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Abbotswood Primary School

Together We Aim High, Believe and Achieve



At Abbotswood we believe that the ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners, during their time at school and beyond.  Reading is central to our ability to understand, interpret and communicate with each other and the world around us.  Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all areas of the curriculum; therefore reading is given a high priority at Abbotswood, enabling the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.



Here at Abbotswood we use a whole-class guided reading approach where rich and challenging texts are at the centre of our lessons.  An assortment of reading skills are taught alongside the text, which provide the children with the skills to comprehend and understand a variety of genres.


Why this approach?

  • It is a focused approach where reading skills are explicitly taught.
  • It expands pupils’ vocabulary and deepens their understanding of the texts they are reading.                                                 
  • Children are able to access rich and challenging texts, with the opportunity to learn from each other and discuss different perspectives.
  • This approach enables verbal discussions and written responses.
  • It increases the children’s stamina for reading.


How is it taught?

Whole-class reading follows a similar structure to other taught curriculum subjects; there is one learning objective for the whole class based around the same text and the desired reading skill(s) to be taught.


Over the course of the week, the children complete a range of activities that are devised by the teacher depending on the themes, structure of the chosen text and the focus of the reading skill/s being taught that day:






New Vocabulary from the text is introduced

Children make predictions


Teacher reads the text


Children use summarising skills after it's read

Children read an extract and use ‘Book Talk’ to answer:

Find it… (Retrieval)

Explain it…

and Link it… (Inference) type questions

Children respond to written questions and are trained on ‘how’ to answer these


Follow up Friday

[selected objective]


1:1 reading


Whole-class guided reading takes place from Year 1 (when ready) to Year 6.  Children in Year 1 initially focus on their phonics and are gradually exposed to this approach.



At Abbotswood we teach children how to read through a range of strategies.  To help children learn the phonetic code (sounds in words) we use the Read Write Inc. phonics programme in Reception and Year 1.  Please see the ‘Phonics’ page for further details.



Children will take home a banded reading book until they become a ‘free reader’.  We use Oxford Reading Tree and Project X books as our main source of material.  Children also have access to books in their classrooms and from the school library.


To encourage reading at home we use a ‘Reading Karate’ reward system which starts in Reception and finishes when they leave Year 6.    

Please see the following attachment (Reading Karate Info) to see how this works.


We are very lucky to have a small, but AMAZING reading army who come in on a weekly basis to hear 1:1 readers.  Mr Allen is just one of these key people who is 70(!) and has been giving up 3 mornings a week for the last six years to support with reading in Key Stage 1. We are always looking for new recruits so please do contact the Reading Lead if you have any spare time you can offer. 



Classes have their own ‘class book’ which they read for pleasure outside of English/Guided Reading time.  Teachers try and choose books that are current and reflect a range of up-coming authors which they read during ‘drop everything and read’ time.  


Each year we celebrate World Book Day and run events such as story night to promote and celebrate the love of books!



Here at Abbotswood we assess the children termly using Rising Stars tests and the school's 'Age Related Expectations' (AREs - see attachments).  From this, we can see any gaps in progress and we can prioritise support for individuals for the following term. Children are assessed at the end of Years 2 and 6 for the end of Key Stage Statutory Assessments (SATs).


If you have any further questions, please speak to the Reading Leader - Mrs Winstone