The 7 Aspects of Reading

Seven Aspects of Reading

How do we prioritise reading?

  • Each of our classrooms has a reading corner where pupils can sit comfortably during the day to read a book.  Books are rotated regularly by staff to match the class topic and pupils’ interests. In the EYFS and KS1 classes, teddies and puppets are used to encourage reading aloud and re-telling stories.
  • Each classroom has a selection of books as a mini library with a selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. 
  • We have a school library where the children can take books home to share with their families, or simply read for pleasure. 
  • In all areas of the school, we endeavour to use books and high quality texts to enrich the learning and provide access to a range of genre.
  • To encourage reading at home we reward pupils with gold slips and raffle tickets. We monitor pupils not reading at home so we can provide extra provision in school.
  • Shared reading sessions take place in each class every week to ensure that every pupil is in a group reading session at least once a week. These sessions are 20-30 minutes long. Pupils also complete reading activities such as reading comprehension when other pupils are completing their guided reading. In EYFS and KS1 pupils are heard individually to read at least twice a week. KS2 pupils who are not reading frequently at home are also heard individually to read at school.
  • Read Write Inc (RWI) is followed at EYFS and KS1 and as an intervention for KS2. We also run Fresh Start in years 5 & 6 for selected pupils. Alongside these, we run the RWI Spelling programme. Phonics is taught in four 30 minute sessions per week with spellings on a Friday.
  • Early reading is encouraged by providing pupils with non-worded reading books in the first instance.  Once they have developed their phonics and decoding skills they are then moved on to texts that match their phonic ability and are fully decodable.
  • Children take home books that are matched to their phonic abilities, and once this is secure, children are guided to select approrpiate books to further develop their reading.

How do we promote a love of reading?

  • All staff are expert readers, modelling reading skills, discussing texts read with the pupils and sharing their own love of reading.
  • Teachers read class stories to promote a love and enjoyment of stories, immersing them in the world of imagination.
  • Books are carefully matched to the topic, to give the children a breadth of different genres and help them gain a depth of understanding about their current topic.
  • Our learning opportunities incorporate a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, to expose pupils to different texts they may enjoy.
  • Shared reading sessions allow time for pupils to discuss their reading, helping them to make sense of what they have read. 
  • Pupils are encouraged to access the library and change books on a regular basis.  This is in addition to their reading book from our reading scheme.
  • We encourage pupils in each class to share their love of reading eg by inviting them to recommend great reads to their peers.

How do we make sure pupils make progress?

  • Phonics is taught following the RWI progression of sounds to ensure a systematic approach. Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply. Planning includes assessment for the graphemes taught. Phonics is assessed half termly to identify gaps in learning to inform future planning and intervention.
  • Each class has four dedicated 20-30 minute shared reading sessions per week.  The sessions are well-structured and provide opportunity for pupils to read independently and to develop comprehension skills using VIPERS style questions. 
  • The school supports pupils to be expert readers by developing the key skills of understanding vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarise.
      • Vocabulary - Find and explain the meaning of the words in context.
      • Inference - Make and justofy inferences using evidence from the text.
      • Predict - Make predictions using details both written and implied.
      • Explain -     Explain how content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole.
          • Explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of language. 
          • Explain the themes and patterns that develop across the text. 
          • Explain how information contributes to the overall experience.
      • Retrieval - Retrieve and record information and identify key details from fiction and non-fiction.
      • Summarise - Summarise the main ideas from more than one paragraph.
  • There is a clear progression of reading skills from Reception to Year 6 against which pupils’ progress is measured and gaps are noted and acted on.
  • Pupils who are struggling with decoding skills (preventing them from accessing reading material) have targeted interventions or are part of a smaller reading group.  Targeted intervention follows the RWI scheme or Fresh Start and staff implementing this are fully trained by teaching staff.
  • Pupils who need further opportunity to practise reading because they do not read at home, are given priority to read to an adult in school. 
  • Staff have pupil progress meetings and the Reading Lead hears children read from across the school to check progress.
  • We assist parents with supporting reading by providing parents meetings, reading information meetings, information on the website and letters home.

