Shared Reading

Shared reading takes place within the English lesson at the beginning of and throughout a unit of work. Sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific reading strategies.  The texts selected are quality texts, which reflect the teaching objectives for each unit.

Reading in Y1 and EYFS

In Y1, reading takes place with a group of children of similar ability, outside the dedicated English hour, once a fortnight for every group, whilst the rest of the class work independently on a carousel of purposeful, English based tasks.

During guided reading, the responsibility for reading shifts to the learner. Children read and respond to challenging and stimulating texts, with the teacher supporting, modelling and facilitating.

It is intended that guided reading provides a forum for children to demonstrate what they have learned about reading and to further develop and extend their reading and comprehension skills in each of the content domains. Phonics remains a priority throughout.

The day after their guided reading session, children are given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to independently apply the taught skills in a follow up session.

On alternate weeks children will read individually to their teacher to ensure skills being taught in Guided reading lessons are transferred to their own reading books. This allows us to assess continually.

Individual reading takes place in EYFS daily. Books are selected according to phonic ability allowing children to practise phonemes they have learned in class lessons.

Whole Class Reading at Y2 and KS2

Each half term, a high-quality whole class reading text will be set for pupils to study and discuss in an immersive environment.  During whole class reading, there is a high level of interaction between teachers and pupils. Texts are set from our programme Pathways to Read to provide appropriate challenge that builds on pupils’ existing knowledge and understanding. Pathways to Read complements our English programme Pathways to Write, ensuring continuity through the whole subject.

During these sessions, children will also work on independent tasks that require them to demonstrate and apply the skills taught. There is a big focus on developing children’s understanding of higher level vocabulary in whole class reading. Key focus words will be preselected by the teacher for children to explore during each session.

Class Novel

Teachers also read a class novel or short story as part of a ‘story-time’ session at the end of each day. The class text will often link back to the texts used during shared reading as part of the English lessons.

Individual Reading

Children have access to graded books from a variety of reading schemes to support the development of their individual reading skills. Children start the reading schemes in reception and continue until they become competent independent readers. They can then choose from a wide variety of books from the class collection or school library.

In FS/KS1, children are heard read individually by an adult in school at least once a week.

Reading at Home

Reading is an important element of the home/school partnership and the reading record is used to encourage and support parents in helping their child read for meaning. Parents are encouraged to use differentiated reading cards (available below) to help support their child’s reading at home. It is expected that children read at least 3 times a week outside of school.

EYFS, KS1 and KS2 children being taught phonics

Children will receive three different reading books each week and these will be changed on a weekly basis.

One book will be handed to children by their phonics teacher on a Friday. This book is for them to practise their current phonic skills and will allow you to see what they are doing in school.

The other two books will be ‘Reading for Pleasure’ books and will consist of a banded book and a library book. The banded book will be matched closely to your child’s ability and are colour coded. The children are guided to the correct colour box and can choose their own book. Children have more choice over their library book so this can be a book that they may need some adult support reading.

KS2 children

Once children have completed their phonics teaching, they will bring home one or two books at a time which they can change once they have completed reading them.

Some children will continue to read banded books which are matched closely to their ability. Children will still be guided to the correct box and encouraged to read a range of different text types. Children will also be encouraged to have a Reading for Pleasure book selected from the school library.

Children who are ‘free readers’ will have access to the school library or class collection. Although they will have more choice over the books that they select, a colour-coded sticker system is in place in the library to continue to guide pupils to books of an appropriate level / content.



Reading is not restricted to the English lesson. Many opportunities are provided for children to practise and extend their reading in other subjects. Reading for pleasure and enjoyment is given a high priority and sufficient time is set aside for this weekly.

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Contact Details

Charles Darwin Community Primary School

Darwin Street
Castle, Northwich

Main Contact: Mr Adam Croft (Headteacher)

Tel: 01606 75194
Fax: 01606 784143

SEND Contact: Miss Joanne Tilley
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