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Shibden Head Primary Academy


Reading at Shibden Head


To build a curriculum which equips children with the skills to read fluently as a tool to access the rest of the curriculum and develop a love of reading. We aim for children to know more, remember more and understand more.

At Shibden Head we have designed a curriculum which has reading at its core across all curriculum areas. Through choosing quality texts, we intend to develop a love of reading and allow children to recognise the pleasure they can get from their reading, as well as an understanding that reading allows them to discover new knowledge, revisit prior knowledge and understand more about what they learn, fuelling their imagination for ideas to use in their own work. Vocabulary development underpins all learning of reading from EYFS to Year 6.

At Shibden Head, we are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities and provision is made to ensure that children make the progress needed to meet or exceed age related expectations. Adaptation is made for the very small number of children who are working well below age related expectations so that they can access learning that meets their needs and allows them to make progress from their own starting points.


Reading forms the core of our curriculum. All children read and are read to so that they develop a love of reading.  At Shibden Head we promote the love of reading daily and books are selected by teachers with the knowledge of how they link to other areas of the curriculum.

  • Adults reading to children – across the whole age range, adults read regularly to children to encourage a love of books, develop vocabulary and comprehension and model good reading behaviours. Quality texts are chosen across a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and representing equality and diversity as part of our work to promote British Values and develop social, moral, spiritual and cultural knowledge and understanding.
  • Reading Schemes – a number of different reading schemes are used to provide a wide variety of appropriate quality texts for children to read covering all genres. The schemes incorporated into our reading provision include but are not limited to: Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Songbirds Phonics and Dandelion Phonics. For children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 all books are linked to the phonics phase that the children are currently able to access with their phonic knowledge and skills. Once they have completed the First Class Phonics programme and have passed the phonics screening they move onto an Accelerated Reader text which is based on individual children’s assessment. Some children who are able to decode words from all phonics phases and demonstrate comprehension skills will move onto an Accelerated Reader text prior to the phonics screening check.
  • Children in KS2 who also require intervention with their reading have access to decodable phonics books until they are fluent readers. They will take this book home alongside a book of their choice to read for pleasure. The Rapid Phonics scheme is used as an intervention starting in year 2 and continuing as needed in Key Stage 2.
  • We also use Shine Intervention which links closely to the children’s reading assessments on PIRA.

Accelerated Reader

All classes from Year 2-6 (including year 1 children towards the end of the year) are involved in the Accelerated Reader scheme, they will all work their way through the books and quizzes to achieve the next level. This will ensure all children have a book that matches their reading ability. This is monitored carefully and children only move up when their Star Reader test shows that they are ready.

If children can fluently decode beyond phonics, they may begin Accelerated Reader in year 1.

  • Class novels – all classes have a class novel to promote the pleasure of reading. This may include traditional fairy tales / rhymes in EYFS and KS1 to more established texts in KS2.
  • Individual Reading – all children in Early Years, year 1 and year 2  read individually to an adult each week. The frequency of reading is based on the early identification and ongoing assessment of need – 4 to 5 times a week , 2 times a week or weekly readers. Reading to an adult is recorded in a class reading record book and the classroom staff closely monitor the reading books that the children are reading.
  • Reading volunteers – we have a small number of trained volunteers who listen to readers 1 to 1 with children who are confident readers. They also share books with children in small groups to develop a love of reading. This is targeted at children who we feel will benefit from extending their experience of sharing and talking about books. We appreciate the support of our reading volunteers and ensure that they have basic training in phonics and reading comprehension.
  • Home Reading – all children are expected to read at home, ideally daily, and take home ‘home’ reading books. All children in EYFS, year 1 and year 2 take home a reading book which is phonetically decodable at the phase they are working on; the same applies to the small number of children in Key Stage 2 who have not yet passed the phonics check and/or are not yet fluent readers. Once children at any point in their education are fluent readers of phase 6 phonics books, they are assessed on the Accelerated Reader scheme for books to be chosen that are closely matched to their ability. Across school, all children are expected to read a minimum number of times a week (this increases with their age) this is then recorded in their reading record and these are checked weekly. There are incentives for reading at home both in KS1 and KS2 e.g. reading raffle prizes that are drawn half termly.
  • Guided Reading/Reading Comprehension – Guided reading sessions are planned by all teachers to teach a range of skills and techniques which enable children to develop fluency, comprehend meaning and develop their understanding of vocabulary. In EYFS, year 1 and year 2, guided reading is done in small groups at least twice per week and is linked to the children’s phonics learning using phonically decodable books, with all children in the group reading the same book and the teacher checking on the reading and understanding. Throughout the summer term in year 2 and onwards, teachers move more towards whole class reading comprehension and developing the children’s understanding of what they are reading. Where possible the text links to themes and relevant subject matter. KS2, meanwhile, continue with focusing on building those key comprehensive skills laid out in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. KS2 continue with the theme of developing reading around a text, which each class links to their half-termly topic. KS2 teach and practise the skills of reading at the start of each topic, focusing on teaching and developing the use of vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation and summarising. These reading lessons would feature at least once a week at the start of each topic, lasting from 45 minutes to 1 hour each time. Links are made from the reading taught, which then link into the discrete writing tasks given before ultimately completing a final written piece.


  • Our aim in spoken language is to provide a sound foundation for the development of oracy skills, from debate to poetry and verbal feedback to talk for presentational purposes. At the heart of good oracy is a dialogic classroom. Our classrooms are rich in talk when appropriate, from effective questioning to constructive peer discussions and teachers use talk skilfully to develop and encourage critical thinking. There is a clear understanding in school of how talk aids teaching, analysis and higher order metacognition. We aim to teach children to speak with confidence and clarity, recognise the importance of listening in conjunction with speaking and be confident in the value of their own opinions and to be able to express and justify them to others. We share their learning in an engaging, informative way through presentations, recitals, drama, poetry and debate.
  • Comprehension skills in Early Years and KS1 are taught through whole class sessions using a quality text linked to the learning challenge as well as through discussion at story times.
  • Reading Areas All classrooms have class reading areas with subject specific books and other age-appropriate reading for pleasure books. We have spent a lot of time promoting reading areas and encourage all children to use and enjoy them. Each class has 2 nominated ‘Reading Champions’ who support other children with their reading skills, library skills and developing a love of reading.
  • Library – All children visit the school library each week and choose a book to read at home for pleasure.
  • Interventions – Children in Reception and KS1 have targeted phonics interventions when needed to support their progress in phonics. Children in year 2 onwards use Rapid Phonics intervention. This includes precision teaching of gaps highlighted in assessments. For specific children teachers may liaise with the SENDCo to find alternative forms of supporting reading progression.
  • In Key Stage 1 and 2 we use Shine interventions linked to our PIRA assessments that are taken at the end of the half term. This ensures that we are narrowing and filling any gaps that children have


  • Children demonstrate a love of reading and enjoyment of books, stories and rhymes.
  • Children use their reading skills as a key tool in helping them to learn and, as a result, know more, remember more and understand more.
  • Children have access to the wider world and their understanding of words will aid them in their future career choices
  • Children make at least good progress from their starting points as they move through school.
  • Historically, reading outcomes at the end of each key stage have generally been at least in line with national average. In 2022 our Key Stage 2 reading data was above national average.