How do we match the pupils' reading books to their phonic ability?

  • Pupils are assessed daily in phonics as well as half termly using the RWI assessments. Assessment then informs which books match to the pupil’s phonic ability.
  • Staff in EYFS and KS1 are responsible for changing and or checking the pupil’s reading books. Pupils who are learning phonics in EYFS and KS1 take home a book that matches their phonic level. Once children reach the end of RWI blue books they will move to two books a banded book.
  • We use a range of reading schemes throughout the school and all are matched to eachother to ensure they choose books of the correct level.  We monitor progress in reading and then match their ability to the stage of reading on the scheme.  This is done through notes from shared reading and from teachers hearing pupils read individually.  Staff monitor and check that these books are changed regularly.  Staff will move them onto the next stage when they are confident they have mastered the skills of the stage. In KS2 we do a half termly check to ensure pupils remain on the appropriate stage. When pupils are confident readers in KS2 they move onto a wide range of texts from class libraries, and are guided by adults to ensure they choose a range of books to 'hook' them into reading.
  • Pupils in EYFS and KS1 have their books changed as soon as they have read them.
  • Shared reading books are also selected carefully to challenge the reading of different groups of pupils in school.

How do we teach phonics from the start? 

Pupils begin learning letter sounds on entry to Reception. Following the RWI system pupils are immersed in a directed teaching approach which embeds systematic phonics skills as the core skills for reading. Sounds are taught in a specific order, and regular assessment informs future planning and interventions.

First, pupils will learn to read:

  • Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter: m  a  s  d  t  i  n  p  g  o  c  k  u  b  f  e  l  h  r  j  v   y  w  z  x and sounds written with two letters digraphs: sh  th  ch   qu  ng  nk  ck

• Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending,  e.g. m–a–t  mat, c–a–t  cat, g–o–t  got, f–i–sh  fish,  s–p–o–t  spot, b–e–s–t  best, s–p–l–a–sh  splash.

Second, we will learn to read:

  • Set 2 Speed Sounds: ay  ee  igh  ow  oo  oo  ar  or   air  ir  ou  oy
  • Words containing these sounds.

Third, we will learn to read:

  • Set 3 Speed Sounds: ea  oi  a-e  i-e  o-e  u-e  aw   are  ur  er  ow  ai  oa  ew  ire  ear  ure as well as the sounds ue, au, wh, ph, oe, ie

 • Words containing these sounds.

From set 2 pupils will learn 2 or 3 new sounds per week.

To support the learning in school, pupils take home phonics sheets that match the sounds they have learnt each week. They also take home their phonically decodable reading book to reinforce the sounds taught and the red words (common exception words).

  • Phonics is discussed with parents in the Transition to School meeting and parents are given resources to support phonics at home. This is also available on our website.
  • When Reception pupils have started school another meeting on supporting phonics is provided for parents.

How do we support pupils to catch up?

  • Summative data is submitted once a term and pupil progress analysis is taken from this. Pupils identified by class teachers and in pupil progress meetings as not making progress have interventions planned for them and teaching staff are aware of who is a priority for intervention/support.
  • Formative data informs day-to-day planning and teachers adapt and change this according the pupil needs.
  • Pupils who did not achieve their phonics check receive interventions (daily reader/extra phonics support) and/or work in a group which is teacher driven.
  • Where progress becomes a concern, parents are invited to a meeting with the teacher and advice is given as to how they can further support their child at home.

How do we train staff to be reading experts?


  • Teaching staff, including Teaching Assistants are RWI or Fresh Start trained. Additional training is given is specifically required. This may be a specific focus on the SDP or a personal target identified in monitoring or specific training identified by staff. This may include in-house training or external training depending on the needs of the staff.
  • Subject leads for writing and reading attend the TPAT network meetings and cascade relevant information back to the school.
  • The Headteacher, School Improvement Partner from the MAT and reading lead monitor shared reading sessions and conduct pupil conferencing to ensure agreed approaches and consistency are applied across the school.
  • The reading lead monitors reading and offers guidance to staff with follow up actions.