‘We shouldn’t teach great books we should teach a great love of reading’ – B.F. Skinner

At Nechells primary, 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, enabling the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers across a wide range of literature, including different text types and genres.

Reading is a complex skill with many components. Our successful approaches to the teaching of reading encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading.

Reading should be an enjoyable experience, and allows children to develop both their imagination and their vocabulary. Independent readers should be encouraged to read for a sustained length of time allowing them to become ‘lost in a book’.

At Nechells we are committed to being a reading school.   In order to fulfil this commitment we:

  • Place reading and books at the centre of the curriculum.
  • Recognise that being able to read is a key life skill for children, whatever their background.
  • Believe that every child can learn to read with the right teaching and support.
  • Acknowledge that not all children will have had the opportunity to develop a love of reading at home, so this has to be taught and encouraged at school – just like any other area of the curriculum.
  • Build time for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day.
  • Develop a coherent whole-school strategy for promoting reading for pleasure.
  • Believe that every teacher should be an advocate for reading.
  • Develop time to training staff so they are equipped to support children’s enjoyment of reading.
  • Involve parents to ensure the culture of reading that the school has developed extends into the home.

Guided reading sessions are introduced in reception and are then built upon through daily taught reading lessons in years 1 to 6.

Reading lessons focus on a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts with each class using one of our literature spine texts as the stimulus each half term.

We place a high emphasis on vocabulary with our aim being to make all pupils ‘word rich’. Texts are carefully selected as we believe that familiarity with the subject matter increases reading fluency, broadens vocabulary (you can pick up words in context), and enables deeper reading and listening comprehension.

Lessons are structured in a way to help pupils learn more and remember more. Relevant background knowledge and vocabulary is shared with pupils at the start of a unit, there are regular opportunities for retrieval practise and for pupils to transfer learning from one book to the next.

Reading interventions are organised for any pupils who are unable to access taught reading lessons due to cognition and learning needs or being new to country with limited English. For these children the focus of reading lessons is decoding and fluency. Carefully chosen schemes of work and personalised over learning opportunities are delivered in collaboration with the inclusion team and external specialists to ensure that gaps are closed and the children are able to re-access whole class reading lessons when appropriate.

A focus on ‘every child being a reader’ is the driver for all children being able to read fluently and through overlearning and pre-teaching comprehend the texts that they are accessing.

To ensure continuity and progression in reading, the English Team aims to ensure that all members of staff are trained in the whole school strategies and techniques which are currently in use and are made aware of new reading incentives as they are introduced.  This is achieved through monitoring and CPD for all staff (when relevant) and induction and ongoing mentoring of new staff.  Phonic training courses and appropriate reading courses are booked for all new staff and others as needed.

As children move through Key Stages and classes the goal of all teachers is to build on the reading progress already made.  They consult with the previous teacher to ensure that they have a clear picture of which reading stage each child has reached and group children accordingly for reading activities.  They ensure the whole school approach to the teaching of reading continues.  At the end of each half term all groups are reviewed based on pupil progress.  If a pupil’s progress is limited then an action plan is drawn up and support is put in place.

The whole-school approach:

  • Every child has a reading book, a free choice book and a reading record.
  • Every child in every class is heard and taught reading in the weekly taught reading sessions led by the class teacher.
  • On a termly basis, all children complete a standardised reading test to track progress.
  • All children have access to Bug Club online.
  • All classes from Reception – Year 6 have specific authors for their class readers which are used for reading for pleasure.
  • Every teacher reads to their class.
  • Every classroom has a reading area where children are encouraged to read and borrow books.
  • All children use the school library on a regular basis.

Reading for an audience is encouraged in class and assembly.

Reading High Level Plan

 Autumn 1Autumn 2Spring 1Spring 2Summer 1Summer 2
ReceptionMarcus Pfisher

Rainbow fish to the rescue
The rainbow fish
Dazzle the dinosaur
Rainbow fish and the big blue whale
David Mckee

Elmer and Rose
Not now Bernard
Elmer and Wilbur
Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo
Noisy Farm
Its Mine
Dear Santa
Eric Carle

The Very Hungry caterpillar
The Bad tempered Ladybird
Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?
The very busy spider
Janet and Allen Alberg

Starting school
Burglar Bill
The Jolly Postman
It was a dark and stormy night
Eileen Browne

Handa's Hen
Handa’s Surprise
Handa’s noisy night
In a minute
Year 1Fiction: Owl Babies by Martin Waddell- Phase 3 L&S

Non-Fiction: Zack’s Moon

Tess’s Pool (Red)
Fiction: Room on a Broom by Julia Donaldson- Phase 3 L&S

Non-Fiction: What can you see by the sea? By Lou Kuenzler

How does it feel? By Simon Mugford (Red)
Fiction: The Tiger who came to tea by Judith Kerr- Phase 4 L&S

Non-Fiction: The Sun and the Stars

Men on the Moon (Yellow)

Poetry: My Big Band by Tony Mitton (Blue)
Fiction: Dogger by Shirley Hughes- Phase 5 L&S

Non-Fiction: North Pole, South Pole by Pip Jones/Our Team by Simon Mugford (Blue)

Poetry: There’s a Wise Old Owl (Blue)
Fiction: Avocado Baby by John Burningham

Non-Fiction: Minibeasts in the Garden or Park

Minibeasts in the Pond (Green)

Poetry: I had a Little Cat
Fiction: Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman

