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Reading Curriculum – Intent, Implementation, Impact


‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.’ Dr Seuss


This document has been put together using the EEF Implementation Guidance Report

This curriculum is designed for reading sessions across the school. This does not include how we teach phonics (please see separate document). Reading is taught every day, to the whole class. The DfE Reading Report (2023) and OFSTED’s English Research report have supported us to shape our curriculum.




Our curriculum is based on the principles that Reading comprehension = language comprehension x decoding.

Decoding includes phonics and fluency. Language comprehension includes listening comprehension situation models, comprehension monitoring, inference, text structure, vocabulary and background knowledge.


Having a balanced and consistent reading curriculum across the school is of paramount importance as it provides a cohesive and unified approach to reading instruction. A balanced curriculum ensures that students receive a wide range of reading experiences, including exposure to various genres, themes, and literary styles. Consistency in the curriculum allows for seamless progression as students advance through the school, building upon previously acquired knowledge and skills. Moreover, a consistent approach fosters collaboration among teachers, enabling them to share best practices, resources, and assessment data, ultimately leading to improved student outcomes. A well-structured, balanced, and consistent reading curriculum sets the stage for nurturing a love for reading, enhancing comprehension, and empowering students to become lifelong learners and critical thinkers.


This reading curriculum is informed by the latest research on learning how to read and read fluently. It integrates evidence-based practices, such as phonics instruction, vocabulary development, and comprehension strategies, to build a strong foundation in early reading skills. By incorporating findings from literacy research, the curriculum ensures that students receive targeted support and tailored interventions to enhance reading fluency and comprehension, maximising their overall reading proficiency and academic success.


Intent: We aim to..

At North Petherton Community Primary School, we believe reading is an essential life skill and reading lies at the heart of our curriculum.

The primary objective of our reading curriculum is to foster a love for reading, develop fluency and comprehension strategies, and nurture a deep understanding of various texts among our young learners. By employing a diverse range of extracts and novels, along with fluency sessions and thoughtful questioning techniques, we aim to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that empowers students to become lifelong readers and critical thinkers.

Our Goals and Objectives

· Foster a love for reading by listening to and interacting with a variety of literature (including picture books), non-fiction, and poetry.

· Ensure that children are fluent readers as dysfluency is often the underlying cause of poor comprehension.

· Provide plenty of opportunities for children to discuss and build meaning from the texts they read.

· To know where each child is and needs support with their reading by having a consistent approach to assessing reading and intervening where required.

· Build on children’s vocabulary by having a vocabulary-rich curriculum that builds on prior knowledge.


· Implementation – How do we plan to achieve our aims?

We view reading as an entitlement for all, and we understand that reading is key to academic success. By centring reading at the core of our curriculum, we are instilling in children an understanding that reading is a transferable skill that will benefit them in all subjects. We ensure that children read within & outside of reading lessons, where they

can read for a range of purposes: Reading for Practice (learning to read), Reading for Meaning (reading to learn) & Reading for Pleasure (reading for enjoyment). These are our key concepts.

Here is a list of our active ingredients for each of our key concepts:

Reading for Practice (Learning to read)

A systematic approach - In Foundation Stage and KS1 we use a systematic synthetic phonics programme called Essential Letters and Sounds.

Daily reading practice - In Foundation & KS1, all children read aloud daily during phonics or group/whole class reading and throughout other subjects.

In our commitment to providing the best educational experience for all children, it is essential that we prioritise regular reading. To ensure that every child's needs are met, we have established a structured approach:

All children will be heard and listened to by an adult at least once a week.

For the lowest 20% of students who require additional support, they will be listened to every day.

Each child is expected to read at home five times per week. Teachers are expected to enforce the expectations and monitor each day.

Support to catch up - Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment in phonics & assess fluency using DIBELS to identify those who may need additional support. Children in Year 2 – Year 6 are assessed on their phonics every term. In EYFS and Year 1, Children requiring phonics intervention are carefully planned for by assessing their individual gaps and using the ‘Phonics Tracker’.

Access to appropriate books - We recognise the importance of reading at home to practice and embed reading skills. In Foundation and KS1 phonically controlled books are sent home to match what sound is being learned in school. In KS2, phonics books are accessed by those still requiring the scheme. For others, books in the library are banded by age-appropriateness and text difficulty (using accelerated reader) and children freely choose these books. Teachers monitor choices to ensure texts are appropriate for reading abilities and appropriately challenging.

Home reading tracking - Home reading is carefully tracked using reading records. Children in Foundation and KS1 work through a wide variety of books at their own pace and teachers closely monitor their progress. In KS2, children independently record their reads and teachers monitor frequency & book choices.

Extra reading for the bottom 20% in Years 1 and 2- Children in Years 5 and 6 listen to children to our struggling readers in KS1 every day.

Reading for Meaning (Reading to learn)

Clearly structured lessons - Our curriculum is well-organised with distinct lesson structures. In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Year 1, we provide high-quality phonics instruction alongside daily shared reading sessions. In Years 2 through 6, we conduct daily whole-class reading sessions. In Year 2, our primary focus is on fluency sessions since addressing dysfluency is a key factor in improving comprehension. Throughout Year 2 and Key Stage 2, we also incorporate other valuable sessions, including close reading sessions, shared reading sessions, and Extended Read sessions. During these sessions, we teach children comprehension monitoring strategies such as summarising and predicting. These sessions involve a range of genres such as novels, picture books, poems and non-fiction. Syntax and a variety of text structures are taken into account when choosing texts.

