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Reading - Intent, implementation and impact statement


At Balliol Primary School, Reading is prioritised as a key tool for life. We believe that a love of and an ability to read is a key indicator of success in the future. We understand that if pupils are not able to read to an age-appropriate level and fluency, they will be incapable of accessing the rest of the curriculum, and they will fall rapidly behind their peers. Therefore, we are determined that every pupil will learn to read competently and fluently. In addition, we believe that the pupils of Balliol Primary School have a right to read engaging texts anywhere, anytime.  Just see our entries for reading in a strange place and our reading hub in the playground!



Implementation of Reading lessons:

At Balliol Primary School, children have a daily Reading lesson. We use Read Write Inc. with pupils from the beginning of Reception to Year 4, to ensure that a rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. The Read Write Inc. scheme ensures that the books that pupils read everyday match closely to the phonics knowledge pupils are taught when they learn to read.


When pupils have finished the Read Write Inc. scheme, they move onto daily Reading lessons and Accelerated Reader.  Reading lessons are carefully planned to explicitly teach different Reading skills such as, inference, deduction, summarising and comprehension.  These lessons may be based around whole class modelling/shared reading, guided group based or independent groups. During this Reading lesson, the children hear and read high quality texts. In addition, we encourage children to read for pleasure. For example, children read books that are appropriate to their comprehension level and take Accelerated Reader quizzes.


Staff at Balliol Primary understand that reading with comprehension is dependent upon having a reasonable speed of reading but that reading fast is not sufficient for comprehension. Comprehension becomes impossible if your rate of reading is slow because your cognitive resources are occupied by identifying and assembling words and sentences rather than making sense of what is being read. Consequently, we teach fluency and comprehension through strategies, such as, guided oral reading instruction – choral, paired and echo reading, repeated reading, text marking, reading theatre and Fluency Development Lessons (FDL).  We also have reading buddies, where more and less competent readers are carefully paired together to regularly read for three minutes, a passage from a book at their instructional level (90% of words read accurately) and record the number of words or lines read correctly. Personal Records are based on exceeding the previous best number of lines read.


For those children who are below age-related expectations:

Through quality first teaching, we ensure that pupils ‘keep up not catch up’. However, any pupils who are falling behind the phonic programme’s pace receive immediate targeted support. We identify gaps by using a sounds analysis tracker and support is provided to enable children to keep up, through 1:1 fast track tutoring or by independently watching virtual classroom RWI videos. 




Furthermore, for pupils who have not met the PSC check at the end of Year 1, pupils from Year 2 – 4 carry on the RWI programme.  Pupils in Year 5 and 6 who still need extra Phonics practise carry on the phonics programme through Read Write Inc Fresh Start. We work closely with the SENCO and external agencies to deliver dyslexia programmes.


Reading lessons, English lessons and the wider curriculum:

A wide range of high-quality books (stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction) are read to, and shared with, children daily in Reading lessons and across the curriculum, to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and a love of reading.  Please see our Reading progression document for more information.


Teachers model reading aloud and do so with enthusiasm and in engaging ways. There is frequent discussion of books and vocabulary. Also, children explore books through drama, role-play, art and movement. We have developed a book spine of high-quality texts that are shared with pupils in each year group and are linked to pupils’ cross curricular units and learning.


Reading is also taught in English lessons, as we believe that good writers are good readers. Book talk encourages children to think as a reader and discuss their preferences, likes and dislikes. Using the Talk 4 Writing approach, activities such as orally learning a text, reading as a reader and reading as a writer and making toolkits enable pupils to become very familiar with the features/ingredients of a genre before independently writing their own.


Reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of our approach. Books have a high profile around classrooms and school. Reading areas in classrooms display familiar books so that pupils can access these independently and build fluency.  Also, reading areas share book recommendations and children can vote for a book to be read that day in reading for pleasure sessions.  All staff share their love of books in dedicated reading assemblies and children can see what staff are reading at home on each classroom door. Throughout the school year, the high profile and love of reading is enhanced through events such as library visits, author events, storyteller events, reading competitions, older children reading to younger children and Reading Ambassador assemblies. Our Reading Ambassadors share their love of Reading with other children. They hold assemblies, support peers with their reading and help to run the library.  






Our ‘Reader in Residence’, Charlotte, from Seven Stories in Newcastle, comes into school every week, to work with each year group. Our 'Reader in Residence' offers a sustained Seven Stories presence in school, creating and encouraging a story-sharing culture with the whole school community.  Hooks into Books is at the core of the Reader in Residence Programme, providing the focus for an activity and raising the status of books and reading across the school. Charlotte holds sessions at lunch time and after school for children and parents/carers to attend. 





Reading progress is assessed at least every half-term in Read Write Inc. and the Accelerated Reader Star Test. Termly progress meetings are held and there is particularly close monitoring of children making the slowest progress. Children in danger of falling behind, or who are working under expected levels (lowest 20%), are swiftly identified and a sounds analysis tracker identifies gaps in sounds.  Additional support is then provided to enable them to keep up, through 1:1 fast track tutoring or by independently watching virtual classroom RWI videos.


Children take termly NTS assessments in Reading and analysis reports are used to identify gaps in learning.


Staff Subject knowledge:

Every member of staff has had Read Write Inc training from an external Read Write Inc provider (Spring 2023). Also, training from the Local Authority, support from the English Hub, coaching and mentoring cycles, practise sessions and phonics learning walks ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of how pupils learn to read and the expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading. All teachers and teaching assistants ensure that their own speaking, listening, writing and reading of English supports pupils in developing their language and vocabulary well. This ensures consistency in teaching and learning from one year to the next.