Non-Fiction: Forest School by Ciaran Murtag

Summer Coat, Winter Coat by Zoe Clarke (Green)

Poetry: Five Little Owls
Year 2Fiction (Realistic Fiction): Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Non-Fiction: Big cat, little cat

Dolphins by Lisa Regan

Poetry: Mice by Rose Fyleman

Fiction (Comedy): Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas

Non-Fiction: What was London like before

After the Great Fire? By Kate Ruttle

Poetry: Like an Animal by Joan Poulson
Fiction: The Owl who was afraid of the dark by Jill Tomlinson

Non-Fiction: Here to help: Firefighter

Police Officer by Rachel Blount

Poetry: Little Miss Muffet
Fiction (Fantasy/Comedy): The BFG by Roald Dahl

Non-Fiction: Seas and Islands

A walk from our island school by Izzi Howell

Poetry: Twinkle, Twinkle, little star by Jane Taylor and Lewis Carroll
Fiction (Fantasy): The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

Non-Fiction: Making bread

Planting bulbs by Kate Ruttle

Poetry: Miss Smith by Brian Moses
Fiction (Adventure): The Sheep- Pig by Dick King Smith

Non-Fiction: Penguins by Ione Branton

Eruption by Anita Ganeri

Poetry: City Farm by Brian Moses
Year 3Fiction (Comedy): The Twits by Roald Dahl

Non-Fiction: Rosa Parks

Mary Seacole by Kate Ruttle
Fiction (Realistic Fiction): Bill’s New Frock by Anne Fine

Non-Fiction: The World

The United Kingdom by Kate Ruttle

Poetry: A big surprise by Michaela Morgan
Fiction (Fantasy): The boy who grew dragons by Andy Shepherd

Non-Fiction: Emergency Vehicles- Firefighters

Police by Chris Oxlade

Poetry: Scissors by Allan Ahlberg
Fiction (Classic): Winnie the Pooh Collection by A.A. Milne

Non-Fiction: Mountains

Coasts by Ruth Thomson
Fiction (Science Fiction): The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Non-Fiction: Cornish Holiday Blog

Ken’s Summer Holidays on the Isle of Mull- Day 3

Poetry: New School by Kevin McCann
Fiction (Comedy): The Accidental Prime Minister by Tom Mclaughlin

Non-Fiction: From Spawn to Frog by Kate Ruttle

Poetry: Walking with my Iguana by Brian Moses
Year 4Fiction (Classic): Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Non-Fiction: What is a robot?

Robots in Films and TV Programmes by Clive Gifford

Poetry: The Kitten at Play by William Wordsworth
Fiction (Fantasy): Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Non-Fiction: Knights Survival Guide: Are you tough enough? By Anna Claybourne

Poetry: A small Dragon by Brian Patten
Fiction (Classic/Fantasy): The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Non-Fiction: The Battle of Britain

Dunkirk by Gillian Clements

Poetry: Letting in the light by Elizabeth Lindsay
Fiction (History Fiction): Why the whales came by Michael Morpurgo

Non-Fiction: Epic: Animal Migrations by Camilla De La Bedoyere

Poetry: Childhood Tracks by James Berry
Fiction (Comedy): Gangsta Granny by David Walliams

Non-Fiction: Homesick Bugsy the Beagle

Rocket Balloon

Poetry: The spirit of place by Richard Brown
Fiction (Fantasy): The Snow Walker’s Son by Catherine Fisher

Non-Fiction: Are you wasting good food?

Would you eat less than perfect fruit and vegetables? By Kate Ruttle

Poetry: Hot food by Michael Rosen
Year 5Fiction (Historical Fiction): Wolf Wilder by Katherin Rundell

Non-Fiction: Life Explosion by Kate Ruttle

The First Hominids

Poetry: Tell me, Tell me, Sarah by Charles Causley
Fiction (Historical Fiction): Street Child by Berlie Doherty

Non-Fiction: What is digital citizenship?

Digital Responsibility by Ben Hubbard
Fiction (Classic): Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

Non-Fiction: Just helping my family

Mikael saves the day

Poetry: If I had wings by Pie Corbett

Fiction (Fantasy): Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Non-Fiction: Jacky Daydream

Sir Billy Butlin
Fiction (Fantasy): Varjak Paw by S F Said

Non-Fiction: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Who are refugees and migrants? By Michael Rosen and Anne-Marie Young

Poetry: Foreign Lands by Robert Louis Stevenson
Fiction (Crime/Adventure): Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Non-Fiction: Being a pro snowboarder by Cindy Kleh

Brazilian Dance by Liz Gogerly

Poetry: You can’t be that by Brian Patten
Year 6Fiction (Historical Fiction): Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

Non-Fiction: At last the Jousts Begin!

Boudicca, Bringer of Victory

Poetry: Dream Team

Fiction (Realistic Fiction): Holes by Louis Sachar

Non-Fiction: A Magnetic Compass

First Aid

Poetry: Problems with hurricanes
Fiction (Historical Fiction): After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross

Non-Fiction: The right not to work

The right to education

Poetry: We’re going to see the rabbit
Fiction (Sci-Fi): Fireweed by Jim Paternwalsh

Non-Fiction: How to design the world’s best roller coaster

Poetry: Coral reef
Fiction (Fantasy/ Adventure): The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Non-Fiction: Westside journal

Poetry: Island
Fiction (Thriller): SeaBEAM by Sarah Holding

Non-Fiction: Who are refugees and migrants?

What is right and wrong?

Poetry: The giantess


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