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Our approach to reading 

At Crawford Primary School, we aim to develop every child's reading skills and cultivate a love of literature. We believe it is essential for children to be exposed to a diverse range of genres and text types to develop their confidence in reading. As the children progress through Crawford, we focus on providing them with the necessary skills to decode words and read fluently with good comprehension.


Additionally, we encourage children to actively engage with the text by identifying key aspects, discussing events, clarifying vocabulary, making inferences and predicting what will happen next in a story. Our aim is to create a community of enthusiastic and motivated readers who enjoy reading for pleasure and can use it as a tool for critical thinking. 

In all subjects, vocabulary is given significant importance. Teachers introduce vocabulary for each topic, which is then displayed in the classrooms and regularly revisited. Vocabulary is also taught and revised during Destination Reader lessons. Moreover, teachers make connections between subjects and demonstrate how vocabulary can be used in various contexts. By doing this, children develop a deeper understanding of the words they are learning and how to use them in different contexts. 

The high-quality topic texts have been carefully selected to give children excellent examples of language used in context. The reading spine, which includes a range of genres, text types and authors, has been thoughtfully put together to expose children to the richness and diversity of literature. The texts have been selected to allow children to discover and explore classic and contemporary literature, various types of non-fiction texts and different kinds of poetry. This will enable children to make connections and explore common themes in literature, which helps to deepen their understanding of the texts and the world around them. 

Our reading culture 

Children are encouraged to read for pleasure daily and adults regularly read to them during a timetabled Reading for Pleasure time. Class stories have been selected for each year group to expose children to various stories. Other class novels are chosen based on the children's reading preferences and interests. To further encourage reading in school, each classroom has a book corner containing a diverse range of texts and genres. Children take home banded books to practise reading at their level with their parents and carers, and they are encouraged to fill in their reading diaries regularly.   

Our core texts are chosen based on the locality, school demographics, topics and interests. Children's writing is based on high-quality texts carefully selected to link with topics, provide models and inspire their writing. 


Our Library 

All children are able to access our recently reopened library, which plays a vital role in encouraging a love of reading and learning. Classes visit it weekly to choose books, and class librarians help maintain it and give recommendations to others. We regularly update the book stock to ensure that we have a diverse selection of titles that cater to the interests of all students. The selection process is based on feedback from both teachers and students. We encourage independent book choices and help children discover new titles to encourage them to explore different genres and authors. 

Book fair 

The Scholastic Book Fair is an annual event that provides families and children with an exciting opportunity to browse and purchase a wide variety of books. The fair features books for all ages and interests, from picture books and early readers to young adult novels and reference books. 


World Book Day 

World Book Day is a highly anticipated event celebrated every year, where children wear their favourite book-inspired costumes and participate in exciting reading activities. The celebrations span an entire week and aim to promote the joys and benefits of reading. It's a wonderful occasion that celebrates the magic of books and encourages children to explore the endless possibilities of the world of literature. 


Early Reading 

To enhance children's early reading skills, they participate in daily reading sessions in ability groups. Everyday, children independently read a story, at their reading level, in small groups, supported by an adult who listens to them read, models and corrects appropriately. 

 The groups are based on similar reading abilities, ensuring that they can progress at a comfortable pace. Additionally, the books children read are carefully selected to align with the phonics sounds they are currently learning, cementing their understanding of them.


Furthermore, daily phonics sessions are taught in EYFS and Year 1 to develop students' phonics skills and support their reading progress. 

Whilst phonics is key for reading, comprehension, fluency, prosody (the rhythmic and intonational aspect of speech that manifests as expressive reading) and inference are all needed to become a fluent early reader. These skills are taught, modelled and supported daily in our group reading lessons.  

Phonics - Little Wandle phonics scheme 





The Little Wandle phonics scheme is an effective, structured and systematic way of teaching phonics. This Department for Education-validated programme ensures that the delivery of phonics lessons is consistent across all year groups. It comes with fully matched classroom resources and books, which help our teachers deliver quality first phonics lessons. All staff are trained to deliver the Little Wandle phonic sessions and interventions and regularly attend additional training where appropriate. 

