Turtle Boy Lovers!

Turtle Boy Lovers!

Over the Autumn term in Year 6, we thoroughly enjoyed reading our class text Turtle Boy and learnt all about the brave...

Year 5 Reporters…

Year 5 Reporters…

Year 5 have been exploring features of newspaper reports and leant lots of valuable information. We started off our...

Kind hearts

Kind hearts

In Year 5 these children have worked so well together to discuss this story book. They predicted what they thought was...

Reading Superstars!

Reading Superstars!

Year 5 have had a wonderful time at Hoyland Library. They visited the library and learnt all about the different...

Reading Challenge!

Reading Challenge!

It has been fantastic to see so many of you engaging in our Autumn 1 reading challenge this half term. So many of you...



This morning Year 5 are working extremely hard to find the meaning of tricky vocabulary. We are then using the tricky...

World book day in Year 6! 

World book day in Year 6! 

We've had a great World Book Day in year 6! We read with our reading buddies, took part in the BBC live lesson and...



At Elsecar we work hard to ensure that all pupils achieve their best in Reading, both for fluency and in their comprehension and understanding.  We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress.

We also actively seek out ways to encourage a positive mindset towards reading books for pleasure.

We believe through reading, pupils will have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We feel that reading enable pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.


Our intent is to:

  • Ensure pupils read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary and apply them correctly in both speaking and listening and written activities;
  • understanding of the conventions of reading;
  • Develop an appreciation for a range well known modern and classic literature;
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.


The working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. The understanding that the letter on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This begins with phonics teaching in early years.

The process of recap, revisit and recall is embedded into the reading comprehension lessons, to ensure long-term retention of skills and information to aid pupils in later life and empower them for when they enter the next steps of their education and into the working world.


Subject Leadership / Subject Knowledge:

  • All teachers given support to deliver phonics lessons in early years and key stage 1.
  • Phonics delivery is monitored and assessed regularly by senior leadership team, ensuring a consistent approach and identifying any gaps through pupil progress meetings termly.
  • Teaching staff from years 2 to 6 are given support to deliver comprehension and understanding lessons through whole class reading.
  • CPD sessions conducted to give teachers the continuity and progression of skills across Key stages and phases.
  • Inset training given to equip teachers with necessary skills to model, scaffold and question pupils to achieve a deeper level of understanding and vocabulary.

Systematic synthetic phonics

Daily Read Write Inc phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1 for 45 minutes to 1 hour are taught each day from 9am. Pupils are assigned into small groups with pupils who are at or around the same academic ability. These groups are monitored and re-structured if required every 7 weeks.


Once pupils have finished the Read Write Inc programme, they transition onto the Read Write Inc comprehension programme.

Any child who does not pass their year 1 phonics screening test in years 1 or 2 continue to develop their word fluency and phonic knowledge through daily Read Write Inc lessons and afternoon interventions.

The Assessment of word reading and fluency recorded regularly, focusing on the key areas of the appropriate EYFS stage or National Curriculum year group.

Word Reading in Reception/ KS1:

  • Pupils take home Read Write Inc take home books and colour coded band books which are linked to the sound they are learning that week. These are to be read several times during that week. This is so that each child gets to practice that particular sound while also improving their understanding of what they are reading through questioning at home. Parents are to evidence that their child has read with them at home. These books should be replaced at least once a week.
  • Pupils bring home the appropriate phase sound and word cards to read at home alongside reading books.
  • Regular 1:1 reading with pupils and recorded.
  • Afternoon reading session in Year 1 progressing to pupils answering questions based on vocabulary, simple inference and summarising activities.

Whole Class Lessons for Word Reading and Comprehension (Y2 – Y6):

Throughout the week, pupils’ complete activities which all link to the content domains in each Key Stage. Teachers provide pupils with a clear lesson objective each day. Pupils will become increasingly familiar with the VIPERS acronym which focuses on a different strand during the whole class reading cycle.


Pupils are introduced to a text which will either be a photocopied short narrative, a class novel (generally not photocopied unless required for improving vocabulary knowledge and fact retrieval skills) and short non-fiction text types. These texts will be pitched above the pupil or pupils who are considered above age related. The delivery of this text can be read as a whole class reading aloud, reading to one another, read alone with staff members listening to individuals reading throughout the process. These strategies will be used in different ways depending on the focus of the lesson.

Pupils will have a number of different questions based on the learning objective they are focusing on during that lesson. Some of these questions will be used as modelled answers and will be used as discussion points to help pupils learn how to answer them correctly. There will be plenty of opportunities for verbal responses and teaching staff will create modelled written responses.

During the same or next session, pupils will revisit the same text, or given another part of the text to read by the teacher/ read together or read alone. The pupil will answer questions based on the previous objective. Pupils will use the modelled answers to help them answer their own different questions. Some pupils may have additional input depending on how well they have worked during the teacher input session.

Depending on the success of a particular pupil or group of pupils, they may complete a set of questions based on the same learning objective as the model independently. Their written responses will show their understanding of the questions as well as how well they can articulate their own responses.

Independent reading books

Aiding appropriate pitch and challenge for independent reading books

Each half term, pupils complete the Scholastic Reading Pro benchmark test online. This assessment tests pupils on questions which increase in difficulty as the pupil progresses. Once the child answers three questions incorrectly, this gives the pupil a Lexile score which allows them to pick a book which is appropriate to it.

