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Puss Bank School and Nursery

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Reading Curriculum Statement of Intent

Our Reading curriculum aims to immerse children in a text rich learning environment to create fluent confident readers with a lifelong love of reading which they apply confidently across the curriculum. On their journey to becoming accomplished readers, pupils are exposed to a wide range of literature. Using high quality texts, pupils develop a deep understanding of their reading and widen their knowledge of vocabulary.


Our overall aims are to ensure that pupils: f

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage.


We will support children to develop these skills and knowledge through:

  • Sharing stories, songs and poems.
  • Whole class reading.
  • Understanding the picture book codes.
  • Reading for pleasure.
  • Daily systematic phonics lessons.
  • Imaginative play and role play.
  • Helicopter stories.
  • Small group ECaR.
  • 1:1 reading through Boosting Reading at Primary.
  • Assemblies and plays



Puss Bank is a school which strives to have reading at the core of all it does.

Our curriculum, creates skilled readers through ‘weaving’ the strands of reading comprehension and word recognition through our lessons, whilst ensuring our ethos for Reading for Pleasure underpins all that the children experience.

Reading is developed using a balanced and engaging approach, which integrates both decoding and comprehension skills,

‘Both decoding and comprehension skills are necessary for confident and competent reading.’ (Education Endowment Foundation Research).

As a result, children experience a wide range of texts. They experience texts which are carefully matched, in order to provide them with opportunities to practise words containing the letter-sound patterns they have already been taught in their phonics lessons. In addition, children also experience texts which allow them to share and celebrate stories with their parents and teachers, which is vital in instilling an early and sustained love of reading.

Reading comprehension is developed through group and whole-class lessons, which focus on the key strands of effective reading comprehension: vocabulary (both breadth and depth, and its use in sentences), inference making, monitoring for meaning and awareness and use of texts (how texts work), and embedding in children the key strategies of questioning, predicting, clarifying, summarising and activating prior knowledge (we use VIPERS to aid these skills). Teachers are critical when selecting texts, and planning sessions, to ensure the strands and the skills are explicitly modelled through the sessions with structured support, providing opportunities for children to apply these in their work, and enabling them to take responsibility automatically for using and combining these strategies to monitor and develop their own reading comprehension. Furthermore, they carefully consider the background knowledge pupils will need to understand the text. In addition, teachers and children consistently read aloud as fluent reading directly supports comprehension, as pupils’ cognitive resources are freed from focusing on word recognition, and can be redirected towards comprehending the text.



Curriculum Design

Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Create enthusiastic and passionate readers who read widely for a range of purposes.
  • Pupils can actively use decoding and blending skills to access familiar and unfamiliar words.
  • Pupils have strong knowledge of the world they live in through their reading.
  • Pupils independently can activate their prior learning when exploring a new text.
  • Pupils are fluent readers who use correct intonation and pace when reading aloud.
  • Pupils express a pleasure in reading and can discuss stories they have read themselves or heard.
  • Pupils can infer, analyse and critique an author’s choice of pictures, words and colour and can use these to make links to other texts they know.



Reading for Pleasure (RfP):


There is significant evidence that Reading for Pleasure and reading engagement are strong predictors of reading attainment, and attainment in maths, spelling and vocabulary.

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success’- OECD 2002.

We have embedded the ‘Reading for Pleasure’ ethos at Puss Bank School and Nursery to create a love of reading for all. Teachers provide socially engaging reading environments where children are encouraged to share their love of books. We have dedicated sessions where children and teachers read for pleasure. Although we have a dedicated social reading time all the other strands of reading for pleasure can be flexible and can be woven throughout the day and week.


To develop children’s RfP, research shows that teachers need:

  1. Considerable knowledge of children’s literature & other texts
  2.  Knowledge of children’s reading practices
  3.  An RfP pedagogy, encompassing:
    • social reading environments
    • reading aloud
    • informal book talk, inside-text talk and recommendations
    • independent reading time
  4.  To be Reading Teachers - teachers who read and readers who teach
  5. To develop reciprocal and interactive reading communities

(Cremin et al., 2014)


Our teachers are seen as Reading Teachers and display the book that they are currently reading so that children can come and ask them about it.  They are developing their own knowledge of children’s literature, which they use effectively to understand and widen children’s own reading lives.


Early Years:

During their time in Early Years, the children are immersed in a range of high-quality texts which act as a strong foundation for their reading journeys through school and in the wider world.



