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Reading Curriculum (Year 3 to Year 6)

Reading at Fox Hill: Years 3 through to Year 6

(with reference to KS1)


“Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.” – Barack Obama


Intent - What our children are going to learn 
At Fox Hill, we believe that all of our children can become fluent readers.  Through our systematic and synthetic phonics programme (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised), we aim for children to master reading and writing as they progress through the school.  This, in turn, will equip them with the toolkit needed to read for meaning and pleasure and for reading to become a lifelong, independent habit.


We value reading as a crucial life skill and it is our goal for all children to leave our school reading independently, confidently and for meaning.   We know that reading not only holds the key to the rest of the curriculum but also has a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.


The Department for Education (2023) highlight the importance of high quality, inclusive texts for all children, where vocabulary and content is accessible, yet ambitious. At Fox Hill, we pride ourselves on having a range of excellent texts from different genres. We have worked hard on developing the inclusivity of our reading offer our aim has been for all children to be able to ‘see themselves’ within their book corners, the school library, and within lessons, through the books we have selected. We hope, in turn, this dedication to developing our offer, alongside staff’s passion for reading being regularly shared, that the pupils at Fox Hill will regularly read for pleasure and enjoy all of the adventures books can take them on.


The two main foci for reading are:

The initial focus is primarily on the phonics skills of the children and being able to decode and blend sounds to read. This also includes alien words and high frequency words. However, fluency is much more than decoding. It is
how effectively children can identify and apply correct pronunciation seamlessly, the automaticity in word recognition, accuracy and prosody (intonation in language). 



This focuses primarily upon the reading skills children require to read for pleasure and to develop subject knowledge and broaden their vocabulary and understanding of what they have read. This requires children to draw links with others texts/ genres/ life experiences etc


Implementation - How we teach Reading at Fox Hill 

At Fox Hill, reading is fundamental to all areas of learning and threads itself throughout the whole curriculum. This means that the teaching of reading at Fox Hill is delivered in a variety of ways. These are described below. 


At Fox Hill, we focus on teaching reading to six key skills and strategies through our daily Whole Class Reading sessions. These are: retrieval, summarising, structure and organisation, prediction, inference and understanding vocabulary. Alongside these, we have four main methods we focus on to support with comprehension which are: visualising, making connections, questioning and evidence. This is currently from Summer Term Y2-6, with our EYFS and KS1 children working on Little Wandle. 


Whole Class Reading Sessions
Children in Year 3 and above have daily, thirty-minute whole class reading sessions.  These lessons will expose the children to a wide range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts.  The class teacher models reading the text with fluency, intonation and expression and the children get the chance to read parts of the text aloud through echo reading and reader’s theatre.  The children are explicitly taught and given the chance to practice seven key reading strategies (in conjunction with one another): decoding, exploring structure and organisation, predicting, inference, retrieval, summarising and understanding vocabulary. We also ensure that there is time dedicated each session to activate prior learning and to draw links between learning, including children's own experiences and wider curriculum areas. This approach has been developed and guided by research from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) which suggests that this method of developing reading has an excellent impact on pupil progress, as long as it also allows for children to explore more than one skill, strategy or method at once, looking at the wider context of the texts they explore.


Years 1 and 2 will do three reading sessions a week, following the Little Wandle programme. Once children reach Summer Term 2 of Year 2, they will transition on to our Whole Class Reading sessions (alongside Years 3-6) in preparation to KS2.


In KS1, children will initially answer questions orally about these by their teacher but will progress to more written responses in preparation for recording most reading lessons in books by KS2. 


Reading for Pleasure
There is time scheduled every day for reading for pleasure as a class, where the children are read to by the class teacher, or they have time to read their own choice of book.  Teachers choose class texts carefully, ensuring they are high-quality, language-rich and inclusive, as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Fox Hill Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.


Every class also has one session per week in the library to peruse the books and spend some time researching and deciding on their chosen texts. During this time, children will also do individual and/ or shared reading. This is in line with the Department for Education, Reading Framework (2023).


All children across the school take home a reading for pleasure book from the school library that they can share at home.  In Years 2 (those off programme) -6, these books are then quizzed on the Accelerated Reader programme. 


