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Pinhoe C of E VA Primary School

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Reading at Pinhoe Primary School


At Pinhoe C of E Primary School, we aim to develop a life-long love of reading in every child. We work hard to create a reading culture, where children actively engage with reading at every opportunity, and where their imagination and understanding of the world is enhanced through reading.

Children are exposed to a range of high-quality texts in a variety of contexts. They are given opportunities to browse literature, hear texts read aloud, participate in structured reading activities and read independently. Children build preferences in reading (authors and styles), and they share book recommendations with peers and adults.

Opportunities are provided to enable children to acquire knowledge through reading; reading is an integral part of the curriculum offer across all subjects.

We prioritise reading as a fundamental right. We believe that secure reading skills are crucial to a high-quality education and give children the tools they need to participate as a member of society.




Reading for Pleasure

Research evidence shows that reading for pleasure is important for both educational purposes as well as personal development ( Clark and Rumbold, 2006). Reading for pleasure opens new worlds of imagination, allows us to access fascinating information and gives us an insight into places and times that we have never visited. To promote reading for pleasure, we celebrate reading through annual events like World Book Day, we have visually engaging reading displays and create inviting reading areas in the classrooms. Our fantastic school library is well stocked with tantalising texts to appeal to all interests, and our highly-experienced school librarian is always keen to help with book choices. Each class has a timetabled library slot and the library is also open at lunchtimes and after school. We share our passion for reading by creating time for sharing book recommendations between staff and children (which really helps if you are not sure which book to choose next!). At the end of each day, we have a dedicated 15-minute slot for enjoying a class story together. These read-aloud texts are high-quality and they are carefully chosen to appeal to the children as well as to expose them to a growing range of genres.


Independent Reading

Children start to read using phonically decodable books, which are selected based on their link to the Letters and Sounds phases. Books are selected by an adult in class. When children have read to an adult in class, they take their book home to practise reading. They also take home a library book of their choice to read with their parent/carer. As children’s reading skills and confidence increase, they select books based on their Accelerated Reader (AR) range. They read for sustained periods of time, increasing the length and complexity of texts that they read. Teachers monitor progress through AR reports and formative assessments. Each time a child finishes their AR book, they take an online quiz which provides key information for the teacher. Children are encouraged to share book recommendations in class, as this generates engagement with independent reading and it also helps children to select their next read. In addition to reading an AR book, children have a library choice book to take home. Many independent fiction and non-fiction book choices can be accessed online through Myon and Epic, as well as through physical book choices.


Guided Reading

Teacher-led guided reading enables the children to learn and practise specific reading skills with their teacher. Guided reading focuses on word recognition, vocabulary and comprehension skills. Depending on the age and stage of the child, the balance of focus will differ. In Y1 for example, the children will focus on phonics/word recognition skills for a greater proportion of the session but comprehension and vocabulary will also be practised. Strategies for working out the meaning of a word will continue to be explored in guided reading sessions throughout the school but a larger proportion of the time will be spent on comprehension strategies as the children journey through school. Comprehension entails making meaning from a text; this is an essential life skill which opens the door to learning. Explicitly teaching comprehension skills (including predicting, summarising, clarifying and questioning) enables children to infer and retrieve meaning from texts.

When not working in a guided reading group with the teacher or another adult, children complete independent reading activities in order to practise and apply their reading skills. These activities are matched to their reading needs and might include independently reading an AR book, taking an AR book quiz or completing a post-session task. There is an increasing expectation of written recording of understanding through KS2.

Guided reading is taught daily and Re-think Reading is used to inform the planning.



At Pinhoe Primary School, The Letters and Sounds programme is used for the teaching of phonics. Phase 1 phonics teaching starts in Preschool and has a systematic delivery and assessment programme that can be used through the Foundation Stage and KS1. It is a statutory requirement that towards the end of Year One, children take a phonic screening test; those who do not meet the 80% threshold in the test, will be required to take the test again in Year Two.


Shared Reading

During the first week of each literacy teaching sequence children are immersed in a carefully selected, high-quality text, which is used as a model for exploring writing at a higher level than children could access independently. Over the course of an academic year, shared reading provides opportunities for children to explore texts from a variety of contexts, cultures and genres. Babcock Literacy Sequences are used as the core planning resource in order to ensure continuity and progression. Through shared reading, children have opportunities to respond to the text, map and learn the text, explore text structure and summarise text features.


