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English - Reading Gulftimes : READING IS THE KEY TO LEARNING

Click here for Phonics at Woodlands.  Click here for Writing at Woodlands. 

Reading in Woodlands - Intent

At Woodlands, we want children to learn, develop and embrace a love of reading.  We want them to know that reading can be for both pleasure and for information retrieval. 

Although not an exhaustive list, this guide contains a number of strategies that you may find your child uses within their classroom to develop our pupils’ reading skills and enjoyment.


Supporting Your Child  - finding suitable books

Across the school, we have mapped out key authors that your child will learn about, and have the opportunity to read some of the books written by them.  We have carefully selected authors who represent  a range of cultures and backgrounds to represent all members of our community. 

It can be tricky to know what books are suitable for your child and also what books might engage them.  We are always here to help - please ask your child's class teacher for help or use our author guide that has links to a range of books suitable for your child's age group.  

Authors Across the School


Independent Reading

Hearing pupils read on a 1:1 basis can help develop the initial reading skills of decoding / fluency etc.  It is also a great way to assess any gaps in the children’s sight vocabulary or phonics knowledge which can then be used to inform your planning. 

In EYFS and KS1 there is an expectation to read with an adult 1:1 with a reading book, matched to their level regularly.

Matching a child’s level to a reading book

  • Books should be targeted at children's ability to read 95% independently – it should not be a challenge to them (the books in school may be more of a challenge for them if supported by an adult)
  • Their phonics level should match with the texts they are able to access confidently
  • They should make less than 3 decoding errors on a page
  • They should be able to read with fluency, not like a robot
  • They should be able to answer simple comprehension questions about the content

Reading at home

Books will be sent home each week for your child to read.  This is recorded in a reading journal and signed by the parent each week. 

Thank you in advance, parents and carers, for supporting us with this.

Books should be read at least twice at home, with the aim that children can read the text with fluency and passion -especially when reading for a second/third time.  Overlearning a text when young can be fun and empowering.  Often it is thought that re-reading a text is monotonous, but at this young age, reading a book a few times will help boost their confidence.  A child who thinks that reading a book once alone, should be encouraged to read the book again with expression, or as if it is for performance.

This can be done in a variety of ways.  Parents could try echo reading, where they read some of the text and the child copies, using the same intonation, before the child then reads it independently.  The child could read with an adult first and then ‘perform’ read the text to another family member. 

Parents should be encouraged to ask their child questions about the book.  In Reception, ideas of comprehension questions and activities are sent home regularly to parents.  In KS1, these questions are both in the reading journal and sometimes contained in the actual book. 

Independent Reading KS2

Reading at KS2 should foster an awareness of authors, genres and a love of the written word.  In KS2, there is no expectation to read 1:1 with an adult in school, unless a child needs a little more support.  Children are expected to read independently regularly, with in the class and across the school week, with a book that matches their interest and reading level.  Books will be well thought out for your child.  We have a well equipped library and some very knowledgeable staff, who can help direct your child to a suitable book or author. We also have some great book lists! 

Reading at Home KS2

Books must be sent home each week for the child to read.  This is recorded in a reading journal and signed by the parent each week.  The aim of reading at home is to spark interest and enjoyment of texts and authors, as well as to build up general knowledge and broaden vocabulary.  Parents should be encouraged to ask comprehension questions, read a text alongside their child, support children with the meaning of vocabulary and show an interest/awareness of what their child is reading and enjoying.


Guided Reading

Every class will use guided reading.  The aim of guided reading is to guide children into a love and appreciation of texts and their authors whilst developing key reading skills. The sessions will be tailored to the needs of the children that the adult is working with.  Guided reading will slightly vary in different key stages.  There are a large number of books available for guided reading which are progressive throughout the school.

EYFS: Nursery – Shared reading

In Nursery, shared reading is introduced in the spring/summer term, whereby a simple picture book is displayed to a small group and the children are encouraged to use the pictures to tell the story and make simple inferences such as if a book is showing a dark picture it is suggesting it’s night time. Skills being taught will include order of texts, front covers, author, illustrator, and page numbers.  In nursery, the aim is to ignite a love of reading for pleasure. All books shared with pupils are to be displayed for the children to access independently.

EYFS: Reception – Guided reading

In Reception, the aim of reading, alongside enjoyment, is to build on using pictorial clues to recognise that words too, have meaning.  Pictures are used alongside words - the words are not used independently.

Shared reading continues from nursery and underpins the teaching of reading daily.  A guided reading session takes place once a week with each group, where it fits into the curriculum.  Phonics is at the heart of these sessions and interlinks and builds upon phonics teaching.

KS1 and KS2 – Guided reading

In KS1 and KS2 they will use a ‘Carousel model’.  Across the week, each group will have a guided session with an adult at least once a week. 

Timetabled for a number of shorter sessions throughout the week, each group of children will work with an adult at least once a week.  The remaining groups will complete well-planned activities that will be rotated on a carousel basis with a pre-teach session and a post-read activity.

Further Reading in Classes

Core Text

A core text will be shared in your child's class every day.  For our younger pupils, this may be a short story.  For our older pupils, it may be a longer chapter book. The class teachers always spend time in choosing a book that allows children to become immersed in the story and excited to hear the next chapter.  Reading out loud to children is one of the most powerful ways we can engage more reluctant readers, and it is always a great end to the school day.

Reading Area

Every classroom has a designated and engaging reading area where children can enjoy texts and get pleasure from simply reading and sharing books.  All books shared with pupils as a class, or in small groups, are then displayed for the children to access independently.

Cracking Comprehension

Cracking Comprehension is a program that we have invested in. It is completed once a week from Year 1-6. It helps to develop the children’s comprehension skills across the key stages and is excellent in developing inference and deduction skills.  

Texts across the curriculum

Books about current topics are always displayed and used regularly by children in the class; this is aimed at enhancing their subject knowledge and enjoyment of the topic.

Teaching of Spelling and Phonics 

At Woodlands, we want children to build their knowledge of phonics and spellings so that they leave us as confident and competent spellers.  We will support and challenge pupils’ spellings in all subjects to help improve the spellings within our school. Each morning, as the children come in to school, they will be met with spelling/phonics activities that are based on what they need to learn and to consolidate their knowledge. We use the ‘No Nonsense’ spelling guides from years 2-6 to support and structure the teaching of spellings. From Year 1, the children will have spelling books in which to complete any written morning activity.  

Phonics in KS1/EYFS

Phonics in KS2

Teachers will identify those children who may need additional phonics teaching from their written work, miscue analysis or spelling tests. Children who have gaps in their phonics will be assessed one to one and then taught regular, discrete phonics sessions targeting the sounds they need to learn.  These will be regularly assessed to ensure that the children move on as quickly as they can.