Swanton Abbott Community Primary School




At Swanton Abbott Primary School, we aim to develop reading skills with our pupils in order to improve their life chances, provide them with life skills and to promote reading for pleasure and enjoyment.


We firmly believe that Reading is a fundamental life skill. English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as of non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. It is our intention to ensure that all pupils read widely and confidently with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age.


Our Key Principles are:


  • To provide a language rich environment that promotes a culture of reading and writing
  • To develop in pupils an interest in and a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum but also enrich their lives
  • To value and use books as a basis for learning, pleasure, talk and play
  • To value and celebrate diversity in culture and language
  • To help pupils become confident, independent readers, through an appropriate focus on phonics, word, sentence and text-level knowledge
  • To develop enthusiastic and reflective readers, through contact with challenging and substantial texts.





Reading in Reception

Reading is taught through Letters and Sounds. In Reception, the children are Phases 2 – 4 with the expectation that most children will be secure in these phases so that they are Year 1 ready.


Reading books are matched carefully to the phonics phase that the children are working using the Heroes Academy and Collins Big Cats titles. The children have two books.  One is a focus book for the week and is used as part of the Guided Reading Sessions.  The other is a book to take home to read with a parent

All children are heard to read twice a week in a small group during guided reading and on a 1:1 basis with the class teacher or Teaching Assistant.


Reading in Key Stage 1

Our teaching of phonics continues into Key Stage 1. Teaching is whole class based with teachers regularly assessing their children’s phonics ability. For those children who struggle with phonics, we organise interventions as required in order to reinforce missing sounds.

Children are also given the Year 1 and 2 Common Exception Words to take home and are frequently assessed on the reading of these words.  Where appropriate, focused phonic sounds are also sent home for reinforcement.

Reading books are carefully matched to each individual child’s phonic. Like Reception, each child has a home reading book for a week, rereading it to encourage familiarity, fluency and understanding.

All children are heard to read for a minimum of three times a week in addition to guided reading.  Some children are heard on a daily basis with the class teacher or teaching assistant.


Reading in Key Stage 2

Reading in Lower Key Stage 2 widens to read non-phonic based books from a range of publishers. Those children who still need phonics reinforcement have daily sessions joining an existing group or with a teacher/TA as required.  Children are encouraged to select their own books and deepen their reading experience. 

By Upper Key Stage 2 the children are given the freedom to choose their own book to use as their reading book which enables them to investigate and develop their own interests. All children are expected to change their books at least once a week unless they are choosing their own, as these books may require more time.

All classes have dedicated reading lessons per week. These lessons are based on the VIPERS model and involve a range of different activities and will often depend on the skills that the children need to focus on.

We refer to the 5 plagues of reading and use identified texts as core titles to support reading and writing throughout the school.



Reading Expectations

Some of our reading enrichment opportunities are:


  • Shared/Paired reading
  • Reading Buddy system
  • Author visits
  • World Book Day (linked to World Book Day)
  • Dress up as a favourite character
  • Author focus during English lessons
  • Reading challenges in Key Stage 2 classrooms
  • Shared/Paired reading
  • Access to school library
  • Classroom reading areas
  • Story time
  • Christmas themed Book Day