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Reading at Woods Loke

“Reading is interwoven and part of the fabric of the entire curriculum. As a result, pupils get an exceptional range of reading experiences.”


“[Pupils] learn to love reading and have access to a rich variety of high-quality texts.”

Ofsted Report May 2022

Woods Loke Primary School -  Reading

Woods Loke Primary School - Reading

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At Woods Loke Primary School, we know that learning to read opens up a whole new world for our children to learn through and enjoy. Click on the headings below to find out more about the Woods Loke Reading Offer:













Teaching Reading - Phonics

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write by developing their phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate different sounds used in the English language. Children learn the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.


At Woods Loke Primary School, we place a strong emphasis on the teaching of phonics in the early years of reading and writing in order to give all children a solid

foundation for learning. We are currently reviewing this provision and look forward to developing this even further in the coming months. Because not all words in the English language 

comply to the rules of phonics we also teach so-called ‘sight words’ by

repetition and retrieval. Children need to be taught the skills of reading.

We do this in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 through structured and

clearly sequenced daily teaching of Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP)

lessons and activities.


These are further embedded through independent learning. The sessions

are short, engaging and memorable with an emphasis placed on revising

a previously learned letter-sound correspondence, learning a new one,

practicing this, and applying it to sentence level work.

The teaching of phonics begins in Nursery and Reception using ‘Letters and Sounds’. Sounds are introduced at the rate of 2-4 a week throughout the autumn and spring term and children consolidate these sounds in the summer term, whilst also learning to blend the sounds together to read and write words. In Years 1 and 2, the children follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, learning alternative spellings of the previously learned sounds and refining their knowledge to become more fluid readers and more accurate spellers.


Those children aren’t able to pass the phonics check or fall behind, are given focused support to help them succeed. We also run a catch-up programme to help those pupils who still require phonics support beyond Year 2.






Teaching Reading - Key Reading Skills

From Year 2 onwards, whilst phonic skills are refined and gaps

addressed, there is a consistent taught approach throughout the

school. These form part of Key English Skills lessons and happen

at least twice a week. Using a wide variety of high quality and

appropriate texts, children build their comprehension skills whilst

continuing to improve their reading fluency.





Assessing Reading – Summative

The summative assessments in EYFS and Year 1 are all linked

to phonic screening, which takes place at the end of Year 1.

This test helps us to identify children who have

gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need further 

support in Year 2. In Years 2-5, pupils complete a summative

assessment on a termly basis. This test clearly links to the

Woods Loke Learning Grids and complements,

rather than replaces, ongoing formative

assessment strategies. Year 2 also use previous SATs papers where

this is deemed beneficial to the children. In Year 6,

past SATS papers support teacher judgements and help to

prepare children for their future learning.




Assessing Reading – Formative

We use our exemplification and reading assessment grids to assess reading.

These are completed on an ongoing basis and, like in other subjects, a

combination of formative assessment completed during

reading lessons and summative assessments. Further exemplification

guidance is used by staff to accurately assess children.






Whole Class Reading

Throughout the school, children are read to by an adult in their classes

regularly. Teachers will either use their class stimulus text (see below) or

another which fits in with the learning taking place. Teachers read a huge

variety of written material regularly with the children, fiction and

non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries and poems. All year groups have

access to challenging and interesting novels for teachers to

read to their classes, exposing children to

language and classic stories, which they may

find too challenging to read independently.

The Woods Loke Curriculum has at its heart a set of cultural stimuli to help our children appreciate, understand and access a wide-range of ideas, attitudes and beliefs. As part of this, a reading stimulus is mapped out for each half-term and this is used to enrich and enliven the learning that takes place across the curriculum. It may be used in a variety of ways by the classes. For example, it may form the main focus for a topic, the theme for text-level work during writing sessions, the source of reading key skills work or a book enjoyed by the class as a whole.




Reading for Pleasure

All classes from year 2 onwards have a daily half-hour reading slot,

Focussed on giving children time to read for pleasure. In EYFS and year 1

they regularly find time to share stories with their classes. These sessions

promote and instil a love of literature and allow children to independently

apply the skills of decoding and comprehension that they have been taught.







Book Banding

At Woods Loke, we use book bands to help ensure that our

children are reading a variety of high quality texts at an appropriate

level. From Nursery to approximately the end of Year 4,

pupils select books that match their assessed reading level.

These are carefully linked to the exemplification guidance and

informed through our Reading Conferences and other

reading assessments. These bands are also used further up the

school where children are found to be working at a lower

achievement level. From Year 5 onwards, it is expected that children

have developed a sound degree of fluency and they are

encouraged to start selecting their own books based on individual interests.

This choice is supported by our school librarian and other adults and assessed for suitability to ensure that children select texts that balance challenge and enjoyment (often the same thing).






Reading Conferences

Throughout the school, we hold a weekly Reading Conference

with each child.  bIn EYFS and Key Stage 1 this is a good

opportunity for adults to read with pupils and review

their reading records, whereas further up the school

it may involve more discussion about the text.

This time helps to both inform formative assessment,

motivate continued reading and

assess the suitability of text choice - especially further

up the school. Reading Journals are signed at

this point by an adult and home reading expectations monitored.




Reading at Home and Recording Reading

Reading is one of the most important things that children learn whilst

at school. This should be supported at home and we expect all of

our children to read/be read to at home every day.

This forms the main portion of our home learning agreement.

Every child has a Woods Loke Reading Journal. Parents/carers sign

these every day to confirm that their child has

been read with/read to themselves.




Support for Children Experiencing Difficulty Reading

We want all our children to be fluent readers –

regardless of their starting point and barriers to learning.

For those children identified as working below the expected standard in

reading, the school provides further support in various ways. Resources

are available to encourage reluctant readers to engage more

with the subject. Alongside this, TAs are trained in delivering

catch-up reading and a programme called Beat Dyslexia is

used to support children further where this is considered appropriate.








Reading Across the Curriculum

At Woods Loke, reading is not something that is discrete from the

other subjects. Across the curriculum, children use and apply their