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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.


Home Reading

Parents can support their child’s reading journey through regular reading practise at home. At Parkside, we use two main schemes to develop and support reading development:

  • Read Write Inc Book Bag Books
  • Accelerated Reader


RWI Book Bag Books

At Parkside we use the RWI Book Bag Books programme for Reception and Year 1 home reading. This scheme has a range of engaging texts, both fiction and non-fiction. These books are uniquely matched to the phonics programme we use in school and are in line with the pupil’s current phonics understanding. This scheme links home reading and phonics teaching in school helping pupils make rapid progress in their reading.


Accelerated Reader

At Parkside we use ‘Accelerated Reader’ as our home reading provision from year 2 onwards. Accelerated Reader gives teachers the information they need to monitor the children’s reading practice. Comprehensive reports reveal how much a student has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills development are also measured, giving teachers insight into how well the children have responded to reading schemes and class instruction.

Regular ‘Star Reading’ assessments determine each child’s current reading level. The reading assessment reports the range of book levels within which the student should be reading to make the greatest progress. Using individual targets, teachers can personalise each child’s reading practice based on the quantity and complexity of the books they read. The ‘Star Reading’ assessment also provides teachers with individual reading ages for each child.  

Class teachers can monitor the data of an individual or class and can be filtered by student characteristics, such as SEN or Pupil Premium. This ensures all children are successful on the programme and their progress in reading is accelerated. Successful Accelerated Reader users are more likely to:

  • Enjoy the overall reading experience
  • Have a favourite book and to be able to discuss this
  • Agree that reading is beneficial for their learning
  • Read regularly outside class ultimately becoming life-long readers
  • Think positively about reading and realise the importance that ‘understanding’ has on their reading



Reading at home

‘Sharing a book with a child is fun - it's a time for closeness, laughing and talking together. It can also give children a flying start in life and help them become lifelong readers.’ The Book Trust.


The Book Trust’s ‘top tips’ to make home reading successful

  • Set aside some time
    Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV/radio/computer.


  • Ask your child to choose a book
    Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.


  • Sit close together
    Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.


  • Point to the pictures and ask questions
    If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures. Please find the link to key questions to ask when reading below.


  • Encourage your child to talk about the book
    Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.


  • And lastly, above all - make it fun!
    It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices - children love this!