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Widden Primary School


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” - Dr. Seuss

Reading at Widden Primary School

At Widden Primary School, we know that reading is a powerful tool, which not only supports a child's education, but also their social and cognitive development, their wellbeing and mental health.  Our vision is that all children develop a lifelong love of literature through exposure to high quality and relevant texts. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum and through our phonics programme, explicit reading lessons, home reading, daily independent reading opportunities, library time and listening to texts read aloud, our children become fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

Reading at home

Nursery home reading promotes the love of reading through well-known children’s story books, where families have the opportunity to read and enjoy these stories together. 

Children in reception, year 1 and year 2 take home phonetically decodable texts that matches the phonics teaching they are receiving in class and the book band level they have been assessed at. Children and families record the text name and what is read in the reading log. In Ks2, when the children are ready they move through progressive coloured reading bands with a range of text types and themes. By the time our pupils leave Widden, we envisage that they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, seek out books from a range of different genres including poetry and engage in discussion about authorial choices or impact on the reader. 

Reading Teaching 

At Widden Primary School, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Group reading begins in Reception where the children read in small groups three times a week to build on their decoding, fluency and prosody. This continues into Year 1 where they also begin to have a weekly VIPERS session. 

VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, predict, explain, retrieve and sequence/summarise) is as our method to explicitly teach each reading skill. From Year 2 the children access four VIPERS sessions a week where we focus on some of the main reading strands. Our whole class reading comprehension sessions are used as a powerful tool to allow all children to make progress in reading and provide regular and supportive opportunities for children to encounter engaging texts that will resonate with their interests and capture their imagination. Our reading lessons involve lots of discussion time to allow the children to be fully immersed within the text and develop their understanding of new vocabulary and ideas. 

Reading Spine

Reading for pleasure is known to have a significant impact on children’s attainment and life chances. We strive for every child to have a love of reading in our school and reading is central to everything that we do. We have developed a ‘reading spine’ of key books that we believe will enrich the children’s experiences, bring enjoyment and nurture a love of reading. 

The reading spine was compiled using a wide range of themes using fiction and non-fiction texts and our drive to represent diversity in the books children read and the authors who have written them. Each year group has a set of core texts that ensures the children experience a range of high quality texts and authors during their time here. Our core texts and additional texts are shared in English lessons and during whole class reading. 

Story Time

At Widden Primary School, we recognise the impact of reading to children and ensure that this is part of our daily routine in all classes. Books are selected from our year group reading spines and are shared with the children daily. Additionally, children are read other stories and books in assemblies with other classes. This is an opportunity for children to be exposed to a wider range of books from authors the children may not have heard of and foster their love of reading. We have a weekly whole school reading assembly where we enjoy listening to a story as a school community.