With the introduction of the new National Curriculum, a huge emphasis is being placed on reading, particularly reading for enjoyment.


Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions (including story time), whilst children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. Children have daily literacy lessons with an emphasis on real texts. Daily discreet phonics lessons in FS and KS1 enable children to decode efficiently. This is continued in KS2 where necessary. Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention and differentiated class teaching. Reading skills are developed across the curriculum.

In Reception, children are introduced to the conventions of books, left to right, regarding the illustrations as an integral part of the story, turning pages etc. They build a sight vocabulary from the structured scheme whilst following the Letters and Sounds programme. The Letters and Sounds scheme focuses on phoneme/grapheme recognition and the strategies of blending to read and segmenting to spell.

Guided Reading

Weekly Guided Reading sessions allow children time to read in a small group, supported by a teacher or teaching assistant. Children will read more challenging texts and will engage in discussion to develop comprehension skills. These books are not sent home, but remain the main source for the teacher to assess ongoing reading ability alongside termly tests.

Guided Reading is about understanding and comprehension, not just decoding. Reading for comprehension involves work based on the ability to recognise and recall literal features, organisational features and inferential features.

When a group is not reading with an adult, they will be given reading related tasks to complete. These may include comprehension activities, review style tasks, writing about characters and settings, or even reading silently for enjoyment.

Home/School Reading

Every child in school has a reading book that they read both at home and in school. Parents are encouraged to hear their children read and then record any relevant comments.  All children have access to a reading journal to aid parent-teacher communication and to record books read, thoughts and opinions. Throughout Key Stage 2, children become more independent in recording their reading choices, preferences and opinions in their reading journals.

It is important that home reading books are texts that children can access and read demonstrating fluency and that they can discuss with ease.


Scheme books are designed to cater for the needs of emergent readers through to fluent readers. They provide phonetic progression as well as punctuation and vocabulary at the appropriate time for the age and stage of the child. We encourage breadth, variety and reading for enjoyment. For this reason, additional books are available across all stages, including books by significant authors.

A range of reading resources are used to support the teaching of reading. The primary scheme in place is The Oxford Reading Tree which includes:

  • Biff, Chip and Kipper stories
  • Patterned Stories
  • First Phonics
  • First Sentences
  • First Word Books
  • Songbirds, Reading Tree Sparrows
  • Snapdragons
  • Fire-flies
  • Tree-Tops Myths and Legends
  • Tree-Tops Fiction, Tree-Tops Non-Fiction
  • Tree-tops Graphic Novels
  • Tree-Tops Classics
  • Chucklers
  • Tree-Tops Chronicles

In addition, children have access to:

  • The Project X series
  • Just Like You Stories
  • Big Cat Readers
  • Fairy Tale Jumbles
  • Ginn Pocket Books
  • Red Bananas Series
  • Corgi Pup Stories
  • Kingfisher Readers
  • Pearson books
  • Banded “real books” by a range of authors

Key Author Sets Available:

  • Michael Morpurgo
  • Jacqueline Wilson
  • Jeremy Strong
  • Anthony Browne
  • Gillian Cross
  • Anne Fine
  • Roald Dahl
  • Dick King-Smith

Dyslexia Friendly texts:

  • Barrington Stoke sets

Phonics Play is used to support the teaching of phonics.

As the school library grows and we invest in more resources, we will provide children with regular access to a wider range of texts.


To help children to understand the structure of books, to develop questioning and discussion skills, children in Reception begin their reading journey with wordless books. Even in Key Stage 2, children will sometimes read picture books because they often contain a wealth of discussion points, use of repetition, patterns, language features, varied plots etc that help to encourage children to become both readers and writers.

At Ettington, we have books for children to access that are banded from 1-15+. Progression through the levels is dependent not only upon decoding of words, but a full understanding of the text, including where appropriate, meaning beyond the literal. Children will read the banded scheme books that are available at the relevant stage. Then, before moving on to the next stage, they will be given a “FREE CHOICE”. All “Free Choice” books will be stage relevant. Once your child’s teacher feels that it is appropriate, your child will move on to the next stage. The cycle will commence again and they will be offered books from the schemes in place, and then be given “FREE CHOICE” books at the same stage.

Once a child has finished all the stages, including having read a range of “free choice” books, they will then become a “free reader”. However, your child will continue to read weekly to the class teacher, discussing texts in detail, who will monitor what is being read.

Reading for Enjoyment

As adults, we don’t search for “harder” books each time we choose a text, instead we read about subject matters that interest us and naturally we want to encourage our children to do the same. Too many children see reading as a competition and some are more concerned with the stage number than the content of the book. Many children are fluent decoders of words, but do not fully understand the content of a book or show inference and deduction skills.

Promoting Reading

Displays in common areas promote the value of reading and the idea that we are all readers. Reading events (including, amongst others, National Children’s Book Week, Shakespeare Week and World Book Day) are used to encourage a love of books and reading. Class swaps, character costumes, whole school stories, peer reading events, book reviews and an annual book fair all take place at Ettington School.