Discrete phonics lessons are taught from Nursery to Year 2 with the bulk of GPCs taught in Reception and Year 1. Each phase of Little Wandle builds on the knowledge and skills of the previous phase. In addition, phonics is revisited through daily reading sessions. This helps children move into Key Stage 2 as confident early readers, who have learned to read and can now read to learn.  

Every child is regularly assessed and we use the Little Wandle Assessment Tracker to ensure we know exactly what support needs to be put in place. Tracking phonics this way allows us to quickly identify children at risk of falling behind and provide effective ‘keep-up’ support to ensure they receive the necessary support.  

Little Wandle Programme Overview

Information about what sounds your child will learn when, as well as links to videos to help you to support your child with phonics at home here.


Reading in Year 1 

In Year 1, we prioritise the development of strong literacy skills. To achieve this, we teach reading daily in small groups to provide individualised attention to each child. We use fully decodable books that closely match each student's current phonics knowledge. This ensures that they learn at a comfortable pace and that their reading skills are continually improving. Additionally, we provide daily phonics sessions that reinforce the fundamental building blocks of reading and help our children develop a strong foundation for future learning.  

Reading in Year 2 

Upon entering Year 2, children continue to practise their reading daily in small group sessions to foster their reading skills further. These sessions serve as a stepping stone towards whole class reading lessons designed to improve children's fluency and understanding of various texts. In addition to these lessons, all children are taught phonics in the Autumn term to enhance their ability to identify and manipulate sounds in words. By the end of the Autumn term, children are expected to have developed a strong foundation in reading and phonics skills, which will serve as a basis for further learning. Starting from the Spring term, children participate in whole class reading lessons to improve fluency and deepen text comprehension. This is the beginning of their journey from learning to read to reading to learn. 

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Reading in KS2 

In Key Stage 2, we strongly emphasise reading as a fundamental skill crucial to a child's development. Reading not only helps children acquire knowledge but also helps them to develop critical thinking and comprehension skills. To achieve this, we teach whole class reading lessons that are designed to improve fluency and understanding of the text.  

In Year 3, we begin with whole class reading lessons focused on regular fluency practice to support understanding of the text. We then introduce Destination Reader, a daily reading programme, which provides structure and support to students as they progress through their reading journey. Children are introduced to various language stems and strategies that help them deepen their understanding and engage in meaningful discussions. Our aim is to help children read with purpose and fluency, which is essential for their academic success, and to equip them with the necessary skills to become confident and successful readers.  

One of the essential components of the Destination Reader program is whole class teacher modelling, where teachers demonstrate and model strategies for students to follow. This approach helps students to gain a better understanding of how to read and engage with texts effectively.  

We carefully select texts that align with the National Curriculum and offer children a variety of genres and authors to explore. Whenever possible, we link texts to other subjects to provide children with a more immersive learning experience. All texts are age-appropriate, and we ensure that they are carefully chosen to cater to the needs and interests of children at Crawford. 

Extra support 

At Crawford, we provide individualised support to children to help them reach their full potential. This includes interventions from the very beginning, starting from EYFS onwards.  

  • One-on-one reading sessions take place regularly to give individual attention to children who need extra help with reading.  

  • For children working below Phase 5 in Year 2, daily phonics interventions continue until they have achieved the expected level of progress 

  • Little Wandle Rapid Catch-Up Programme helps children who still need additional support with their phonics 

  • Reading Fluency Project in KS2 delivered by class teacher, which is designed to improve children's reading fluency and comprehension skills 

Assessment in Reading 

We regularly assess children's reading and understanding during daily reading lessons. Teachers listen to children read to ensure they are reading books at an appropriate level. 

After an individual assessment, children in EYFS and Year 1 read books matched to their phonics level. From Year 2 onwards, children read colour-banded books based on their reading level. To understand the meaning of a passage, a child must read approximately 95% of the words correctly, which amounts to about five or fewer mistakes in a 100-word passage. The book is too challenging if a child makes more than five mistakes. If a child reads the book without errors, it is too easy for them. 

In KS2, children practice comprehension weekly in Big Picture lessons, which are part of our ongoing assessment. Additionally, they complete reading assessment papers during our assessment windows throughout the year. 

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