Reading at NGPS

Our Reading Curriculum

At Newall Green Primary School, the teaching of Reading is a vital component of all children’s learning. Making progress in Reading ensures that our pupils can access the full curriculum that we offer, whilst enabling them to become literate and fluent. In turn, this will enable children to make progress in other aspects of their learning, such as Writing and Speaking and Listening, skills that go hand in hand with Reading. It is our aim that all children should be confidently fluent in Reading by the time they leave in Year 6, as then they will be able to read confidently in any subject in their secondary education, or any future situation they are met with. The teaching of Reading at Newall Green meets the needs of all learners so that every child is given an equal opportunity to achieve in and enjoy reading.

Our Reading curriculum follows the National Curriculum and is comprised of three main components:

· Word reading

· Comprehension skills

· Reading for pleasure

Through these aspects, children have the opportunity to explore a range of rich, high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry from a diverse range of authors. Access to these texts allow our children to build upon their knowledge and understanding and be able to apply this in other areas of the curriculum. Meaningful, cross-curricular links between texts, topics and skills of Reading enhance the subject for pupils. The reference to and exploration of this high-quality literature supports children in their reading comprehension and knowledge of vocabulary. For example, Year 3 learn about the Stone Age in History, therefore use a selection of texts in Literacy and Guided Reading based on the same topic (such as ‘Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura) so that children can improve and apply their knowledge and understanding. The understanding of vocabulary is intrinsic to being able to comprehend what is being read, so it is woven through our curriculum and taught explicitly in our Guided Reading sessions.

In Key Stage One, we have implemented Read, Write Inc., a high quality systematic synthetic phonics programme that teaches children to be successful decoders. Through this consistent daily teaching, children build their phonics knowledge and can therefore tackle new words in their Reading, Writing and Spelling. They will also be ready to further improve their understanding of text meaning as they move into Key Stage Two.

In Key Stage Two, children who still require phonics teaching continue to progress through the levels of RWI whilst accessing a mixture of whole class and smaller group Guided Reading sessions appropriate to their ability, alongside the children who have completed the phonics programme. These Guided Reading sessions have a clear focus on the key skills and strategies needed to create competent readers in our children.

Throughout our school we aim to promote a love of literature and reading for pleasure, both for the joy of reading in itself and also to model fluency and comprehension. Reading is a fantastic way to enrich a child’s life experiences.


KS2 Reading Vipers

VIPERS is an anagram that stands for the six main aspects of reading that children need to learn and be confident in, in order to improve their comprehension of different texts. These aspects do not include building fluency and being able to decode the word of a text, as these are skills that should already be learned before being able to independently access the following skills:


This acronym pairs up with the six reading content domains that form part of the National Reading Curriculum. As such, teachers are able to accurately track the teaching of these skills whilst accurately being able to assess a child’s progress in each. If children are aware of the skills that they are learning, then they will be able to provide responses that are more in depth and show deeper understanding. VIPERS is visible in each classroom and Guided Reading sessions focus on these skills daily. Here is an overview of which skills in the acronyms match which KS2 content domains, although there can be some overlap:

KS2 Content Domains


2a Give/explain the meaning of words in context


2b Retrieve and record information/identify key details from fiction and non-fiction


2c Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph


2d Make inferences from the text/explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text


2e Predict what might happen from details stated or implied


2f Identify /explain how information/narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole


2g Identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases


2h Make comparisons within a text


frog.pngRead Write Inc.

At Newall Green Primary School we use Read Write Inc programme to ensure children are given their very best start with reading and phonics. 

During Read Write Inc. lessons, children learn to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension.  They will learn step by step how to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas.  Specific interventions for RWI are provided for children to keep up, not catch up.

Throughout the programme, children learn:

  • The 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using picture prompts.
  • To read words using Fred Talk.
  • Read exciting stories that include the sounds they have learnt
  • Demonstrate that they can comprehend the stories by answering questions.
  • Write letters and groups of letters that represent the 44 sounds.
  • Write words using Fred Talk to help with sounds.
  • Write full sentences.

The Read Write Inc website includes some great information to help understand more about how Read Write Inc is taught and how you can best support your child at home:

Parent Video – what is RWI?

Pure sounds video

Free Oxford Owl Books  

More information for parents about RWI


Reading National Curriculum Programme of Study

The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (ie unskilled readers) when they start school.

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


Reading for Pleasure

We have high aspirations at Newall Green that all of our pupils succeed in Reading but also that they get copious amounts of enjoyment from reading. The National Literacy Trust defines reading for pleasure as ‘reading that we do of our own free will, anticipating the satisfaction that we will get from the act of reading’. It is our aim to foster readers’ desire and enjoyment at all ages. We believe that reading should be a fun activity that children want and choose to do, rather than just being a compulsory part of the curriculum.

Although children are assessed through RWI and book bands, we also encourage children to have their own book choices too: each class has a vote for their class novel so that the children can choose the story that they want to read together as a class. Classes are then able to share a story with their teacher purely for enjoyment on a daily basis, with a slot in the daily timetable dedicated to class novel or story time. Each classroom throughout school also has an engaging reading display and selection of fiction and non-fiction books that children can engage with during private reading time. Each half term in KS2 every class has an ‘Author Spotlight’, where they focus on a particular author and explore their texts and style as a writer. Each author is displayed in class so that children can choose to engage with their works. Teachers have a Favourite Five: each class teacher displays their favourite five books each half term accompanied by recommendations and reasons why pupils may find them enjoyable.

