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Reading - 3 I's


At Hempstalls Primary School we believe that reading is an essential and rewarding life skill, this is why it is at the heart of our curriculum. It is a fundamental skill which will enable our children to access all areas of our concept led curriculum, ensuring they can make progress and succeed. We believe that reading is integral to our children’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; it is a platform that will allow them to see beyond what they already know, it has endless benefits towards development. Through text our children will experience different cultures, obtain reassurances, build self-esteem, develop and understand a higher level of vocabulary, imagination and relaxation. This is why reading and texts surround our children, we aim for all of our children to view reading as a pleasurable and worthwhile activity and offer a wide range of genres to enable all to become fluent and confident.


Reading is one of the most important things our children will learn and we recognise its importance from Early Years all the way to Year 6, our reading curriculum has been carefully crafted to engage our children and develop a love for it. We cultivate reading behaviours throughout our curriculum and our children recognise the importance for themselves and their need to read and have a good comprehensive knowledge of text read, they value its impact on their education.


We begin our children’s reading journey by the delivery of a high quality SSP, we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revisited Progression. Our children learn to build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering all letter sounds then blending these sounds together to achieve pronunciation of whole words and fluency when reading sounds, words and books levelled to match their ability which is determined through the regular assessments that follow the scheme. They will also learn to read tricky words throughout the programme supporting their reading further.

Guided reading accompanies Little Wandle Provision and is planned for and delivered by highly trained staff, the books are selected to match our children’s phonological ability and the sessions run in the same sequence weekly, decoding, prosody and comprehension. Our children then take the same books home after these sessions to reinforce and celebrate their reading successes at home with family support to build confidence and a love for books as they can independently share their book with a grown up.

Whole School Daily Class Reader

Following on from Little Wandle’s guided reading our staff teach reading skills through Whole Class Daily Reading Sessions, a class reader. A selection of Carefully selected high quality texts have been chosen to engage and excite as well as to provide our teachers with an optimum teaching tool for a reinforcement of grammar, the ability to teach and explore a rich vocabulary and creative language.

These sessions teach positive reading behaviours and build on the skills already taught through the delivery of Little Wandle; it is a continuation. Each daily session consists of a series of steps aligned with our characteristics of learning. Starting with a short retrieval creating links to previous knowledge and opening their minds to what will be covered that day, then a recap of the story from the day before, they will be taught new vocabulary that they will come across that day to enable a greater depth of understanding of the text and gaining new vocabulary to use in their spoken word and their writing. They then take part in echo reading – the teacher will read a section modelling the high expectations and delivery of good reading and the children then follow with the same awareness of punctuation, expression and the listener. Following on our teachers will ask a couple of comprehension questions followed by a short independent task linking back to reading skills these are based around six areas: vocabulary, inference, punctuation, explaining the answer from a question given using the text for evidence, retrieval again using the text to support. To finish our children learn to summarise text read.

Independent Reading Comprehension Sessions

To build comprehension skills our children from Year 2 onwards have access to reading boxes, short reading comprehension tasks, where they independently practice the skills taught through ‘Whole Class Guided reading’ this is carried out daily and progress is monitored by teachers with a check of the scores and classroom support. This daily practice also helps to build other English skills like grammar skills and spelling as it has focus on these areas as well.

Daily Reading Offer

Children read daily in school with a teacher or a teaching assistant, the skills of our ‘Daily Class Guided Reading’ are followed through in these sessions and reading skills are taught, reinforced and promoted. There is a focus on book talk as well as building on decoding, fluency, expression and understanding. This is where that love for reading and the chance to put their skills into practice really develops, again developing a passion and our children to become independent readers. 

Reading Books for Independent Reading

From Early Years to the end of Year 1 our children have ‘Big Cat Little Wandle books’ that are selected through regular assessment to match our children’s phonic ability. These books support the delivery of Little Wandle, our phonics scheme, and are used in school as guided reading three times a week. Our children then take them home to celebrate their reading successes with family. Access to these books continue where needed in Year 2 as part of keep up and where phonics is still being taught as a route to reading. After the children then move to Big Cat book banded books purple to gold. Children are supported by a teacher or teaching assistant to carefully select their books, child choice is better for high engagement and enjoyment. They move through the book band colours and are assessed regularly to ensure that there is challenge and movement when each individual is ready. In some cases pupils will keep the same book for an extended period, over the weekend, to rehearse oral fluency. They then move to carefully selected small chapter books and eventually free readers which again will be monitored for suitability.

In KS2, pupils are responsible for changing their own reading books; this promotes a high level of interest and engagement for individuals. Staff then monitor child choice and check suitability regularly throughout the week. They must demonstrate a good understanding of the text. Teachers should have a good knowledge of age appropriate, challenging and engaging books to recommend for pupils and may use the year group ‘Recommended Reads’ list.

