Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We know that early success in acquiring reading skills usually leads to later successes in reading as the learner grows, while failing to learn to read before the third or fourth year of schooling may be indicative of lifelong problems in learning new skills. 

At The Galfrid School, we want our children to: 

  • become fluent, confident and expressive readers who have both the skill and the will to read effectively; 
  • read with enjoyment across a range of genres; 
  • read for pleasure as well as for information; 
  • read and respond to a wide range of different types of literature; 
  • understand the layout and how to use different genres and text types; 
  • understand and apply their knowledge of phonics and spelling patterns and use this to decode words with accuracy; 
  • build their bank of sight words to enable fluent reading; 
  • have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a rich and varied vocabulary; 
  • understand and respond to literature drawn from a range of cultures and literary heritage. 

Our reading curriculum is designed to achieve a balance between developing the skill of reading and reading for pleasure as our school understands the challenges that exist between teaching children to be fluent readers whilst ensuring that we support them to develop a life-long love of reading. To this end, we have worked hard to ensure that our reading approach is consistent with the phonic phases and sequences of teaching and learning throughout the school. This policy intends to promote a love of reading for all pupils whilst creating life-long readers who have the skills to access all areas of the curriculum with independence and confidence.

Our reading curriculum is also planned in a way which promotes the cultural capital of all our children. We enhance our curriculum, especially for the most disadvantaged, by providing access to a diverse range of texts including those which promote different socio-economic backgrounds, disabilities, religions and cultures and periods of history. Each year we plan opportunities for pupils to watch and take part in theatre productions and have guest authors and poets into school. 


Reading at The Galfrid School is taught systematically. Some teaching strategies are generic across the whole school, whilst others are specific to key stages. Implementation is mostly by the class teacher but in KS1 it is also supported by classroom teaching assistants. 

All pupils are read to by an enabling adult on a daily basis. This time is protected as we believe it is vital in developing and celebrating a love of reading and the will to read independently and by choice. In these daily sessions, staff read aloud books at a higher level than the ability of the pupils to the whole class. They read with passion and excellent fluency modelling what makes a good reader. Staff select books that promote cultural capital and engage the interests of the pupils they teach. 

In EYFS and KS1, pupils learn to read using the Read Write Inc phonics programme. All our staff are trained to deliver this. It is taught daily and systematically to discrete groups of children who are of similar phonological recognition and understanding. If needed, children who require further support to enable them to read the RWI fast-track tutoring programme is implemented for KS2 children.   

Early Years and Key Stage 1

Strategies, aims and assessments for Early Years and Key Stage 1: 

  • Daily phonics lessons using Read Write Inc; 
  • Oxford Owl online reading platform; 
  • Phonics intervention groups lead by skilled teaching assistants in each class where needed 
  • A commitment to linking reading with writing; 
  • Reading of texts linked to topic work; 
  • All staff attending continuous CPD;
  • Teachers in EYFS regularly assessing children against the Development Matters statements;
  • Use Read Write Inc half-termly assessments to identify children’s phonics level;
  • Complete phonics screening checks at the end of Year 1 and then, where needed, in Year 2 and beyond;
  • Extra activities to raise the profile of reading, linked to different themes. 
  • Visits to the school library; 
  • World Book Day involving local authors, booksellers, poets, storytellers and a range of book related activities.

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, children learn to become fluent readers with increasingly growing comprehension skills. Children who are in a learning gap are given significant support through daily 1:1 reading and phonics interventions.  

Reading lessons in Key Stage 2 follow a structured weekly cycle. Teachers will refer to year group book spines and select texts that will immerse the pupils in their next genre for writing. This will ensure a range of text types are covered and will strengthen the link between our approach of Reading as a Writer and Writing as a Reader. 

The Sequence: 

Day One: Introduction to the text and subject specific vocabulary. First read of the text individually and then again together focusing on reading fluency (phrasing, expression, smoothness and pace). Questions posed around making predictions and summarising what has been read. 

Day Two: Further reading fluency of the text. Using echo and choral reading strategies. Questions posed around making predictions and summarising what has been read. 

Day Three: Retrieval of Information. Teacher models using the skills required to answer questions in this reading domain. This will include identifying the key words in the question and having some understanding of where this answer will be found. Scanning the text to find key words and reading around them to find the answer. Emphasis is placed on answering in a concise and accurate manner. 

Day Four: Word Meaning and Vocabulary. Teacher models using the skills required to answer questions in this reading domain. This will include identifying the key words in the question and understanding the meaning of the words in context by using words and phrases around it. Emphasis is placed on distinguishing between words, phrases and sentences and accurate copying from the text. 

Day Five: Inference. Teacher models using the skills required to answer questions in this reading domain. This will include identifying clues within the text that lead us to infer something. Emphasis is placed on using evidence from the text to justify inferences. Inference grids may be used to scaffold and encourage more developed answers. 


All staff have a secure understanding of year group expectations and good understanding of year group progression in reading and phonics. Teachers complete formative assessments in class in addition to providing verbal feedback and in the moment marking to allow the children to respond, make improvements and consolidate understanding.

Formative and summative assessments are used to inform the planning and teaching of reading. We use weekly reading comprehensions, Year 2 and 6 SATs and termly PIRA assessments from Years 1 – 6. These are analysed using MARK online and Shine Interventions are used for pupils identified as requiring support as a result of this analysis. 


To understand the impact of our reading approaches in our school, attainment in reading is measured using formative assessment in addition to the statutory assessments at the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The results gained from termly PIRA tests in year groups 1 – 6 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. Furthermore, the English lead regularly talks to children to establish attitudes around reading.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent word readers by the end of Key Stage 1, so that they can focus on developing their comprehension and inference skills. As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, our aim is that all children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum.

At The Galfrid School we strongly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of statutory assessments.

Our aim is that by the time children leave The Galfrid School they are competent, knowledgeable and successful readers who can readily discuss and recommend books to their peers, have a desire to read a range of genres including poetry, and proudly know an assortment of books and authors.