Reading is at the heart of the curriculum because it matters. Through reading, children have access to the world around them and to enhance their knowledge of other places, other times and other people. Through text, children can escape to other worlds, research ideas that interest them and expand their knowledge beyond their own experiences. Reading is not just a skill, it impacts individuals emotionally, culturally and educationally.

At Newburgh we want to inspire our children to choose to read for pleasure and enable them to have access to quality texts. In our school community we plan for children to develop reader to reader relationships with both staff and peers and to optimise every opportunity possible to help our children become readers for life.

Our intentions are that children have the chance to experience the excitement, wonder and fascination that comes from reading and understand how it feels to lose themselves in a story. We aim to introduce the children to a wide range of texts including new literature and to support them to develop a love of reading.

When children are read aloud to  they are enveloped in a risk-free learning environment that removes the pressure of achievement and the fear of failure  allowing the freedom to wonder, question and enjoy material beyond their reading abilities.

Reading For Pleasure
We are continuing to build a community of readers at our school.  Classes build a repertoire of texts that they share, laugh about and discuss; sometimes the teacher suggests a new text but children are given ownership and are encouraged to suggest texts or vote on recommended texts for reading aloud time. Each class has time during the week when the children listen to a text for sheer enjoyment.  During this time, when the children are read aloud to, they are enveloped in a risk-free learning environment that removes the pressure of achievement and the fear of failure, allowing the freedom to wonder, question and enjoy material beyond their reading abilities.   

Children are enticed to choose texts for themselves, from their appealing book corners or from our well-stocked library. Parents support their children to become committed and enthusiastic readers by sharing books and engaging in Book Talk. Children record their personal reading journeys in their Reading records that they share with staff, peers and parents at home. 

Beginner readers

Children's understanding of language is developed through their listening and speaking while they are taught to decode through phonics. Reception and Year 1 staff create a language rich environment where adults talk to children throughout the day as part of their provision. Learning poetry and songs allows children to use “call and response” to strengthen their vocabulary.


At Newburgh we use the 'Read Write Inc' approach to teaching phonics. Phonics involves reading, blending the sounds to say a whole word and spelling involves segmenting the word to identify sounds in it. Reading and spelling are taught alongside one another so that pupils can read back words they have spelt. As part of the program they are also taught to read common exceptions words which are known as red words.

Our reading books are carefully structured in cumulative steps so pupils can decode every word in a text they are given. Children are taught initially using RWI texts as part of their phonic lesson so that the book contains the same sounds that are being taught. Parents support their child's phonic development at home through sharing RWI eBooks and decodable RWI Book Bag books. 

Reading from Year 2

Teachers select a range and breadth of well-chosen texts to support the delivery of the teaching of reading through cross-curricular links and engaging literature. These texts are sequenced carefully and equip pupils with the ability to understand increasingly complex texts as they progress through school. The texts chosen are from a range of diverse authors, both contemporary and classic and cover a range of contexts. Reading lessons involve whole novels, extracts from the novels, shorter texts such as poems and short stories and non-fiction texts.

Elements of Reading within lessons       

Teacher's reading aloud

The purpose of the teacher reading aloud is to model fluent expressive reading while allowing pupils to listen, concentrate and think. Teachers will not interrupt or question, but will comment and openly ponder as a reader in order to explore new ideas and model the process of how readers take on new ideas and make sense of unfamiliar vocabulary. This will be done with an understanding of the children in the class and their reading skill levels and its aim is to ensure that all the children can access the story in a risk-free and non-judgemental environment.

Pupils reading

Developing reading fluency is an important aspect of reading and continues throughout the school. Pupils may read the same text individually or in pairs to develop accuracy and fluency. The whole class may develop fluency through echo reading or choral reading which will help to improve the children’s intonation and emphasis to reflect their understanding.

Teacher’s modelling, explaining and questioning

The purpose of teachers modelling reading is to show what skilled readers do to create a mental model of what they are reading.

Teachers may

  • model how ideas in the text and ideas from pupils’ background knowledge are combined to make meaning;
  • show how to decode the unfamiliar word and then explain its meaning;
  • comment on and consider the impact of specific words or phrases;
  • model how a skilled reader fills in the gaps as they read.

Effective questioning is used to deepen pupils’ understanding by promoting elaboration and flexible thinking so children can integrate new ideas and knowledge into their existing schema. 


Skilled readers draw on a range of comprehension strategies to understand a new text. These include; activating and using background knowledge; generating and asking questions; making predictions; visualising; monitoring comprehension and summarising. Teachers skilfully use questions to develop these skills as part of their English lessons and Wider Subject lessons.



Pupils who need catch up and SEND

Identifying children who require catch up with reading is the focus of the class teachers in conjunction with our Special Needs Co-ordinator. Those with a reading age of 8 or below will access our Systematic Synthetic Phonic (SSP) program to build reading speed and fluency. A diagnostic reading assessment will be undertaken each term with results analysed to track reading months of progress.

We use Read Write Inc and RWI Catch Up program as our SSP program which is delivered by trained Teaching Assistants in KS2 with support from the Special Needs Co-ordinator .

Alongside this we deliver Comprehension Express to those children who require support with their comprehension skills. This intervention is delivered from Year 4 to Year 6.


Throughout the year, formative assessments are carried out by the class teacher and as objectives are assessed these are recorded on our assessment platform . Each term a summative assessment is made by the class teacher to share the level the child has reached in the reading program of study.

Reception and KS1 children undertake the Read, Write Inc phonic assessments which tracks their progress in  phonics each half term. This ensures that groupings for phonics are frequently adjusted based upon each child's progress in word reading and fluency. 

In Year 1 children undertake the phonic screening check which assess their ability to decode a range of real and alien words.

In Year 3 to Year 6, NFER reading assessments are undertaken to support and inform the teachers assessment, so that gaps in learning can be quickly identified and addressed. 

At Newburgh Primary School we undertake the National Statutory Assessments at the end of EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6.