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Woodvale Primary Academy

Reading

First and foremost, our aim is for all children at Woodvale to develop a life-long love of reading. We passionately believe in the importance of exposing our children to the wonders of the written word. As such, our children are immersed in rich, adventurous vocabulary, inspiring stories and fascinating texts. Reading is truly a tool for life, and it is through books and our language-rich classrooms that we teach the essential reading skills that our children will need to thrive in their own lives.  

Our children are entitled to a reading curriculum that enables them to: 

  • Develop a life-long love of reading 

  • Confidently read a wide range of texts with appropriate pronunciation, fluency and expression 

  • Appreciate the purpose and value of books and story-telling 

  • Gain knowledge of our wonderful, vast world 

  • Apply their reading skills to the wider curriculum 

  • Support and develop their writing skills 

  • Be prepared for the opportunities and demands of Secondary Education. 

We use Talk for Reading as a comprehensive framework around which we immerse children in books and teach them the key reading skills we know they need to become confident readers. To achieve this, from Nursery to Year 6, children experience a range of diverse characters, settings and themes through Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine.  

The value of talk 

At the heart of our reading curriculum is the value of oracy and discussion about literature. To support our children’s writing skills, talk is encouraged, practised, refined and improved in order to delve deep into each Talk for Writing text. Our teachers are excellent reading, speaking and listening role models who regularly read aloud a wide variety of texts, bringing each text to life and modelling expert practice. Our children are expected to speak and read aloud with accuracy, clear projection and appropriate intonation to engage and entertain their audience. Reading aloud is promoted throughout the curriculum and during our special ‘Shared Reading’ afternoon sessions. 

Progression of skills 

The long-term progression of reading skills learned, both within and across year groups, is set out in our whole school ‘Progression of Skills’ document. The planning and delivery of each text is then recorded on our ‘Teaching and Learning Sequence’ document where discrete lessons are logically sequenced. To ensure every lesson maximises learning opportunities, our ‘Essential Lesson Features’ document sets out the key elements of an outstanding Talk for Reading lesson our children deserve to be exposed to. 

Reading VIPERS 

Our reading curriculum ensures all National Curriculum skills are taught. We use the Reading VIPERS acronym (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise) to help teach each reading domain explicitly and repetitively to ensure our children understand, and are therefore able to apply, each of these. 

Individual reading books 

Children in EYFS and KS1 are taught a systematic phonics programme using ‘Letters and Sounds’ supplemented with the ‘Jolly Phonics’ mnemonics and actions to further enhance our provision. Based on their individual progress, children then read a book from our ‘Bug Club’ library which is organised into different stages of phonological knowledge. Further phonics intervention takes place to support pupils who have not yet passed the Year 1 Phonics test. Further details can be found in the 'Phonics' section of our website.

In Key Stage 2, our children are assessed using our Accelerated Reader programme using an online ‘STAR Reading’ test which determines their reading age and level. These tests are used throughout the year to assess and track their reading progress. Pupils then read a book from their appropriate reading level from our well-resourced KS2 Library before taking an online quiz about that book; this is designed to assess their comprehension of the text and inferential meanings within it. Our Accelerated Reader scheme allows children to become more independent in their reading and have more freedom in their choice of book, whilst being guided by a personalised reading range. Year group reading winners, who have read the most words cumulatively through the year, are announced and celebrated during our weekly Celebration Assembly

Reading and the wider curriculum 

To support children's learning and provide further opportunity, reading is incorporated deep into foundation subjects. We provide book boxes to support learning in these subjects and our children are encouraged to read and investigate these texts to further deepen their knowledge and understanding. We are also in the process of purchasing a reading spine of books to partner areas of the Foundation curriculum; these will be read during our foundation lessons and as part of ‘Shared Reading’ sessions. 

The impact of our reading curriculum is evaluated and quality-assured through external, internal and Trust moderation and through rigorous SEA visits, too. Also, reading is monitored through teaching, learning and pupil voice. 

All children achieve well by developing the key knowledge and skills they need on their reading journey through our school. Most children also achieve age related expectations and reach their full potential at the end of their year. This is equally demonstrated through outcomes at Key Stage 2 when children leave ready for a successful transition to secondary school. 

Children with SEND achieve the best possible outcomes and are carefully monitored by the SENDCO, SLT and our reading co-ordinator.