

 DEAR Time- Drop Everything and Read

During this dedicated time each day, children will be provided with opportunities to read for enjoyment by …

  • Sharing a book with a friend
  • Reading silently on their own
  • Listening to a friend read
  • Listening to a whole class story read by the class teacher
  • Listening to a friend’s story as a class

Home reading with Little Wandle & Scholastic Reading Pro

During the Early Years Foundation stage and Year 1, children will explore books for pleasure and develop their discussions around stories, predicting events, describing characters and what they can see. Children will begin to take home reading books that are phonetically matched to their Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised learning. Home reading helps to develop their decoding and blending skills, their love of reading and encourages their reading fluency.

Please read with your children as often as you can.

Reading Pro

Reading Pro is a program which matches a range of quality books to children’s comprehension skills and usually begins when children enter Key Stage 2. Each time your child finishes a book they can complete a Reading Pro test on that specific text, via the scholastic website. These tests establish how well they have understood the plot, events and context of the book. Scholastic Reading Pro helps adults and pupils to track and assess a child's understanding of the texts they are reading and helps with inference, deduction and text analysis.

Northbourne CEP School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all Governors, staff, volunteers, parents and carers to share this commitment.