Ward End Primary School

Ward End Primary School

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Reading at Ward End Primary School

How we teach reading at Ward End Primary

It is our intent that every child at Ward End Primary will learn how to read fluently, to understand what they read with confidence and to discover a love of books.

Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

Children engage in daily phonic sessions following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP.

Little Wandle Reading Model

Reading practice sessions are regular opportunities to apply the phonics the children have learned by reading fully decodable books. The phonic progression in these books match the progression of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Reading practice sessions are scheduled three times a week and are carried out by a trained adult. Children are taught with books that match their secure phonic knowledge and read independently, while the teacher ‘taps’ into children to listen to them read.  

Focus and structure of the sessions

Children read the same book aloud in each of the three sessions with growing automaticity and accuracy. The pre-read and independent reading parts of the sessions are essential in providing the repeated practice needed for children to build fluency. Each session in this ‘three read’ model has a clear focus:  

  • Read 1: decoding 
  • Read 2: prosody – reading with meaning, stress and intonation 
  • Read 3: comprehension – understanding the text. 

Each of these sessions follows the same structure:  

  • Pre-read: Revisit and review. Aim: increased automaticity of GPC and word reading. This part of the session is short and pacy. The teacher ensures all children practise: reading graphemes, reading words with increased fluency, reviewing tricky words.The teacher teaches vocabulary words to the children.
  • Reading practice: Practise and apply. Aim: increased automaticity and fluency. This is the core part of the session: children read the book independently and the teacher ‘taps in’. This supports the teacher’s Assessment for Learning and ensures that the teacher encourages children to read with increased fluency. In Read 2 prosody is taught after the children read independently. In Read 3 there is time to explore comprehension after the children read independently. Teachers use the questions at the back of the book to support comprehension development. 
  • Review: Pacy review of any misconceptions. Aim: to address and errors or misconceptions. Teachers use Assessment for Learning from the reading session for a pacy review to address any errors with GPCs, specific words in the book or tricky words. Teachers use ‘Reading practice record sheet’ to keep track of children’s attendance and progress. 

In Reception and Key Stage 1, interventions are supported in class by identifying daily those children who need additional support. These interventions are carried out by trained teaching assistants. In addition, catch-up sessions are planned in response to monthly assessments. Phonics is also supported through daily opportunities of additional oral blending and using phonics to read new vocabulary.

Explicit Reading Instruction in Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, we teach reading explicitly and deliberately to build confident and eager readers.

Our ambitious reading curriculum introduces our children to a wide range of high quality writing that includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  Texts are carefully and intentionally selected to ensure that children encounter a wide range of rich and nourishing texts; ambitious and expressive language; a diverse range of authors and protagonists; and a broad selection of thought-provoking themes which encourage children to ponder deeply about themselves and the world around them.  They progress in complexity and challenge as children move through the school.

Whole class reading lessons are used purposefully to explain, model and practise key reading approaches used by skilled readers.  Our teaching seeks to use them as an opportunity to

 - intentionally build vocabulary

- support the activation and acquisition of knowledge as an aid to understanding

- encourage rich and empathetic discussion

- develop fluency

- understand the craft of a writer

- build mental models that make sense of text

- but, most of all, to emphasise the enjoyment of reading.

Lessons make liberal use of reading aloud by teachers and pupils to support understanding and fluency by expert modelling of prosody and phrasing.  We use the VIPERS model (in child-friendly language) to assist planning and assessment.  VIPERS questions are used intentionally at the end of lessons to check for understanding.

Reading for children who have difficulty with phonics or fluency

To read fluently, children need to be able both to decode with automaticity and accuracy and to use prosody to make sense of what they read.  Every Key Stage 2 reading lesson includes practice in prosody, for example through reading aloud, echo reading, performance reading or choral reading with the intention of deliberately building our children’s understanding of the rhythms of language and their comprehension of what they read.  This aspect of fluency is further supported by the Talk for Writing approach to writing.

The Accelerated Reader programme helps make sure that children are reading books that are matched to their current level of fluency.  Once they have been assessed, they are allocated a code which allows them to select books of an appropriate level themselves.

We recognise that some children may need still more help to read fluently at a level appropriate for their age. For children who struggle with fluency as a result of a deficit in phonics, we use diagnostic assessment materials from our SSP (Little Wandle) to pinpoint gaps in knowledge and address them using the Little Wandle rapid catch-up programme. 

The Little Wandle materials are used to measure fluency in Years 2 and 3.  Those with a fluency deficit are flagged up to class teacher for special monitoring during fluency practice in class (see above). 

In Key Stage 2, interventions are supported in class by the use of phonics teaching techniques when introducing new vocabulary and in reading and spelling across the curriculum.

Reading for Pleasure in Ward End Primary School

We understand that encouraging children to read for pleasure is too important to leave to chance and requires more than reading instruction. 

For children to enjoy reading, we need to develop children’s agency, their freedom to choose what, when, where and how to read as enshrined in the rights of a reader summarised by Daniel Pennac and Cressida Cowell.  This links to our work as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School.

We know that we need to build our teachers’ knowledge literature, our teachers’ knowledge of our children’s reading practices and to take connected and deliberate actions to build a school community with reading at its heart.   We therefore intend to provide:

  • Inviting spaces where children can browse and read, including the library and book corners.
  • Multiple books in book corners encourage children to read books alongside each other and have rich informal conversations about book.
  • Access to a diverse and inviting range of books representative of the community and offering access to the wider world.
  • Daily story time: teachers read aloud every day.
  • Assemblies, teachers’ doors, teachers’ emails and teachers’ bookshelves make recommendations and present teachers as reading role models.
  • Regular surveys monitor attitudes towards reading and improve knowledge of children as readers.
  • Reading journals and weekly library lessons provide insights into children’s reading practices.
  • Christmas book gifts ensures that children own their own books.
  • Reading linked to themes is part of every assembly.
  • Independent reading for pleasure time is available before school.
  • Reading displays in communal areas.
  • Meetings for parents stress that reading for pleasure supports attainment (this is a community of parents who value education).
  • In Early Years and Key Stage 1 parents are invited to a Little Wandle Phonics workshop to support learning at home.


 our reading for progress SPINE

Little Wandle Book Progression


Progress in Reading Nursery- Year 6

Progress in Drama Nursery- Year 1

Our reading for pleasure spine


Each class has a set of age-appropriate reading for pleasure books: texts that all children should experience during their time at Ward End Primary School. Texts are selected to ensure progressive, high-quality experiences for all children that promote reading for pleasure. These books are intended to be read and shared during library sessions, book talk sessions and read independently for pleasure. Choice of titles include 'hi-lo' (high interest, low threat) books, diverse themes, backgrounds and cultures and a combination of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Nursery Reading for Pleasure Spine

Reception Reading for Pleasure Spine

Year 1 Reading for Pleasure Spine

Year 2 Reading for Pleasure Spine 

Year 3 Reading for Pleasure Spine



Year 4 Reading for Pleasure Spine



Year 5 Reading for Pleasure Spine



Year 6 Reading for Pleasure Spine