Reading at Holystone


The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • Word reading
  • Comprehension (both listening and reading).

The understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words underpins our teaching of reading. Phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading from Nursery to Year 2, with catch-up schemes being offered to children in Key Stage 2. Skilled word reading also requires the speedy recognition of familiar printed words (High Frequency Words). We teach these individually in Foundation Stage and in Letters and Sounds sessions throughout Key Stage 1. Personal Readers in Year 1 and 2 are also used as a catch-up scheme.


All children should:

• be encouraged and supported to become fluent and confident readers.

• be supported and taught secure reading strategies for coping with reading a range of texts, including non-fiction media and ICT.

• be able to read with understanding, exploring ideas through inference and deduction.

 • be aware of the language of reading – decoding, comprehension, location, deduction, inference, skimming, scanning, predicting, visualising, empathising, questioning and reading backwards and forwards – to support the reading process.

• be able to read and follow written instructions.

• be encouraged by staff to read for pleasure.

• have access to a range of books and reading materials that are upto-date, relevant and balanced in content.

 • learn to be critical readers, questioning what they read in books and in the media.

• be encouraged to engage in discussions about the books they are reading and encouraged to talk about their likes and dislikes.

• be encouraged to make comparisons with other books they have read as they read new books.

Throughout the school, we follow the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme from Foundation Stage until appropriate. We have supplemented this with a range of texts from other schemes, e.g. Big Cat Collins, Bug Club and Project X.

From Reception onwards children read individually, with the teacher or teaching assistant, at least once per week. Reading books are sent home for reinforcement every week.  This continues throughout Year 1. In Year 2, this continues for the children who still need individual reading but for the majority it is replaced by guided reading.

From Year 1 onwards, guided reading is taught in a separate session, outside of the English lesson. In Guided Reading sessions, the children are grouped according to their reading ability and read appropriately levelled texts. The teacher uses this time to teach specific reading skills to the children, including a range of decoding methods and comprehension skills.

Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.



Reading at Home

Children, throughout the school, are expected to spend some time reading at home each week (minimum of three times a week for KS1).  In the case of the earlier readers, children need to read to an adult. This is seen as an important and necessary reading practice and experience. Progress at home is monitored through the children’s Reading Diary. Parents with younger children are encouraged to add their comments on their child’s progress. Reading stamps are awarded every time a child reads at home. At the end of every week, the stamps are added together and equate to a merit if the child has read three or more times for three weeks (these do not need to be consecutive). This is to provide extra motivation for the children to read. One class library book of the child’s choice and one reading scheme book is recommended to be taken home at the teacher’s discretion.