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English - Reading


At Fixby Junior and Infant School, we believe that teaching reading is integral to a child's understanding and appreciation of the world around them. Our reading curriculum aims to foster a lifelong love of reading, developing the vocabulary necessary for effective self-expression and allowing children to share in cultural experiences. We strive to cultivate discerning readers who read frequently and widely, using self-regulation strategies and engaging in discussions about what they read. Reading underpins many aspects of learning, so our curriculum encourages engagement with key texts and media across all subjects, promoting exploration of a variety of authors and cultures to develop thoughtful, generous, and caring individuals within our Fixby ethos and values.


We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high-quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities, which will help them to:


  • Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and reading books.
  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
  • Apply knowledge of structured synthetic phonics to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
  • Develop an excellent linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
  • Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
  • Read fluently and with confidence in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


The curriculum at Fixby Junior and Infant School is delivered through a structured approach that includes synthetic phonics using the Essential Letters and Sounds programme (ELS), whole-class reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading, and daily exposure to quality text read aloud. Following the National Curriculum, we ensure that children achieve age-appropriate attainment while challenging them to reach their full potential. Emphasising statutory requirements, we focus on word reading and comprehension through listening and reading texts. We create a reading culture by providing access to high-quality texts, fostering explicit comprehension skills, and offering a range of literary genres.


This curriculum is delivered through the synthetic phonics Essential, Letters and Sound programme (ELS), a linked approach to whole class reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, and regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality text read aloud every day. These are essential components as they offer the opportunities to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers. We follow the National Curriculum of study to ensure that the children are achieving attainment relevant to their appropriate age. We do not believe in putting a ceiling on a child's ability and, therefore, always strive to challenge them to achieve the best they can do. 

By ensuring that the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum are met, pupils will develop their skills in word reading and comprehension by listening and reading to texts. We will create a reading culture where children are exposed to a range of high-quality texts, have easy access to a wide range of different literary genres, and are provided with explicit comprehension skills.


At Fixby Junior and Infant School, we want our pupils to:


  • develop early readers' phonetical knowledge through the early teaching of reading
  • read for pleasure at school and throughout their lives
  • be exposed to a language-rich environment
  • develop and demonstrate their creativity and independence
  • develop a rich and deep subject knowledge
  • develop new skills through a variety of exciting contexts


Throughout school, we strive to encourage a rounded approach to individual reading where phonics skills are applied to increase fluency and improve comprehension. As a school, we follow the ELS scheme supported by The Oxford Owls programme for parents. Within this, books are banded to match the progression of the children. Within Key Stage One, these books are fully decodable fiction and non-fiction texts matching children's phonics level. 

As the children progress to Key Stage Two, the banded books allow them to develop their love of reading, fluency, and comprehension skills through a range of text types and genres. They can also access the Accelerated Reader programme to develop their comprehension skills and understanding through regular quizzes. 


Developing a love of reading


Developing a love of reading is vital. We have high-quality books which include fiction and non-fiction texts. All classes are provided with reading time in the morning and afternoon, and the books chosen for English lessons are rich in culture and diversity. 

In addition, we place a great deal of importance on story time. A book is gifted to each class every term. This takes place every day, and we choose a variety of books designed to foster curiosity and interest. Within each year's group collection, we always introduce children to books rich in vocabulary and identify at least one text designed to develop cultural capital. 

Accelerated Reader 

We aspire to create a culture and love for reading and Accelerated Reader is a fantastic software programme to support pupils to become independent readers. We use it to motivate, monitor and manage our pupil’s independent reading practice from Year 2 upward.

The benefits of reading for pleasure and independence?

  • Children who say they enjoy reading for pleasure are more likely to score well on reading assessments compared to pupils who said they enjoyed reading less
  • It can have a positive impact on pupils’ emotional and social behaviour
  • It can have a positive impact on text comprehension and grammar
  • It creates a culture of reading and enjoyment of reading.

The programme is designed to work out a reading level (or STAR reading level) for pupils at the start (by means of a STAR test). Pupils then read books within this level – all books in the library that are registered with AR have a coloured star label on the spine to help them recognise books within their ‘zone’.

Pupils then read the book of their choice that has matched their interests. They can read books in class and at home. Following reading the book or text pupils take a quiz on the website after reading each book to assess how well they understood it.

Both the pupil and teacher receive feedback on the quiz results. Their STAR level is tested frequently to check how well they have progressed.

As well as being about promoting reading and academic achievement, AR is also about the enjoyment of reading and creating a real culture of reading.