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Our aim:

At Parkside, it is our aim to embed a love for reading in every pupil enabling them to become confident, independent and lifelong readers. We believe that a pupil’s ability to read fluently enables them to access and progress through all areas of the curriculum and beyond. Reading is a developmental process and we allow the children to self-regulate their learning progress. We support this by encouraging and praising the children at every stage.


National Curriculum

In order to make our pupils competent and confident readers there are two skills they need to practise and master noted in the National Curriculum:

  • Word reading- The ability to decode words.
  • Comprehension- The ability to understand what has been read.


Both elements to reading are equally as essential to reading success and at Parkside we support the acquisition of both skills through various methods. We recognise that both areas are clearly linked to the other aspect of English learning including: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary.


Reading at Parkside

A variety of reading strategies are used to develop and extend the literacy learning at Parkside:

  • a dedicated focus on reading skills during literacy lessons
  • Use an approach called ‘The Power of Reading’ to promote the use of high quality literature
  • regular reading to children in all classes
  • paired reading with peers or an adult
  • developing phonological awareness / phonics teaching (Read Write Inc.)
  • promoting language experience, reading analysis and combining writing and reading
  • modelling of reading skills such as: skimming, scanning, inference and summarising.
  • Using the reciprocal reading method within literacy lessons to increase independent learners.
  • shared class reading with Big Books and enlarged texts using the visualiser
  • A class novel study of a classic text.
  • a class reader is chosen by the teacher for their class to be read during storytelling sessions.
  • Storytelling is promoted as an approach to support vocabulary extension and comprehension. 


Phonics at Parkside

At Parkside we use the ‘Read, Write Inc’ (RWI) programme to deliver our phonics provision. Phonics is delivered for 30 minutes each day, in tailored groups. The programme begins with the teaching of individual sounds, moving on to sound blending and then introducing multi letter sounds. The pupils then progress onto learning to read and write words and sentences using their knowledge of letter sounds. Each RWI group ensures the accelerated progress of acquiring new phonic sounds. All children new to the school in EYFS, Years 1 and 2 are assessed on entry and grouped according to their phonic ability to ensure accelerated progress. Children who complete the RWI programme (typically in year 2) move onto to the ‘Literacy and Language’ programme. This builds on the reading confidence of the children. It allows them to access a variety of different texts while challenging their understanding. Pupils in KS2 may also be selected to join the programme is there is still a need.


Vocabulary Extension

Throughout primary school, children are expected to grow their vocabulary, justify their answers, give well-structured descriptions and participate actively in conversations. At Parkside, we believe a strong vocabulary basis can bring success to the understanding of the whole curriculum. In all year groups we follow the vocabulary ‘tier’ approach.


Vocabulary can be divided into 3 tiers:

  • Tier 1: common words used in spoken language
  • Tier 2: high frequency language that appears across a variety of domains and can have different meanings
  • Tier 3: subject specific, academic language


At Parkside, we specifically focus on the application of ‘tier 2’ vocabulary. Opportunities are provided throughout the school day for the children to acquire, experiment with and understand the meaning of new vocabulary.