Reading across the Curriculum

Topic box sets of books and texts from the Curriculum Map support learning across the curriculum. In KS1, children listen to and discuss information books and other non-fiction and related narrative/poetry texts to establish the foundations for their learning in other subjects. As they become more confident readers, they independently read texts which develop their knowledge across the wider curriculum. Children are taught to apply the skills of information retrieval to textbooks from across the curriculum and in contexts where they are genuinely motivated to find out information. Our well-stocked, fascinating library supports reading across the curriculum, as do our online libraries.



By the time children leave Pinhoe C of E Primary School, they:

  • have been exposed to high-quality texts in a range of contexts.
  • are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers.
  • have a thirst for reading and participate in discussions about books.
  • can read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all curriculum subjects, and communicate their research to a wider audience.
  • have developed the reading skills they need to access their next phase of education.

Progression in Reading at Pinhoe C of E School

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the meeting about our approach to the teaching and learning of phonics. Here are the slides and links that we referred to. We will run the meeting again after Easter for any Foundation Stage parents who weren't able to attend. 

Top Tips for reading with your child

Enjoy Reading (guide from Pearson Publishers)

Writing at Pinhoe Primary School


At Pinhoe C of E Primary School, we believe that literacy skills are vital to prepare our children for their future lives. We intend to deliver an English Curriculum designed to enable and empower children’s written and oral communication. To inspire, excite and enthuse young readers and writers, children are actively encouraged to develop a love of reading and writing through the use of quality texts and writing sequences.

We aim that our children will:

  • have a positive attitude to writing
  • develop proficiency in writing in a range of genres
  • demonstrate an understanding of written language and have the ability to develop a broad range of vocabulary
  • develop their own writing from high quality text models
  • have an awareness of different audiences and purposes for writing
  • apply grammatical knowledge in their writing
  • apply phonetic and spelling knowledge in their writing
  • be motivated to re-read, edit and improve their writing so every piece of writing they produce is to the best of their ability and better than the last
  • have opportunities for writing purposefully through other areas of the curriculum and beyond school




In Early Years, children develop their literacy skills through the early learning goals.
Small guided groups in reading and phonics teach the children the early skills needed for reading, writing, speaking and listening, which are then built on through carefully planned independent activities where they are encouraged to discover and explore the different areas of literacy. They are given continuous access to reading books and the writing area offers ‘real life’ opportunities for children to practice and embed their writing skills.

Throughout the rest of the school, writing teaching sequences are planned using quality texts to develop skills in reading, writing, spelling and grammar. Teaching is based around the sequence of immersion, practice writing and independent writing. The teacher will engage the whole class in shared reading or writing, focusing on specific skills to be developed.
Babcock Literacy Sequences are used as the core planning resource in order to ensure continuity and progression in writing.


During the sequences, teachers model quality pieces of writing and provide feedback through shared and guided writes to enable the children to feel confident to apply their new skills to their own piece of independent writing. In many cases, links will be made by the teacher to the topic being studied that half term to give purpose to their final written outcomes. Throughout the sequence, there are regular assessment opportunities providing the children with that vital chance to receive and respond to feedback and allow teachers to adapt their planning and teaching to support all of the children to meet their personal targets. In addition to the literacy lessons, teachers plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired within writing sequences to other areas of the curriculum.


Spelling is an important focus at Pinhoe C of E Primary and is carefully built on throughout each year group. During Year 2, children begin to make the shift from spelling phonetically to spelling accurately, using specific strategies, spelling patterns and rules.
Using the No-Nonsense Spelling Programme, children encounter daily discreet spelling lessons which gradually build on their spelling knowledge to help them become competent spellers. The children have access to a range of resources in class to help support them, such as spelling bookmarks where they record spellings that are personal to them, jotters that encourage children to experiment with their spelling and speed sound charts.


Speaking and Listening
The four strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group discussion and Interaction and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards, and ICT plays a crucial role in this. Children are encouraged to talk and listen for a range of purposes, across the curriculum. Through group and class activities children explain, explore and develop their talk repertoire for different purposes and audiences. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.



By the time children leave Pinhoe C of E Primary School, they have made good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our children will have acquired a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will have developed a love of writing, be able to clearly communicate their ideas and be well equipped for the rest of their education.