‘A child, a book, a read, a chat. This is the way the mind grows. Not with a test but a tale’.

Michael Rosen

At Hinchley Wood Primary School, we intend for all of our pupils to become independent, life-long, lovers of reading. Reading is a life skill that we equip all of our pupils with and is at the heart of everything that we do. Our curriculum is enriched with a wide variety of high-quality texts and genres, which are at the core of our curriculum. Developing our pupils’ reading for pleasure underpins all of our teaching of reading and exposure to texts. Being a skilled and motivated reader enables children to access all curriculum areas. We ensure a variety of texts are sequenced alongside all subjects in school so that our pupils can unlock further learning.

Our pupils read for pleasure daily through independent reading, time spent in their class book corner and through dedicated reading time within their daily timetable. Different year groups regularly come together to take part in shared reading, where the pupils self-select a text that they wish to share with their peers. All members of our school community enjoy discussing texts, authors and genres with one another. Book talk fills our school’s day, enabling us to make links to the world around us whilst developing our vocabulary further too. The book talk surrounding our texts, exposes our children to a language rich environment, in which vocabulary is celebrated. Language acquisition and the understanding of this enables our pupils to read with enjoyment, purpose and understanding. 

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

How we teach reading

As soon as our pupils begin in Reception, they are immersed into a reading rich environment, where they hear a variety of texts being read aloud daily. The children then shortly begin their systematic phonics learning (further information can be found under the curriculum area for Phonics), supporting them in decoding the words that they come across. We endeavour to support and build upon the children’s vocabulary bank so always support them in identifying and comprehending the meaning of any new language.

Guided reading takes places in all classes across the school. This is an opportunity for children to read with the class teacher and discuss a variety of texts and genres in small groups. During their guided reading session, pupils will focus on different comprehension skills such as predicting, sequencing events and retrieving key information from the text. During these sessions, our pupils also have access to our ‘Travelling Libraries’ and ‘Story Suitcases’.

Suitcase reading

Reading books

Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 all receive reading materials closely matched to their phonic knowledge. This enables them to consolidate their phonics understanding through regular practise of identifying these sounds. This supports our children in becoming individuals who can read with developing automaticity and confidence. 

Alongside receiving their phonics book weekly, the pupils also self-select another text that they would like to take and read at home. These are chosen from a wide range of texts that include play scripts, poetry, information texts and stories. As pupils progress throughout the school, those who continue to require support with Phonics receive this regularly through gaps being assessed quickly and effectively. 

Pupils in KS2 will still have access to fluency books. However, as they become more independent and confident readers, we encourage them to self-select from a wider range of different texts and genres.

Recommended books by age group

Click here to view a guide of age appropriate books offering suggestions of texts and authors.  These have been carefully chosen by ‘The Book Trust’ to engage and excite children with their reading. 


Tips to help children reading at home

Support reading graphic