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South Lake Primary School

Reading and Phonics at South Lake

Reading Curriculum Intent

At South Lake Primary School, we have developed a whole school reading curriculum which encourages pupils to develop a love of literature so that they choose to read for pleasure, achieve excellent outcomes and are able to access the next phase of their education. Our whole school reading spine encompasses texts which reflect the diversity of children’s literature, our curriculum and our school ethos.

In the National Curriculum (September 2014), the programmes of study for reading consists of 2 dimensions: 

  • word reading – pupils must be able to both decode and recognise familiar printed words. Underpinning both, pupils must understand that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. 
  • comprehension – pupils must be able to draw from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. 


Click here for - The National Curriculum


We will ensure children’s phonic knowledge is secure, enabling them to become fluent readers at an early stage. We will equip children with a varied vocabulary and the ability to understand complex texts.

How we will do this:


In our EYFS and early KS1, we teach reading using synthetic phonics, following a DFE approved program: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This is applied throughout the rest of the school to consolidate what has been learnt. Within daily phonic sessions, children have the opportunity to revisit previous learning and practise and apply new skills in structured but engaging ways.

Teaching of reading from phonics to fluency

Book-banded books

The books we use for teaching are selected for specific reasons e.g. South Lake core books, age-related text, curriculum, school ethos. Each year group from Year 1 to Year 6 is taught using focused questions. 

In EYFS, reading is taught through regular book sharing, modelling fluency and expression and picking out vocabulary. There is a rich, diverse set of core texts available for the children to choose to read. Adults read individually with children, targeting precise areas for development. 


At South Lake, we recognise the importance of providing pupils with a range of high quality texts, including stories, poems and non-fiction. Teachers choose texts from our core book lists linked to our school ethos, curriculum subjects and promote the diversity in children’s literacy. 



In Reception and Year 1, following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme, groups of pupils receive reading lessons on decoding, prosody and comprehension.

From Year 2 to 6, pupils have reading lessons as a whole class which are built around reading high-quality texts which are progressively complex in order for children to develop reading with confidence. Lessons encompass analysis of vocabulary, high-level questioning and discussion. Teachers utilise VIPERS, an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the reading curriculum.

From year 1 to 6, the unit of lessons follows a set structure:


During this lesson, pupils are taught new vocabulary within the text and a variety of activities will be utilised to engage the pupils in their learning. Pupils are taught how to gain an understanding of new vocabulary in the context of the text.


During these lessons, pupils explore texts together with teachers utilising a range of questions (inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, sequencing (KS1) and summarising).  Pupils will be taught how to use oracy and APE sentence stems (Answer, Prove and Explain) to answer questions.


Throughout school, we understand the importance of supporting our pupils to read fluently. The last day of the week is known as Fluency Friday. Pupils are provided with a high quality text and using the acronym PEAR (punctuation, expression, accuracy and rate) pupils will be taught how to read with increasing fluency. Teachers use ‘lexile-levelled’ texts to ensure pupils are reading with increased fluency (words per minute) and are prepared for the complexity of texts provided in the End of Key Stage assessments.

Reading Progression

Research has shown that pupils’ progress in reading comes from developing the knowledge needed to understand increasingly challenging texts and allowing children to become increasingly familiar with the structures and features of narrative texts. Our reading curriculum provides pupils with progressively more complex texts and includes books linked to the ‘5 Plagues of Reading’.

  • Archaic Language
  • Non-Linear Time Sequences
  • Narratively Complex
  • Figurative/Symbolic
  • Resistant Texts

See below for each Year groups progression document

At South Lake, we feel it is vital that the development of children's reading skills and comprehension is intertwined with the need to nurture a love of books and reading to create lifelong readers. We promote a love of reading throughout our school both inside and outside the classroom



Each class has a book corner and a display of recommended reads. Book corners contain a range of high quality texts including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a range of different authors relevant to the year group, a diverse range mirroring children’s lives and experiences and also providing them with a window to the outside diverse world.   Pupils are allowed to use the book corner regularly during the day, particularly during reading for pleasure time.


Every class door displays ‘What we are reading’ and a display of books/authors. Within the corridors there are displays of pupils' reading and recommended reads to promote reading across the school. Curriculum displays may also display texts related to the topics.




At South Lake, we recognise - and the research shows - that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. Not only does reading for pleasure have an impact on an emotional and social level but also reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status.


Every day, across the whole school, pupils are provided with opportunities for Reading for Pleasure, where they are encouraged to read books from the class reading corner, chosen specifically from recommended book lists for their particular year group. To further develop a love of reading and to help our pupils appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage, adults read to the children every day.

Within each year group, pupils will be identified to receive further additional 1:1 or group reading to improve their word reading, comprehension or fluency. SEN pupils may also receive outside agency support (LSS)

Reading at home

 Pupils are encouraged to be involved with reading a minimum of 4 times a week - this can be reading book themselves to a home adult, or sharing a story at home. Parents and carers are asked to record this in the reading diaries. Pupils can change their Reading for Pleasure books as directed by the class teacher, developing independence as they progress through school. Pupils in EYFS and KS1 are sent home decodable books that are in line with the phonics being taught. A book to be shared with an adult at home is also sent, to foster the love of reading a range of texts.

Pupils in Year 5 and 6 are trialling a new reading app called 'Boomreader' to summarise their reading throughout the week and allows teachers to monitor reading at home. 



Orchard Learning Alliance