Nursey aims to foster a love of reading by sharing stories, songs and rhymes. Games and activities to help build communication and language skills. The nursery is a language and text rich environment and our staff support the children by drawing their attention to different forms of texts, such as, in books, signs and labels. Whole class story times take place daily. During small group reading sessions children develop their concepts about print, holding the book the correct way, turning pages and pointing to text and pictures.



Throughout the year children’s reading is scaffolded by a structured, systematic phonics programme which encourages them to begin to decode regular words in their reading. Reading is developed using a balanced and engaging approach, which integrates both decoding and comprehension skills. As the children progress in their reading skills, guided reading is introduced into the Reception curriculum. By the end of their time in EYFS children can read and understand simple sentences and demonstrate this understanding through talking with others about what they have read. They have daily access to role play areas and continuous provision which encourage a love and pleasure for literature from an early age. Sessions with their class teacher explicitly teach concepts of print and the modelling of early reading.




Key Stage 1:

During their time in KS1, the children continue to progress through rigorous systematic phonics teaching. The children’s main focus of reading at this stage is word reading and their decoding and blending of familiar and unfamiliar words. The teaching of reading is underpinned by the understanding that the letters on the page represent sounds in spoken words. Throughout this Key Stage children begin to attach meanings and understanding to new words which broadens their vocabulary.


They become more experienced at reading sight words without overt sounding and blending after a few encounters as the word is saved to their long-term memory consequently improving reading fluency. To embed this, they are supported by texts at home which match their phonics lessons.

Reading is developed using a balanced and engaging approach, which integrates both decoding and comprehension skills. Lessons are taught through guided reading, where high-quality assessment and diagnosis is used to ensure all children are reading genres of texts which possess suitable vocabulary, opportunities to apply and practise their phonological skills, develop their reading fluency, and provide opportunities for the key strategies and strands to be applied. As a result, both whole class and small group guided reading sessions are vital in Key Stage One.  They promote dialogic discussion between pupils, provide occasions for the teacher to model inference-making by asking relevant questions aloud, and answering them herself/himself, and opportunities for sharing thought processes that lead pupils to making inferences.

The classroom environment promotes a love of reading and the children have dedicated time to deepen their passion and enthusiasm for books. The reading teaching at this level is heavily scaffolded and modelled by the teacher in order to ensure self-confidence whilst also developing a real pleasure and love of reading. A further essential part of reading is providing a range of opportunities to read aloud (including choral reading).


Lower Key Stage Two:

Whilst in LKS2, there is a greater focus on understanding what they have read rather than just the decoding and blending of words. The children at this point should have developed a strong ability to decode most unfamiliar words which are outside their range of spoken language. The focus of teaching moves toward the development of vocabulary and developing a breadth and depth of reading for all pupils. It incorporates both understanding words and pictures as they explore the relationship between texts and images and investigate the specific choices authors make to impact on a reader’s ideas, emotions and their imagination.


Pupils have the opportunities to discuss their reading and justify their own views on what they have read in a structured environment where dialogic talk is an integrated part of the reading process. This technique will be scaffolded at the beginning of the Key Stage with the pupils developing independence by the end of Year 4. It is during their time in Lower Key Stage 2 they begin to explore figurative language, distinguish shades of meaning and use appropriate age-related vocabulary to explain, analyse and critique what they have read. Such opportunities will arise not only in reading lessons but also through the wider English curriculum, linking with writing and GPAS. 


During this key stage, children continue to develop their love and passion for literature through bespoke independent reading sessions, informal book-talk and access to a rich social reading environment with texts that tempt.


Upper Key Stage Two

Children’s reading journeys up to this point have been scaffolded to ensure they are independent, competent readers with a pleasure and love for what they are reading. The aim is that by the end of Upper Key Stage 2 the children can read aloud a wide range of poetry, non-fiction and fiction books with accuracy and a fluent speaking pace. They are clear when reading and use the correct intonation and adhere to punctuation pauses where necessary. They can pronounce unfamiliar words with atomicity and are supported to acquire strategies to clarify unknown vocabulary to ensure their knowledge is deepened and understanding is secured.


Pupils use their strong skill base in guided reading to further develop inference, prediction and summarising texts in a range of genres. Through precise teaching, children can skilfully critique an author’s intent and offer their own ideas whilst using a text for justification.


Pupils read widely and frequently both at home and at school to gather information and to read for pleasure.


Pupils leave Upper Key Stage 2 with a secure ability to read independently and discuss what they have read, have a sound understanding and comprehension of their reading, unpick an author’s choice in image and text to support their understanding and have a pleasure of reading.