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Reading at Earlham Primary School- An overview


We believe that the ability to read empowers children. Reading is a gift for life. We support children to develop not only their reading skills but, more importantly their love of reading, from the early years through to Year 6 and beyond their primary school life;

Our English curriculum is based on one key belief that all the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; those who cannot speak, read or write fluently are effectively disenfranchised;


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This is especially pertinent given the low starting point of our children at Earlham, most of whom lack preschool reading experience and have poor language skills.

A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them;

Through reading at Earlham pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables our pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know;

We believe that stories are how we explore and make sense of the world beyond our own experience and that these stories must be thoughtfully chosen and enthusiastically shared in order to create the lifelong habit of reading for pleasure;


 Our Reading curriculum is mapped clearly and in detail to set expectations for each year group;

Learning is supported by carefully selected high quality texts, some of which are unashamedly ambitious;

Our selection of texts ensures our children explore a balance of genres: classic tales, Shakespeare, modern fiction, picture and wordless books, myths and legends, poetry and non-fiction;

Over their years with us children are exposed to increasingly complex language and structure and will have the knowledge and skills to access these texts and then start to incorporate aspects of language and structure in their own writing;

During reciprocal reading sessions, teachers explicitly focus on the teaching  of vocabulary, literal questions, clue questions and thinking questions. The extracts, texts or comprehensions chosen by the teachers are often cross-curricular to build in some prior learning and reiterate previous learning;

Dialogic talk is facilitated by the teachers during these sessions to deepen children's understanding of what they are reading and follow up activities are stimulating and meaningful;

There is the opportunity for regular independent reading, allowing children free exploration and agency of their reading.

All children have the opportunity to borrow books from their class reading corners as well as the school library for independent book browsing and borrowing. Our school Librarian ensures an up to date mix of old and modern classics as well as ensuring stories are diverse and reflective of our school community;

There are opportunities for additional reading instruction and practice for those disadvantaged by the interruption of Covid and the subsequent blended learning;

Aspects of the reading curriculum are embedded in learning within the provision of SEND learning to ensure all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

Teachers read aloud to every year group every day (our ‘serial read’), as we believe this offers our children opportunities to hear stories and language they would not access themselves, and models the joy of reading for pleasure. We want these books to take our children on a reading journey, to prompt thoughts, emotions and ideas, to help them understand their own emotional responses to texts;

Our serial read texts are carefully selected to tap into feelings and emotions, prompt thought and discussion, and expose the children to a variety of classic and new fiction by some key authors. We review these each year in line with children’s interests and responses;

Training and Support:


Earlham teachers have benefitted from high quality CPD around the reading curriculum, in particular from Dr Wayne Tennant and David Reedy with whom we co-designed our Reciprocal Reading sessions.

The Earlham English Team regularly support staff in delivering the Reading Curriculum through instructional coaching, modelling and co-planning.

Assessment and Monitoring:

The Earlham English Team consistently monitor the teaching and learning of reading, they are committed to continuous improvement to our curriculum and pedagogy in order that we meet the needs of the children;

They monitor in a range of different ways- book looks, planning scrutinies and through discussion with the children;

They feedback strengths and small, manageable steps for improvement which are usually explored through instructional coaching;

Regular school and Trust moderations ensure year group expectations are being met and good practice is shared.

Parent and Carer engagement:

Working together to promote reading is essential; 

The Home-School diary encourages dialogue and feedback around the reader’s progress;

We run range of workshops on reading for pleasure and supporting  children with their reading at home;

The Big Booky Breakfasts to encourage and support parents with reading aloud to your children;

We host regular Scholastic Book fairs and support The Summer Reading Challenge;

We run Parent and Carer Earlham Library drop-in sessions.

Whole School Impact:

Earlham’s reading curriculum offer ensures that children are widely read and foster a genuine love of reading;

Children read fluently and confidently and, as a result of the literature they are exposed to, they develop culturally, intellectually, emotionally and socially;

Our reading curriculum equips Earlham pupils with a strong command of the English language and empowers them to access and enjoy the full curriculum, future academic journeys, and finally to explore and flourish in the wider world.





Parent/Carer engagement

We love inviting our parents in to work with us on strategies to support reading at home. As well as our Early Years Family Fridays we hold regular workshops on phonics and on reading for pleasure, to share ideas on how parents can help their child to practice and improve their reading. Our children and their parents work very hard on their reading at home - thank you to all our parent superstars!

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