Reasonable adjustments are made for children who need them, Big Cat Letter and Sounds 7+ books are available for those still decoding and blending by phonics as well as Big Cat book bands from purple onwards. Where identified as a need, Little Wandle tailored sessions are ran meaning that some of our lower Key Stage children access the books relevant to their phase and build their reading skills through daily sessions and guided reading following on from Early Years and Key Stage 1.

Reading Throughout the Wider Curriculum

Reading as part of the wider curriculum is on offer to our children here at Hempstalls, we recognise the wealth of good quality, rich texts that can easily supplement the foundation subjects and we offer our children a range to access as well as extracts to support them.  

Rewards and incentives

Reading at home is one of the most important ways in which they can be supported. At school, they are taught the skills they need to decode words but to consolidate these skills and become more confident and competent readers, they need lots of practice, encouragement and this develops a pleasure for reading!  We are aware of the importance for our children to read at home with their families to develop these skills much more quickly and develop that love of reading that can last a lifetime.

At Hempstalls we recognise the imperative role of parents in developing these skills in partnership with school and want to support this in every way we can. We have a range of incentives to promote reading daily at home and they are proven to be effective. We hope that it helps to motivate, build a natural engagement for reading and to promote that love for reading for pleasure.

Red Ted (Read Every Day and Talk Every Day)

Red Ted begins in Early Years and continues until the end of Year 2. The children collect stamps in their school reading diary after every parental record of reading their school reading book; these stamps when accumulated build towards prizes. For Early Years and Year 1, these stamps are collected 4 days a week with their reading books from Little Wandle and in Year 2 the opportunity is there for a stamp daily. Our children get excited about the prizes they collect as they move through the programme.

ROAR (Raising Our Attainment in Reading)

These high expectations and same involvement at home continue as the children progress through Key Stage 2, from Years 3 to 6 the children build on from the previous Key Stage and the number of stamps collected from RED TED, children build ROAR stamps for daily reading at home and are awarded prizes as they move through their number of collected stamps.

100 Great Reads

To challenge our children and to provide a greater range of books on offer we have collaborated to develop a list of high quality and engaging texts suitably grouped for each stage as our children move through school. At Hempstalls we strive to develop, in every child, a passion for reading and love of books and our 100 Great Reads really does this. Children progress through accessing a broader range of genres and authors unknown to them and there is something for everyone. Reasonable adjustments have been made so there is something for all and most recently the collections have been added to for a more diverse choice and now include a graphic novel collection of some of the classics to enable more to read them such as Alice in Wonderland. Like our other reading incentives our children tick off their reads and move their way through a prize system which they get very excited about.

Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs is also an offer to our children for an engagement with reading at home, again promoting that love of reading, development of reading and comprehension skills. Many of the activities can be completed independently or with support. From Early Years to the end of Key Stage 1 children access Reading Eggs, from Years 3 – 6 they can access Reading Eggspress. Available tasks include –

Reading Eggspress’ area;

  • Library (to read books of free choice, these books are separated into different interest genres)
  • Stadium - play against other users.
  • English Skills - Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Vocabulary
  • ‘Lessons’ - the best area for your child to improve reading skills and to receive awards.
  • Mall, Apartment, Trophy Room, Arcade - ‘fun areas’ to motivate reading and encourage enthusiasm to read.

In the Reading Eggs area:

  • Storylands - focus on vocab and story genres.
  • Spelling - focus on Spelling skills
  • My Lessons - the best area for your child to improve reading skills, we would encourage children to access this area to receive reading awards.
  • Driving lessons - reading ‘check ups’
  • Story factory - children can write their own stories and read other users’ stories.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter even when they have come to the end of the ‘Little Wandle’ programme.

Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school; accessing a range of texts independently. Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments such as the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of PIRA assessments termly and Comprehension Conversations plus ongoing teacher assessment.

More importantly, we believe that reading is the key to unlock all learning and so the impact of our reading goes beyond the statutory assessments. We give all the children the opportunity to enter the amazing new worlds that books open up to them and share texts from a range of cultures or genres to inspire them to question or seek out more for themselves. We want reading to be the golden thread running through a child’s journey at Hempstalls Primary School. When they leave us, we want pupils to possess the reading skills and love of literature which will help them to enjoy and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future.

Reading Texts (Whole Class)



HempstallsPrimary School
Contact Us
Mrs Shutt: 01782 950082Hempstalls Primary Schooloffice@hempstalls.staffs.sch.ukCollard Ave, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle ST5 9LH
The Creative Learning Patnership Trust