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Reading in School

Reading at Great Harwood Primary School

At Great Harwood Primary, we draw from research all over the world which shows that children who read widely and often and who have plenty of books or magazines to read, do better at school than children who don’t. Reading for enjoyment provides children with a firm foundation for building learning across other subjects in school.


The Reading Diet

In school, children take part in a varied and challenging ‘reading diet’. This includes:

Shared reading- whole class reading of challenging texts, with the teacher

Guided reading- children work in small groups with a book chosen by the teacher which matches the ability of the group

Home reading- Children choose their own books which match their current reading level, to take home to practise further

Other reading tasks- Reading in other curriculum subjects; reading in plays, assemblies etc.


Assessing Progress in Reading

There is a range of ways in which teachers select what ability level a child is working at:

Decoding text- using phonics, letters and sounds to read a word correctly

Comprehension- the way a child can talk about their learning from a book, discuss characters and events etc.

Whether the child can apply their reading skills frequently, consistently and independently

Whether they can transfer these skills to a range of activities.

When looking at these areas, we consider the understanding and progress in the 7 Assessment Focuses. These represent the different elements that readers employ when reading a text. These are printed on the inside of your child’s reading record to refer to and can be found displayed around school. It is important to remember that a child must show evidence in all these areas in order to progress within a level- simply decoding or reading fluently does not necessarily mean that they can understand, interpret and respond to what they read.


Home Reading  




All children have their own home reading scheme book and reading record. Children choose their own colour banded books within their reading level from a selection of books from the Bug Club scheme and Project X.  Bug Club is whole school scheme that includes a variety of fiction and non-fiction books as well as variety of text types including plays, poems and comics.  The “Ben 10” and “Superman” comics are always popular amongst the children. ’ It also has books by famous authors including Julia Donaldson. Project X is a scheme that has “an amazing 3D illustrated character adventure that will get all your children reading for pleasure “ and is particularly good at engaging boys.  Your child’s levels and band colour can be requested from their class teacher. The books go home every night and should be returned the following day. Books are changed at least once weekly and children are also listened to reading these in school.

The reading scheme books are full of help for parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home. We therefore ask you to listen to your child read regularly and discuss the books with them. Comments should be made in the reading record so we can work together to make sure your child is enjoying their reading and making progress. Suggestions for questions are made on the inside cover of the reading record. As previously, any lost, un-returned or damaged books will be charged for.


Reading in class 

Reading is an opportunity for children to work with the whole class, in small groups with their teacher, and individually. A reading session could be comprised of many different elements and will cover several reading skills throughout a half term. At Great Harwood Primary School we always spend one day a week focussing upon vocabulary skills. We spend the first two weeks of a half term using an online comprehension programme called Cracking Comprehension. This programme allows teachers to model how to answer different styles of questions with the children. They are then given time to answer a similar text on their own. Children will also have a separate whole class book/text shared with them in sessions. This will allow the children to get a much deeper insight and understanding of a book. They may discuss characters, settings and events. They may predict what will happen next and suggest reasons for events. They also comment on the author’s choices. Children will read to a teacher individually at different points during the half term which allows staff to assess them and change their home reading levels as or when required.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask your child’s teacher or contact the office.