At Holywell, we are all READERS. We believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.

At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought provoking texts.

Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.

We have high expectations of all children and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always ‘being proud of all we do’.


Our teachers use the National Curriculum, Read, Write Inc and Accelerated reader as a basis for planning.

  • We use a synthetic phonics programme called RWI. This programme is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. The children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have daily phonics sessions working through the phases in small group sessions. This continues into Key Stage 2 when necessary.
  • All children in Year 3 progress onto the Decision Spelling scheme.  Y2 children will go onto decision spelling when they finish RWI (grey), at this point they also move onto the RWI Literacy comprehension programme, which again is run in small groups.
  • In KS2 most children follow a structured approach to reading activities.
  • High quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of children, and teachers use this to model the application of the agreed reading skills. Children are taught to identify words/phrases they don’t understand and strategies to fix breakdown in meaning. Children are taught to relate the text to themselves, previous reading experiences and the world around them.
  • Further to modelled sessions, children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the wide range of domain questions. More complex questions are evaluated between wider groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard.
  • Rich reading opportunities are provided across the curriculum, exposing children to a wide range of quality texts providing context to learning.
  • We believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. Levelled titles through Accelerated Reader are used for home-reading to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genre of high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world.
  • Children work through the wide variety of books at their own pace. Teachers monitor their progress using AR and use the child’s ZPD (zone of proximal development) to determine the grade of text that the child should be accessing is the right challenge for them. The quizzes on AR ensure that a range of titles have been explored and understood.


As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning in all areas of the curriculum.

In addition to this:

Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.

The % of pupils working at age related expectations and above age related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children.

There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged).