Reading at Park

At Park Primary we aim for every child to develop the skills (our progression in reading strategies document) they need to become confident, fluent, independent readers, whilst igniting a life-long love of reading. We encourage the children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and relevant texts and to appreciate a wide range of authors and genres (our Reading Curriculum on a page document).

In order to achieve this, we use a systematic and developmental approach to teaching reading as outlined below.

  1. Systematic Phonics Programme

The school uses the Read Write Inc. (RWI) Phonics Programme for our children who are learning to read and write in Key Stage One, and as a catch up programme for children who need extra support in Key Stage Two.

  1. Reading Time

Reading Time sessions include a range of activities that allow the children to develop and apply their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills using a range of texts from different genres. The sessions include a mixture of both whole class and small group activities, with a focus on deepening understanding through questioning and high-quality conversation. We also develop children’s comprehension skills through the use of a scheme of work called ‘Cracking Comprehension’.

  1. Reading Books

Reading books are sent home every week.


Children start off by taking home a blending book which contains words with the sounds they have been learning in school. Once children can blend, they will then progress through the RWI Book Bag Books which are linked to their RWI phonics group. Children also take home a book from the book corner which a family member can read to them for them to enjoy together. Parents and school staff communicate about the children’s reading progress through writing comments in the children’s reading record books.

Key Stage One

The children take home an RWI Book Bag Book which is linked to the sounds they have been learning in their phonics sessions. These books are fully decodable. The children will also bring home a book banded reading book. These books may contain sounds that the children have not yet learnt so family members may need to help children read certain words.Taking home these additional books helps to broaden children’s exposure to different text types. To support the children with learning to read ‘Red Words’ (words that cannot be sounded out so have to be learnt by sight), children take home key word lists for them to practise reading. When they are confident with one list, they move onto the next. Parents and school staff communicate about the children’s reading progress through writing comments in the children’s reading record books.The children are also able to choose a book from their class book corner to take home and enjoy with their family members.

Key Stage Two

In Key Stage 2, when reading up to, and including, the white reading level, the children take home two reading books (one from the appropriate book band level and one from the Free Reader section which is a collection of fiction and non-fiction ‘real’ books that are not book banded). When children are beyond the white level, they may choose a Free Reader reading book which interests them or a reading book from the appropriate book banded level.

Order of the Book Band Levels











Lime/ Brown




  1. Comprehension

The comprehension of texts is taught in a variety of ways, including during the ‘Reading as a Reader’ week of the English Learning Journey, our daily reading sessions, Thinking Through Texts lessons and drama and ‘Cracking Comprehension’ sessions. All of these sessions focus on improving children’s understanding of written texts. Formal comprehension practice (answering test-style questions) is woven into parts of the English Learning Journey and the timetabled reading sessions.

  1. English Curriculum

At Park we know that reading and writing are completely interlinked. As such, our English Learning Journey focuses on the relationship between reading and writing. When children are introduced to a new text in English, time is spent analysing the author’s intent, understanding the text structure, summarising and clarifying the meaning of new vocabulary. This rigorous examination of different texts then works as a foundation for children’s own writing.

  1. Class Texts

We believe that it is vitally important that children hear high-quality books read aloud to them frequently. Class teachers read to their classes on a regular basis (at least 3x a week) and this is prioritised in our timetable. In the lower years, this may be one short picture book a day, and in the upper years, each class has a termly class reader chapter book which they work through over a number of weeks.

  1. Book Corners

We have created enticing and exciting book corners in every classroom, containing a limited number of high-quality texts with books and characters that represent our diverse community. Teachers have been working with their classes to sort through their book corners, ensuring each book is worth reading, and then creating a wishlist of new books, including a variety of genres and books with diverse characters.

  1. Reading for Pleasure

We want all children to love reading! We know that children who enjoy reading and choose to read regularly for pleasure have the best start in life. As such, we try to encourage reading for pleasure in a number of ways:

  • Pupils and teachers working together to research books for book corners (see above).
  • Parent volunteers coming in to read with children.
  • Teachers engaging with children’s reading through the use of reading records including recommending books to children.
  • Reading competitions, such as ‘Get Caught Reading’.
  • Taking part in reading activities, such as World Book Day.
  • Trips to the local library and taking part in author events.
  • Modelling reading for pleasure through a staff book club.
  • Books in the playground for children to read at break and lunchtime.
  • Sharing a wide range of excellent literature with the children throughout the curriculum.
  • Parents and carers of pupils in Lower School are invited in to read with their children on a regular basis.
  • PSA fundraisers which raise money for every child to receive a book from Santa.
  • Pupils who receive Star of the Term awards are presented with a book token. 

Useful Websites

Oxford Owl – There is useful advice and 100s of free ebooks, audio books and videos of stories being told by a storyteller. All you need to do is sign up, which is free of charge. Available on ipads too.

Reading for pleasure – please click on link for an article on the importance of reading for pleasure, as well as the many forms that it can take.

Ruthmiskin – please click on the link to view.

UKLA Promoting Reading for Pleasure – please click on link for an article on the importance of reading for pleasure.

Newham Library Services – the library services provides activities for young people as well as a wide range of books for them to use; free of charge.


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