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The importance of reading Pinders Primary School


Reading plays a vital role in the development and education of your child. At Pinders Primary School, we believe strongly in offering children as many reading experiences as possible to build on and develop their existing stores of information through rich reading opportunities in school. We continually strive to promote a love of reading through our school library, inviting classroom reading areas, book week events, book fairs and visits  from the authors  to ensure that pupils are ready for the next stages in their learning.


What does reading look like at Pinders Primary School?

In order to develop an effective reading curriculum, we have ensured that the various strands (Read and Respond, Cracking Comprehension, Phonics and Spelling, Guided Reading, use of the Cross Curricular books, daily reading with a teacher etc.) respond to crucial elements of educational research and theory behind reading development.


We understand that a skills model is very important because by teaching a sequence of skills, separately defined in a logical and sequential order, improves comprehension of texts. Certain elements of our curriculum offer this vital opportunity to our children to allow them to understand the meaning of words by building on sounds and letters and whole words so that they can be related to other words in a sentence.


Reading schemes
Pupils read through a set of book banded books which are enhanced each year in order to provide a wider breadth of reading materials for pupils. Each colour in the book band represents a different reading stage. We assign children to a book band based on their word reading skills and their ability to understand and explain what they are reading. Earlier book bands, up to gold, are linked to phonics phases. The book bands are named by colour and follow the pattern below (going left to right along each row):



Children will be assigned to a book band when they enter the school and will then progress through the stages at their own pace until they leave us. It is important to note that the book bands are designed to be different lengths, so while some book bands may be completed over a half term, most are designed to last a few months and some up to a year or more, particularly in the higher bands.


For book bands from pink to gold, children should be encouraged to reread their book at home 2-3 times.

The first time the book is read, children should focus on deciphering the text using word reading strategies. These include:

  • Using phonics strategies to sound out words

  • Recognising common words by sight

  • Identifying known words with similar spelling/rhyming patterns

  • Reading around the word in a sentence then using the context to work out the word.


    The second time the book is read, children should be focusing on:

  • Being able to read the text fluently and accurately

  • Responding accurately to punctuation

  • Ensuring grammar is correctly used

  • Developing their understanding of what is happening in the text; being able to retell the story, sequencing events and describing characters and settings.

    The third time the book is read, children should be focusing on deepening their understanding, including:

  • Talking about their opinions of the book as a whole and of specific events, characters and settings, giving reasons for their ideas

  • Discussing the feelings and actions of characters, giving reasons using evidence from the text if possible

  • Thinking about why a specific word or phrase has been used by the writer and what effect it creates for the reader

  • Making links between the text and other similar texts.


For book bands from white to magenta, children should only need to read a book once but should be encouraged to reread specific sentences and paragraphs where they are less sure of the meaning or meet an unfamiliar word. At this level, children should be able to read a text silently to themselves but should be discussing what they have read with others and answering questions about the text. They should also be using dictionaries to establish the meaning of unfamiliar words


Opportunities for reading

Pupils read regularly in all areas of the curriculum and in every part of the school day through:


Whole Class Texts - English lessons are taught through a quality text which is chosen carefully by the Class Teacher. Children will engage in many reading activities which will promote a deeper comprehension of the text before pausing the book study to embark on a sequence of work which results in a written outcome, all linked to the text.


Guided Reading - Teachers work with small groups of pupils to teach specific and targeted reading skills in a book that is sufficiently challenging.


Reading Across the Curriculum - Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning. We encourage and promote 'reading to learn' across foundation curriculum areas, with KS2 children engaging in wider research, both online and through fiction and non-fiction texts.


Story Time - In Early years and Lower School (Y1, Y2 & Y3), books are read to pupils for them to hear good examples of reading aloud and to develop an enthusiasm for reading books themselves. Class books are shared with pupils, where they read along with the teacher



  • During Guided Reading, progress with reading skills are recorded on guided reading sheets that also have Content Domain objectives on linked to the National Curriculum.
  • Termly Salford Tests
  • Reading assessments are carried out three times a year.
  • End of years SATs test in Year 2 and Year 6

Classroom reading areas - This year is our year of Reading and each class book area is based around a book.

Reading Gems

Each reading skills has an image and a colour associated with it so that children can make those links and, as they become confident in understanding each reading skill, they can identify which skills to use. The reading gems are statements that break down the approach to reading into aspects in which children should become skilled. They will help to ensure that our children develop a clear understanding of the different aspects of reading.


Foundation stage reading gems:



Key Stage 1 Reading Gems:



Key Stage 2 Reading Gems:


Read and Respond

Throughout school from Foundation Stage to Year 6, children take part in a specific reading comprehension lesson every week. This lesson is based upon a text which has been chosen primarily because of the level of challenge it presents, either challenge through language, theme or issues. A unit of work is planned around a text and each child reads a chapter/section of the story every week at home in preparation for this lesson. This is a crucial part of homework because it allows the time in lesson to be spent exploring a wider range of comprehension skills in depth rather than simply reading the chapter and retrieving basic information as a recap.

Skills are focused around our reading gems, such as summarising and predicting using evidence from the text, evaluating and analysing an author’s craft, making judgements about characters’ motivations and debating and examining key issues are just a selection of the vital comprehension experiences our children participate in weekly.

The work produced in these lessons is recorded in a Read and Respond Journal which showcases the variety of developing reading thinking skills on offer.

Here are some examples of the texts we use in our Read and Respond sessions:


Cracking Comprehension

Alongside the broad depth of comprehension skills explored and developed as part of the Read and Respond lessons, our children take part in a weekly session of specific test related comprehension skills using Rising Stars Cracking Comprehension to ensure that our children develop the skills to apply their reading understanding in very focused and test based scenarios.

There is a specific programme of work for each year group to follow including test based practice and experience where skills are modelled, revised and assessed. Cracking comprehension lesson are focused around our reading gems, and focus on reading skills such as summarising and predicting using evidence from the text, evaluating, analysing and making judgements about characters’ motivations.