Engendering a love of reading is at the heart of the curriculum at Aldborough.


Reading Statement of Intent

At Aldborough, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in diverse experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. We cultivate the behaviours that children will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discussions about what they read. At Aldborough we aim to foster a lifelong love of reading.

Our reading curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and class reading (VIPERS), home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.

Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.

Implementation (Early Reading and Phonics)

Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we believe in putting as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want our children to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

We start teaching phonics in Reception, continue in Year 1, and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Aldborough Primary School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

Along side this the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern.

Phonics and reading activities are taught as a whole class or sometimes as a small group. Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for 15 - 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day – (in Reception class.) Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities.

Teachers regularly read with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home.  This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.


Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through daily informal and half termly formal phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing.

Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

  • Assessment for learningis used:
    • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
    • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
  • Summative assessmentis used:
    • every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.

Statutory assessment

  • Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.

Ongoing assessment for catch-up

Children assessed continually and through their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment using the Phonics Tracker and interventions implemented as appropriate.

Implementation (Group Reading in EYFS and Year 1)

Key expectation – Every reading group has an adult led reading session 3 x a week.  daily. Each session is ½ hour.

In EYFS and KS1, we take a reading squad approach.

The reading squad is a team of adults (Teachers and supporting staff members from across the school) who deliver group reading to a group of children 3 x per week.

Each member of the squad has a consistent ‘tool kit’

-Tricky words

-phase 2,3,5 sounds

-Year group expected reading words

-decodable reading books

Teachers plan and resource every group and the sessions that will be delivered.

Each session is structured in a consistent way –every session starts off using the flash cards appropriate for the group.

When listening to reading adults will ‘live mark’ reading strategies by intervening at the point of reading and re-model the error observed in the moment of reading. (Immediate feedback).

Key Stage 1 (Read the same text all week)

Session 1 -

Focus - Book introduction and first exposure.

Key teaching points – identify front/ back cover/ blurb/ vocabulary that children will encounter/ reading strategy that will be used.

Session 2 –

Focus – Prosody and second exposure to text

Key teaching points – Fluency, expression, intonation, taking account of punctuation.

The children re-read the text using expression, intonation.

Session 3 –

Focus – Oral comprehension 

Key teaching points – comprehension linked to a specific reading domain.

Adult to introduce/ reinforce the reading skill that is being focused on and what we do to answer those types of questions. Guide children through a range of questions linked to the reading domain.

Thurs/Fri (Year 1 only)– session 4 –

Focus – Written ' Cold' comprehension 

Key teaching points – comprehension

Children to answer comprehension questions. Adult to reinforce the reading skill that is being focused on and ‘live mark’ written answers.

The types of questions that children will have exposure to are:

Tick a box

Fill in the table

Draw lines to match the correct answers

Justification – give one/ two reasons why / How do you know

True / False statements

Use numbers to order

Explain a word meaning

Find and copy

Match the meaning questions.

Implementation (Class Reading Year 2-6)

Reading is taught 4 times per week– lasting 30 minutes and shown on weekly overviews. Our reading lessons are structured by the VIPERS model of teaching reading.

V- Vocabulary 

I - Infer  

P - Predict

E - Explain

R - Retrieve

S - Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2)

Throughout our Early Years and Key Stage 1 classes, children are introduced to these terms gradually, with each explained and contextualised. Once children reach Key Stage 2, they are exposed to all of these terms regularly throughout their English work and other areas of the curriculum.


Children are taught to draw upon knowledge of word meanings in order to understand the text. This may also include finding and explaining the meaning of words in the context of what they have read. These conversations are a great way to discover which words children know and fill gaps in this knowledge, expanding their own repertoire of vocabulary. For older children, you could show them how to use a dictionary or the internet to find definitions. ‘Vocabulary’ questions might include finding alternative words or discussing which words are the most effective in an extract.

  • What does ______ mean?
  • Can you tell me another word that means _____?
  • Which word tells you that the character is angry?
  • Which word tells us something bad is about to happen?
  • Which word in this section do you think is the most effective in building the suspense?


To infer is to find meaning that is not made explicit in the text. Children will use their understanding of a wide range of prior experiences to make sense of events in what they see and read. As children get more confident, they should start to increasingly back these inferences up with evidence from the text. They may paraphrase or even directly quote to justify what they think.  

  • Why was the character feeling happy?
  • Why did the character run away?
  • What kind of person is _____? How does the author show that?
  • How can you tell the animal is in pain?
  • How can you tell this house has not been looked after?
  • How is the character feeling? How do you know that?
  • What impression do you get of this setting?