Throughout the year, classes have the opportunity to participate in author sessions both online and in school with authors who deliver workshops and share extracts of their literature which children can then choose to go and explore independently. Children are encouraged to talk about books, share their recommendations and reviews and share reading of books. Our staff are enthusiastic about reading and this enthuses our children to become passionate too!



Reading at Home

At Newall Green we encourage our children to continue to foster their love of reading, both in school and at home, by reading every day in both environments. Children who are on RWI take home books from their story book sessions to re-read and consolidate learning from their RWI sessions in school. They then change their books every 3-5 days, depending on when their groups are starting the next book at their level. All children on RWI have been provided with a school book bag to make it as easy as possible to transfer books between home and school so that all children can access a level appropriate book at home. Children who are reading book-banded books or children who are free readers read at home at their own pace, individually or with an adult, and change their book when they need to. A record of this is kept so that it can be monitored how long a child has been on a book band and a decision can be made as to when it is appropriate to assess them for the next one. It is extremely important that our children can decode and fluently read a text, but also that they can comprehend and understand what they are reading. Due to this, we have provided parents and carers with a range of question prompts and discussion starters that they can use with children to get them thinking carefully about the text they are reading. We also provide sentence stems that children can be prompted to use to provide comments and responses about these texts. Practising responses in this way will make children more comfortable with answering questions that link to the Reading content domains through which Reading is assessed.  Children in EYFS and KS1 have bedtime story boxes in their classrooms in which they can take a book to share stories at home and encourage a love and enjoyment of reading. 



Reading in our School Community

Reading has an extremely important place in our school and curriculum and our school community. We celebrate reading in many different ways around school. The biggest celebration of our year is World Book Day in March, when the whole school comes together to celebrate reading and our love of books and different authors. We dress up as our favourite characters and spend the day completing fun, engaging activities based around our favourite stories! At the end of the week we come together to share the work that we have completed and reinforce the message that Newall Green is a school that values the power of reading. There are other Reading events scheduled throughout the year, such as National Poetry Day and Non-Fiction Month, which are celebrated in assemblies and in classes.

Our school has strong links with our local library at The Forum. Each year KS1 receive a visit from library staff who deliver an assembly about the library and how and why to use it, whilst each class in KS2 physically visit the library at least once each academic year. It is our goal to make our pupils aware of the importance of libraries and what a useful tool they are to help us pursue our love of Reading.

In KS2, children volunteer to be Reading Buddies, who go down to younger classes and read with younger children to help to foster a love of reading from the start of their school journey. This is a valuable experience for both groups of children, as the younger pupils can see reading out loud being modelled to them and also have a chance to practise it themselves.

The above are only some of the ways that Newall Green Primary School brings Reading to the forefront of our school life, enabling us all to love reading and have new experiences.

sam corner.jpg


Assessing Reading

Reading is assessed periodically across the school in each year group. National assessments currently take place in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6. Children are regularly assessed in RWI to accurately group them by ability so that they can make the progress needed to complete the programme. When they are fluent and no longer require access to phonic teaching, children will then start reading book-banded books at Gold level and progress through those at their own pace.

In Year 1, children will be assessed in their reading through a Phonics screening which highlights which phonemes children can identify and read. This also helps us to identify which children need further phonics teaching. In Summer term, Year 1 children also have NFER formal assessments to assess them ready for Year 2.

In Year 2, children take NFER formal assessments in Autumn and Spring term and complete a reading comprehension paper each time. Also, they currently take KS1 SATs assessments at the end of the year. They are conducted by class teachers and include two reading papers.

In Years 3, 4 and 5, children are also assessed termly using NFER assessments. Whilst these results aren’t recorded nationally, they are used by us to assess children’s progress throughout the year.

In Year 6, pupils take their end of Key Stage Two SATs tests, which includes a Reading paper taken in more formal conditions. Papers are marked externally and results are given before the children leave to go to secondary school.

KS1 and KS2 test information for parents  


Reading Support

Children at Newall Green are supported in their learning of Reading in many different ways. During Guided Reading sessions (which happen daily), teachers have targeted groups of children that will receive support in class. Each class also has a list of 1:1 daily readers, who are read with by support staff every day, ensuring that every child in school is actively practising and making progress in Reading. All children in all classes get the opportunity to read aloud to a member of staff to continue to improve their fluency and comprehension skills. There are also targeted interventions organised across school for children who need extra support in Reading, as well as 1:1 extra tutoring within the RWI programme. As part of our catch-up programme due to the pandemic, children have been assessed in their fluency and grouped accordingly so that their phonic knowledge is sound before they move onto more comprehension based sessions.


Newall Green Primary School are delighted to announce Sooper Books has kindly donated all of their award-winning stories and audiobooks to our school. Please use the following links to access the stories and audiobooks free of charge from school or from home:

Bedtime stories — a selection of the world’s best 5-10 minute bedtime stories and audiobooks

Fairy tales — a selection of classic fairy tales retold in a modern and fun way

Sooper Series — a selection of original stories in episode format. Each episode is a separate 10-15 minute story

Rhymes & Poems — a selection of 3-5 minute funny rhymes

Aesop’s fables — a selection of 3-5 minute moral tales, retold in a fun and modern way


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At Newall Green Primary School, we are a Peace Mala and Rights Respecting School. We provide an environment where the children feel happy, safe and ready to learn.
We use the five key skills for life; problem solving, teamwork, self-management (initiative, organisation, accountability), self-belief (confidence, resilience, positive attitude), and communication, so we are ‘Aiming High to Reach Our Goals’.

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