Once a pupil has read a book which is measured in Lexiles, there is a corresponding quiz which helps them to show their understanding of the book. They have to achieve a score of 7 out of 10 in order to show they have fully understood the text. They have two more opportunities to pass the quiz should they fail the first time.

Our reading library, situated in the main corridor of the school block, allows pupils to choose a book in a more efficient way.  As our Lexile level books are currently limited in numbers, we have incorporated our previous book organisational approach, book banding, so that pupils can choose from a range of books.

Also, they can assign pupil books on the Scholastic Online Reading Library which are at the age appropriate level.

Independent reading expectations – Pupils and parents

At Elsecar, the expectation is that pupils read frequently at home. In Key Stage One, pupils must read with an adult who then comments and signs in their reading record. In Key Stage Two, we promote a more responsible approach to independent reading. Pupils are able to comment and sign their own reading records however they must also show they have read with an adult a number of times also.

Pupils must bring their books in to school every day. They are to place them in a reading box and ensure they have been ticked on the reading tracker which highlights whether they have brought in one or both elements required for the reading book. In Key Stage One, support staff are to tick off if they have brought in their reading book and record. In Key Stage Two, two book monitors have a responsibility to tick off who has brought their book during a break time.

Independent reading expectations – Teaching and support staff

Teachers and support staff must be aware of who is and is not reading in their class. It is imperative that any pupil who is not reading regularly at home is listened to during the week by an adult in school as part of ongoing efforts for keeping our pupils in line with age related expectations. Alongside listening for fluency, teaching and support staff ask questions based around the different areas of reading.

Once the pupils have completed the reading benchmark assessment tool and quizzes in the subsequent weeks, the class teacher uses the Scholastic Reading Pro assessment features which include the current Lexile scores of the pupils and an expected Lexile growth report. Teachers can use this information alongside summative assessments and the information they have obtained from reading records, to determine who their bottom 20% are. This helps they to identify who needs additional reading support in class.

Rewards and sanctions

Each class records how many times a child reads and keeps a log to provide information to the Reading Leader termly. This is to ascertain whether specific intervention or praise is needed for a class or number of classes. Prizes are given half termly to a small number of children (randomly) and praise is given in Special Mentions assembly on the first Monday of a new half term.

If a pupil does not bring in their book for at least 60% of the week, the school will communicate with the pupil’s parent either verbally or through a written message explaining that they must bring in their book each day so maximise opportunities for reading.

What reading looks like in and around school

Each classroom across school will have a reading area in their classroom. This needs to be a space where reading and book talk is promoted through sentence stems, questions and

vocabulary displayed. The school’s reading area is the library and is furnished with cushioned chairs, beanbags and large cushions suitable for the floor.

Outdoor reading areas in Foundation Stage and our three playgrounds are available so that pupils are able to read in a designated space during playtimes and lunchtimes.

In the library and in class reading areas there are spaces for children to recommend books or authors to their peers. We will also provide opportunities for pupils to recommend a book using our Elsecar Readers Twitter

Parental help and support

At Elsecar Holy Trinity Primary, we actively encourage parents to be involved in their child’s learning as much as possible. In order to support this, we have created a list of ways this can be achieved.

  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s

comprehension skills, inference and understanding.

  • Practice the sounds they know at home. These are the sounds in the Speed Sound Chart at the start of the storybooks.
  • Listen to your child read, both their RWI storybook and other storybooks, every day.
  • Visit libraries or if closed, try to use the online library service.
  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.
  • Make sure that they attend school every day, and that they are on time, as this will help your child to make the most progress.
  • Visit the Parents section of our school website which has ideas
  • Attend or watch Phonics / Reading workshops.

Planning the Progression Model:

EYFS: a baseline assessment in Autumn Term is followed up with monitoring regularly throughout the year, recorded and re-assessed at each Assessment Point.

Year 1: individual word reading for fluency and understanding progresses to guide reading groups and sharing texts, to oral and then written responses to simple text types.

Year 2: individual word reading for fluency, plus whole class reading opportunities for deeper level understanding and comprehension.

Year 3-6 and pupils in year 2 who have completed the RWI phonics programme: colour coded band books and Lexile levelled reading books are available to borrow as their independent reading books/ and recording those on a regular basis, recording times read at home as well. Whole class reading lessons for access to age appropriate challenging quality texts, with a deeper level of understanding and comprehension taught.

Breadth and Depth:

EYFS: language rich classroom, instructions to read, questions, reading through topic and role play areas.

KS1: reading opportunities given in class story time, reading for information through topics studied, internet sources of reading, 1:1 reading opportunities, small group reading and whole class reading sessions.

KS2: class story books shared, reading for research and information through topics studied, internet sources of research, 1:1 reading opportunities, reading coaches and reading buddies (with younger children) whole class reading sessions.


Assessment for Learning takes place in all classes, continuously throughout the year, formal summative assessment points are made in October, December, February and June each year.

Impact of this practice is:

  • an increase in reading for pleasure and use of our new library (projected impact)
  • an increase in reading assessment data for all year groups and sub- groups.