Children are encouraged to predict what they think might happen based on the events so far and details that are implied in the text. The emphasis here is not to necessarily be right – if all books were predictable, that could become very dull – but to engage with the plot and actively think about where the journey of the story might go.

  • Look at the cover. What do you think this book will be about?
  • What do you think will happen next? What makes you think this?
  • Do you think they will be successful in their quest? Why / why not?
  • How do you think the character is going to react? Why do you think that?
  • Look at the chapter title. What do you think might happen?


Children are encouraged to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text. As they get more confident, children should also be able to explain themes and patterns across a text as well as why authors have made certain choices and the impact of these on the overall effect of the writing.

  • Who is your favourite character? Why?
  • Would you like to live in this setting? Why / why not?
  • Is there anything you would change about this story?  How does the author build up the tension here?
  • Why do you think the author doesn’t name the villain yet?  Why has the text been arranged in this way? 


This skill concerns finding and recording information located in the text. It tends to cover some of the more straightforward and closed questions that don’t require as much inference (often beginning with who, what, when and where). However, the challenge can lie in children having to skim back over large quantities of text. You can support your child by helping them to narrow down sections to search and scan for key words that will help them look for the information they need.

  • In what year did the astronauts land on the moon?
  • What did the parents decide to name their baby?
  • Who was the first character to climb on the boat?
  • Give an example of one of the grandmother’s warnings. Where did the squirrel hide the food?
  • What were the three things Bob was asked to pack?

Sequence / Summarise

Children are taught to recap the events of a narrative and put them in order (sequence) or sum them up (summarise). This can be an effective way to remind children of the story so far in a longer text or to build familiarity with a shorter book or traditional tale. For younger children, the ability to retell a well-known story from their head is an important step in their development and will give them the foundation on which to build their own stories later on.

  • How did the story start?
  • What happened next?
  • Number these events 1 – 5.
  • Can you summarise the story so far?  What happened in the story so far?
  • How has the character’s life changed throughout this book?

 The fourth  reading sessions takes the form of a  cold comprehension

During this session, children will read a ‘cold text’, which is differentiated. The children will learn how to answer questions using a range of comprehension skills (e.g. summarising, predicting, true or false, sequencing etc.) especially those skills focussed on throughout the week.

These comprehension skills will be evidenced in Topic Books when the children will read a quality ‘cold text’ based on the wider curriculum/topic, which they are studying. The children will learn how to answer questions using a range of comprehension skills (e.g. summarising, predicting, true or false, sequencing etc.) especially those skills focussed on throughout the week.

Implementation (Reading linked to writing in English Lessons)

In English, we use ‘differentiated texts’ from our exciting reading spine to ensure that all pupils can access and are exposed to the class text. The ‘differentiated texts’ are used for daily class reading lessons and feed in to writing sessions.

Implementation (Wider Reading)

Reading in the Wider Curriculum:

Each topic is supported by a range of quality fiction/non-fiction texts. These are used for fact-finding, cold comprehension, group projects and reading for meaning and pleasure.


The whole school reading progression maps have been divided into year groups for assessing children’s reading (Reading formative assessment sheets.) Children are assessed using a variety of methods including Benchmarking, NFER tests, Rising Stars tests and practise SATS papers. In addition, evidence from class reading sessions is used to formatively assess children in order to identify gaps and plan subsequent lessons.

Reading for pleasure and Home Reading:

EYFS has ‘Story Time’ daily and in KS1/2 the minimum expectation is that the children will be read to 3 x a week and in our shared reading assembly. The aim of this is to further expose children to a range of texts, promote the love of reading and to build the vocabulary that the children are exposed to.

Our school and class libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of books. They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction to support every ability and reading choice and encompass the latest reading trends and classic texts that should be part of every child’s primary school experience- building the children’s cultural capital. Each class has a weekly library slot where they can spend quality time exploring the texts it has to offer. During this slot, children are also invited to take home a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ book in addition to their school reading book. To promote parental engagement in home reading we invite parents/grandparents to write in the children’s reading journals. Our reading volunteers who support children who need additional input will also use these. In addition, we address book poverty by giving out free books to identified children and arranging ‘Book Swaps’. We also celebrate reading together throughout the year by taking part in both school based, local and national reading initiatives including the  Friends Readathon, World Book Day, Norfolk Children’s Book Centre Book Fayre and extreme reading challenges.

Children in Reception and Y1 take home a Little Wandle book that is phonically decodable and matches the phonemes that they are secure with. In Y2, if children did not pass their phonics screening they will also take home a Little Wandle book that is matched to the phonemes they are learning in their phonics intervention.

In order to promote home reading further, all children in KS1 are encouraged to read a minimum of 4 times per week at home. In KS2, children are encouraged to read at home as often as possible.


Progression In Reading