Throughout the year, children will experience in-person and virtual author and illustrator visits and workshops, and we are developing our links with the local library so as to further promote reading and this local service. 


Accelerated Reader Reading Scheme  

Our reading scheme allows children to take books home to read that are matched to their reading ability. We strive to ensure that every child is able to read to an adult at least once a week in school allowing us to monitor a child's reading ability and issue them with books accordingly. In EYFS and KS1, children will read with an adult at least three times per week in accordance with the Little Wandle reading scheme. The reading scheme follows a colour band system that children are able to progress through, both from a basic phonics level up to becoming a 'free reader' and choosing books from the book corner or library to take home and read. 


The Class Novel

Each class will be reading a class novel each half term. It will often, although not always, link to the curriculum learning that the children will be doing. We believe that reading to children is important for them to develop a love of reading and to be exposed to high quality reading from an adult. The class novel is read every day, in every year group. The books were chosen so that each class is exposed to a wide variety of different authors and characters from different cultural and religious backgrounds, as well as having a mixture of female and male authors and protagonists. We believe that ALL children should be able to 'see themselves' in the books that they are exposed to.


Reading at Home
Children who are learning phonics have access to an e-book of the reading practice text that they have been reading in class.  Once children are secure in their phonics knowledge they are able to choose an Accelerated Reader book from the school library or their class book corner.  We encourage children to read at home every day and each child is given a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.  Parents receive half-termly reading for pleasure book recommendations that they are able to borrow from the school library, where these diverse and high-quality texts are displayed for the children. 

Accelerated Reader can be accessed at home to build independence and reading for pleasure. This engages parents and carers as well as the pupils in their reading. 


We have created a parent/ carer reading guide to support with reading at home. There are some useful questions and prompts. You can find this in the documents below.


Daily reading both in school and at home is vital and the use of reading records to record the books a child is reading allows teachers to assess a child's reading ability through the use of colour coded reading books as well as their own professional judgement. 


Reading Council

At Fox Hill, we run a Reading Council, made up of dedicated and passionate readers. The children in our Reading Council work alongside our English Lead to promote reading across the school, listen to readers, undertake shared reads, and help develop the reading curriculum.


Additional Support
To ensure that all children leave Fox Hill as fluent readers, we offer support for children who need additional support in the following ways:

-First 20% are read with daily
-Keep Up support for those behind in phonics
-Access to Dyslexia Gold/ IDL programme primarily for children with SEND to support reading in a fun and engaging way
-Daily one to one reading with an adult or peer

-ABC to Read for a select number of children needing additional reading support

Parent/ carer guide to supporting reading at home

Reading Progression - Reception to Year 6


Reading is assessed in the following ways:

Statutory Assessment

Year 1: Children take part in the Phonics Screening check.

Year 2: Children are assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 1 SATs.

Year 6: Children are formally assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 2 SATs.


In School Assessments

Assessing Reading

In EYFS and KS1, children will be assessed in their phonic ability each half term which will inform the book that they use in their weekly reading sessions. At this level, children should be able to read books at 90% fluency.


In KS2, reading is formally assessed termly using PIXL tests. These are used to assess children's reading comprehension skills from Year 1 to Year 6. They also provide teachers with a detailed gap analysis to support with planning. Teacher assessment of these skills is used, but we also use the Salford Reading test that can be used to gain more specific assessment information. In addition to this Fox Hill use the Accelerated Reader Programme to assess and track the minutes read per day, words read over time and chronological reading age and progress.


Every term, teachers read one to one with a child to carry out a fluency and prosody assessment to monitor how fluently each child can an appropriately-pitched text.


Formative Assessment

Teachers continuously assess children’s attainment and progress during individual and whole class reading sessions.  Teachers are able to monitor progress by checking the levels of the quizzes taken by children on Accelerated Reader and their success rate in these quizzes.


Alongside this, all teachers use the Multidimensional Fluency Scale to assess children's fluency progression. These are updated on a termly basis and are reviewed alongside the English Lead.


By the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils will be able to read with accuracy, speed, confidence, fluency and understanding, ready to access the secondary school curriculum.  All pupils will make at least good progress from their starting points.  Pupils will leave Fox Hill ready to develop a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.