Fossdene Primary


We are a reading school and high quality reading provision is at the heart of our curriculum. 


At Fossdene, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and so to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading.


  • Children take part in daily Guided Reading lessons in KS1, where children are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
  • In KS2, children take part in ‘Think Aloud’ 3 times a week. Think-Alouds have been described as "eavesdropping on someone's thinking." With this strategy, teachers verbalise aloud while reading a selection orally. Their verbalisations include describing things they are doing as they read to monitor their comprehension. The purpose of the think-aloud strategy is to model for students how skilled readers construct meaning from a text.

Why use Think-Alouds?

  • It helps students learn to monitor their thinking as they read and improves their comprehension.
  • It teaches students to re-read a sentence, read ahead to clarify, and/or look for context clues to make sense of what they read.
  • It slows down the reading process and allows students to monitor their understanding of a text.
  • Children take part in regular shared reading with the teacher. Shared reading provides opportunities for the teacher to expand vocabulary; read fluently, with expression and confidence; promote pleasure and enjoyment with texts; demonstrate decoding and comprehension strategies; demonstrate concepts of print such as left to right, return sweep, top to bottom, left page before right page; demonstrate how to use meaning, structure and visual information cues to assist reading and teach phonics and phonemic awareness. Shared reading is a strategy that can support the teaching of the Big Six elements of reading: oral language, early experiences with print, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
  • All children from Nursery to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is monitored and changed regularly.
  • Each classroom has a selection of books in their classroom which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
  • Texts for English lessons are chosen carefully. Our texts are of high quality and represent all the communities of our school and wider area.
  • Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.
  • Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with a wide range of books suitable for all children. This is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day. Books are purchased regularly so children are kept up to date with new authors and new releases.
  • All children are signed up to Epic – the leading digital reading platform – built on a collection of 40,000+ popular, high-quality books from 250+ of the world’s best publishers – that safely fuels curiosity and reading confidence for children 12 and under.
  • Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’, in which children mix with other children from different year groups and share a book together. (On hold due to COVID19)
  • Children who are not yet ‘free readers’, will work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the children’s current reading age. We expect family at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
  • We use Accelerated Reader from Year 2 to Year 6. Accelerated Reader is a computer-based program that we use to monitor reading practice and progress. It helps teachers guide children to books that are on their individual reading standards. Students take short quizzes after reading a book to check if they have understood it.
  • Teachers regularly share their knowledge of children’s literature through weekly book reviews – these are sent out to all staff in the weekly briefing. Research has shownthat there is value in helping teachers become reading role models for the pupils they teach, and that developing teachers' subject knowledge of children's literature can contribute to a child or young person's enjoyment of reading.
  • Every class teacher also chooses a newly published book or a new author every month which is then purchased so they can share new literature with their class.
  • Termly Top 50 book recommendations for every year group are shared on our school website and our online classroom. This supports parents in choosing quality literature for children of all ages.
  • Reading guidance for parents is shared on our school website and teachers are available to support parents.
  • On top of creating and promoting a ‘reading for pleasure culture’ at Fossdene in our everyday practice, we create an experience of awe and wonder for children, teachers, and the school community using, for example, theatre companies, author workshops/talks and visitors such as Punch Drunk and the Lost Lending Library.
  • Teachers plan time for children to be assessed using the Accelerated Reader program 3 times a year as well as regularly assessing against the Reading Key Performance Indicators (in Years 1-6) and against the Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.

Our aim, by the time children leave Fossdene, is that all children are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. At Fossdene, we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics (see our Phonics Intent, implementation and impact statement).


All pupils will be able to read with accuracy, speed, confidence, fluency and understanding and be ready to access other subjects in their secondary education. All pupils will make at least good progress from their starting points. Pupils will develop a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. However, we passionately believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.



Reading Prompts for Parents

Leaflet for Parents

Nursery Reading Recommendations

Reception Reading Recommendations

Year 1 Reading Recommendations

Year 2 Reading Recommendations

Year 3 Reading Recommendations

Year 4 Reading Recommendations

Year 5 Reading Recommendations

Year 6 Reading Recommendations