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Seascale Primary School

Aim High


Reading at Seascale School


At Seascale School we know that reading is the foundation upon which all learning is built. We therefore know it is imperative that children are taught to be lifelong readers so they have the essential life skills to navigate the world around them.

We strongly believe that reading should be seen as a joy; something in which children can take pleasure and escape the realities of the everyday. We know our teachers are impassioned readers who model this love of reading through high-quality, exciting and thought-provoking texts. Our hope is that this example shows our children what can be gained from reading a good book; not only for entertainment but for education. We know that by giving children access to a range of diverse texts they become experienced readers. With that, they improve their understanding of the world and of others around them. They have the tools to become inquisitive learners with curious minds. We want our children to know that when reading a good book, the possibilities are endless. We consider this quote from Barak Obama:


‘Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.’

We therefore understand how imperative is it that our Reading Curriculum makes every child a fluent reader; beginning with a comprehensive phonics system which is taught consistently throughout school; laying the foundations for a successful reader and school career.




At the core of our reading curriculum is our phonics programme, which is based on Read Write Inc. We use the speed sounds lessons as a basis for our phonics lessons. Children work their way through the speed sounds and learn how to blend and segment words. They use their phonetic knowledge to read green words. Alongside this, they learn to read tricky ‘red’ words which are those irregular words which cannot be sounded out. Children understand how phonemes are written as graphemes and practise these within phonics sessions. They then learn how to apply these sounds in their own writing.

Beginning in Nursery, we focus on developing speaking and listening skills which create the foundation for future phonics work. There are lots of opportunities for stories, talking and singing songs.

Reception Children will be taught a sound a day and will be assessed regularly by their class teachers. As they progress, children are placed in groups and taught according to their reading level. This is where they will begin to read and write alongside learning new sounds.

Year 1 Children will continue to learn the speed sounds and then will apply them in the English lessons delivered by the class teacher. Where possible, the speed sounds will be delivered in differentiated groups.

Children are given reading books which are matched to their phonetic ability so they can decode the text independently. This is changed regularly to keep up with new learning.

Phonics sessions continue for those children who have not passed the Phonics Screening Check throughout Year 2 and into Key Stage 2 as necessary. Staff target those children needing to catch up with extra reading and other interventions as needed.


Whole class teaching

In Foundation Stage, children experience a wide range of high-quality texts based upon our ‘12 key texts.’ These texts have been chosen carefully to ensure children are exposed to a variety of texts which inspire them and provide a rich language experience.

In Key Stage 1 and 2, our English curriculum is based on Hamilton Trust and Power of Reading. Units have been carefully chosen to ensure full coverage of the English curriculum whilst also inspiring learning from high-quality and engaging texts. Links are made across the curriculum where possible. Our English lessons involve whole-class reading and activities alongside writing, grammar and spelling.


Whole class reading sessions

From KS2, each class takes part in whole class reading sessions which are in addition to the English lesson. Texts are mapped to ensure quality and links are made across the curriculum to build knowledge. These sessions focus on building fluency alongside developing the reading skills.


Individual Reading

Accelerated Reader is the system we use where children are assessed and choose their school reading book based on this assessment, ensuring that they are challenged appropriately. Once they have read a book, children are expected to take part in a retrieval quiz based on what they have read.

All reading is recorded in reading planners. Children and adults are encouraged to note down unfamiliar vocabulary. Children can practice decoding this or find the meaning of new words which they do not understand.


Reading for Pleasure

Every day, each class enjoys story time. Books read are taken from our school reading spine so children are exposed to a wide range of texts. Teachers are encouraged to ensure a range of recommended texts are available in class which may link to topics, authors or books the children enjoy. Non-fiction texts are included in this. We use the Library Service for Schools to enhance our provision, using topic boxes and class sets to widen the texts we have available.


Children are encouraged to read at home and take part in our Strive for 5 reading initiative. When children read five times, they are entered into a weekly draw to win a prize.


Each class is encouraged to visit the school library to enjoy and take home non-fiction books. Each class should also be given the opportunity to visit the local library.


We have a team of Reading Champions, made up of two pupils from each class, whose objective is to help develop Reading for Pleasure across the school. A meeting is held every half-term to discuss ways to promote Reading for Pleasure. The children are also keen to share new ideas and suggestions, giving them a real sense of ownership and responsibility over reading in the school.



Through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics, our aim is that children will become fluent, confident readers who can apply their knowledge to a range of texts throughout our curriculum. This fluency helps to develop our children as competent readers with a wide vocabulary and good comprehension skills.

We assess children’s attainment and progress in reading through Accelerated Reader half-termly alongside the use of Lexia and half-termly phonics assessments which enable us to target those children who may need catch up.

Our aim is that by the end of Key stage 2, our children will access texts not only for learning but for enjoyment too and can transfer their reading skills to all areas of the curriculum.