• Translate
Home Page


Church of England Community Academy Trust



Pupils in Key Stage 2 are taught explicit reading lessons 4-5 times a week; these lessons follow a typical format and classes have a single class text that they read each half term in its entirety – we do not read extracts from books. All pupils read the class text in a shared-reading approach to learning, derived from the research Reading Reconsidered and the Education Endowment Foundation.


Our texts have been purposefully and thoughtfully chosen carefully chosen to provide engaging, culturally-rich texts incorporating a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, modern and from our literary heritage, all of which is designed to inspire a love of reading within our pupils and expose pupils to texts they may not choose to read themselves. Our texts link to our thematic curriculum map wherever possible, and texts are used widely across the curriculum to support learning.

An example of our UKS2 reading spine with non-fiction texts embedded into the themes of our fiction texts to maximise the knowledge gains our pupils and support their understanding of our challenging fiction texts:


Each Key Stage 2 reading lesson follows a clear lessons structure:


  1. Quickfire Retrieval Quiz: Pupils begin each lesson with a quick retrieval quiz.   Having read some or all of a book, the goal of the retrieval quiz is to activate and reinforce carefully chosen prior knowledge through a range of simple questions that provide the teacher with an opportunity to check for understanding and to ensure a base level of understanding to build upon moving forwards, guarding against “gist reads”.
  2. Explicit Vocabulary Instruction: At the start of each lesson pupils take part in an explicit vocabulary teaching period during which they learn and apply new language. Teachers carefully choose tier-2 vocabulary either from the text or thematically linked to it. Pupils in KS2 use this time to develop their understanding of new vocabulary and demonstrate this through written application, providing opportunities to write early in each session. This section of the lesson is used to support pupils in developing their word meaning and skills associated with this so that they are able to become more independent and fluent readers and gain greater understanding of the text they are reading, which is often more challenging than those they can read themselves. This language is placed on each class’s vocabulary wall to be referred to regularly.
  3. Shared Reading: During this stage of the lesson, teachers model reading fluency and prosody to the class while the pupils actively follow the same text. Pupils will engage in shared reading through techniques such as choral, paired or echo reading. By using shared reading in every lesson, teachers model to pupils how to use tone and expression as well as building phonemic connections. Reading Theatre lessons focus on developing fluency whilst providing opportunities for pupils to develop their speaking and listening skills through activities linked to the book.
  4. Comprehension/Skill modelling: The teacher will usually draw on close reads to model or teach comprehension skills following a shared read. This skill will be drawn from the reading progression of skills and knowledge document.
  5. Independent Application Task: This time is an opportunity for pupils to apply the skill they have learnt in the lesson in a short activity. This activity can take many forms such as drama, hot seating, written responses, theme maps etc.


Implementation Beyond the Classroom:


We recognise the vital role parents and carers play in developing positive reading habits and nurturing a love of reading.


Pupils take books home from our library; we encourage parents and carers to either read at home with these pupils or support daily independent reading at home, which we track in school. Pupils who are engaging in the Little Wandle Phonics Rapid Catch Up programme take home fully-decodable Big Cat books every day, where we expect parents and carers to read with their children at home.


Every child has a home reading diary to record their home reading. We set homework and expect children to read at least 6 times a week, but we target 7. On Fridays, teachers acknowledge the reading diaries and use this as an opportunity to track home reading and follow up with parents and carers when necessary. We also track Key Stage 2 pupils’ reading habits using Accelerated Reader reports and share these with parents and carers at key moments throughout the year.


Every class has a reading area and pupils across school have daily opportunities to explore, change and read books from our book corners as well as the library. KS2 pupils also have access to the online library ePlatform, providing another means of accessing over 1500 books from home.





Our reading is sequenced carefully from Nursery through to Year 6 in terms of both what children read and what skills they develop at which points. We sequence texts purposefully to develop our pupils' deep knowledge and understanding of the themes and conventions of a wide range of genres that they may not choose to read themselves.  Take a look at our reading spine to see what this looks like.  


Take Year 3 as an example and you will see pupils read Cakes in Space and The Iron Man during the Autumn term. This extended introduction to the world of science-fiction and fantasy allows them to develop deep knowledge of the genre over the course of a full term. That knowledge is then built on in Year 4 when they read The Way Past Winter and The House With Chicken Legs. This is then developed further in Year 5 with Skellig and Brightstorm, and then again in Year 6 with The Knife of Never Letting Go. 


This constant building upon prior knowledge allows our pupils to develop a deep and broad understanding of quality fiction and enables them to analyse, explore and extract deeper meaning owing to their understanding. Look further down the page for evidence of some of this in our reading journals.  


You will also see in our spine our skills coverage and sequencing; pupils do not simply acquire 'inference skills' for example. A pupil may be able to infer in their favourite book series because they have the knowledge to do so, but may yet struggle to do so in an unfamiliar text. We revisit skills regularly throughout every year group and build on them over time.