In Year 2 and Key Stage 2, we teach reading in whole class sessions where no child is left behind. Whole class reading is taught for 35 minutes every day. The Class Novel is read to the children for 15 minutes every day. It is always read by the teacher. We invest in class sets of books so children can read along with the teacher at this time. Children look at these sessions in our Extended Read sessions. Our aim at North Petherton is that we are always reading the text TO the children, not AT the children. There are no SATs style questions, rather rich discussions on the over-arching themes of the text.

Our ‘Close Read’ sessions are based on the wider curriculum. These sessions are also 35 minutes long. More often than not, these sessions link to topics such as Science, History, Geography or PE. Sometimes they will link to what the children are writing about in English. The aim of these sessions is to cover pivotal knowledge that the children need to access the wider curriculum. For example, if you are teaching cricket in PE in the afternoon, your morning guided reading session may be on the rules of cricket. This means in the afternoon; you have more time for children to be active in the PE session. On some occasions, children will also read about relevant current events (for example the Women’s World Cup) or explore poetry and other types of literature in these sessions.

Daily Vocabulary Instruction - Children take part in 5 minutes of vocabulary instruction each day. This includes exploring the most relevant tier 2 vocabulary words and the exploration of Latin and Greek root words. Tier 3 vocabulary is taught in foundation subjects.

Comprehension monitoring – We teach comprehension monitoring in Key Stage 2. Comprehension monitoring is the active process of assessing and enhancing one's understanding of a text while reading, involving strategies such as summarizing key information, making predictions, asking questions, and revisiting portions of the text for clarification. This skill is essential across the spectrum of reading activities, from foundational learning to academic study and recreational reading

As part of our instructional strategy, a brief yet impactful test technique is implemented for a duration of five minutes at the commencement of foundation subjects. This targeted approach is designed to engage students in the practice of retrieving information swiftly. The questions employed in this technique are intentionally varied in style, offering a diverse range of formats that mirror the types of questions encountered in standardised assessments. By familiarising children with different question styles, we aim to not only enhance their ability to retrieve information efficiently but also to instil confidence and familiarity with the standardised assessment format, ultimately contributing to their overall academic preparedness.

In our approach to fluency sessions, we place significant emphasis on the inclusion of non-fiction books to augment background knowledge. Non-fiction texts serve as valuable resources, offering insights into diverse subjects and fostering critical thinking skills. By incorporating these materials, we aim to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the world, enhancing their ability to navigate academic challenges and navigate a dynamic global landscape.

Reading For Pleasure (Reading for Enjoyment)

Access to quality books - Across the school, children are offered high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world. Our classrooms all have book corners, and our libraries are well stocked. In KS2, where children make choices more independently, the English lead supports by providing additional support and recommendations when needed. Resources for learning and non-fiction books are displayed around the classroom for children to enjoy.

Strong vocabulary development – High-quality texts and passages are chosen in reading lessons, appropriate to the expectations of year groups or abilities of children. Vocabulary is explored and developed as we meet the words as we read the text.

Reading across the curriculum - Teachers provide opportunities to read in different subject areas, to further their understanding of topics (e.g., in science).

Allocated time for free reading - We recognise that to develop a lifelong love of reading, reading for pleasure should be encouraged, modelled and celebrated. In Foundation & KS1 children make use of book corners to select books for pleasure. In KS2, children are given Reading for Pleasure time, in which they can read books of their choosing or explore texts that teachers have selected for them to try. This encourages children to make new choices.

Essential story time - Teachers read to children in all classes, and story time is a key part of the day. In Foundation and KS1, children have a daily reading session where books are chosen together to be celebrated and enjoyed. In KS2, children help select class reading texts, which are read to children for 10 minutes daily.

Picture book assembly – Each week, the English lead reads a story to the whole school in assembly. These books are diverse and link to what week is being celebrating around the world.

School values assembly – Each week, the headteacher reads a book that is linked to our school values.

Poem a day – Each day, a poem will be shared in each class by either a child or a teacher

‘Come in and read’ sessions with parents- Each half term, parents will come in and visit each class to share a book with their child.



Impact – How will we know if we have achieved our aims?

By engaging in and listening to high-quality texts, children display enthusiasm for reading and choose to read for pleasure.

As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments, and essential skills allow children to transition confidently.

Children read for meaning and for pleasure; staff enthusiastically share texts and show themselves as readers; and parents/ visitors actively support us.

Children choose books for pleasure, entering a wide range of worlds that reading opens up and immersing themselves in topics of interest in lessons & beyond.

Children read in other subject areas and as a result their skills are enhanced & understanding of the world increased.

A high number of children achieve the expected standard or higher, and through target intervention, those who find reading challenging are helped to catch up.

In addition, we will use these assessments to support our judgement:

· Fluency assessments (start of each term)

· Engagement in class discussions

· Phonics assessments (start of each term where required)

· NFER tests

· End of key stage tests

· STAR reader/AR quizzes

· Teacher assessment


Ongoing evaluation and adaptation are crucial components of our approach to ensure the effectiveness of our reading curriculum at North Petherton Community Primary School. To continually assess the impact of our program, we regularly collect and analyse data from various sources, including fluency assessments, class discussions, phonics assessments, standardised tests, STAR reader/AR quizzes, and teacher assessments. These assessments provide valuable insights into student progress and help us identify areas for improvement. Additionally, we maintain an open feedback loop with our students, teachers, and parents to gather qualitative insights into the reading experience. Through this ongoing evaluation process, we aim to adapt and refine our curriculum to address evolving student needs, align with the latest research and best practices, and ensure that we continue fostering a love for reading, strong comprehension skills, and lifelong learning habits among our students. Our commitment to adaptability and continuous improvement is central to achieving our educational objectives. We will use the DfE Reading Report and OFSTED report on reading to support ongoing evaluation.