English Reading

Reading at Wivelsfield Primary School
At Wivelsfield Primary school, we believe that being proficient readers, along with developing a love of reading - helps children gain a life-long enrichment through reading across all areas of the curriculum.
We ensure that children have access to rich texts both through teaching and the resources in the classroom. We promote the skill of reading to be embedded throughout the curriculum. 


Substantive knowledge:

In reading, substantive knowledge is the ability to decode and sight-read words, allowing children opportunities to read for pleasure and to develop their vocabulary. Children are then able to apply their knowledge of reading strategies to comprehend a range of texts.

Disciplinary knowledge:

In reading, disciplinary knowledge is the interpretation and comparison of themes and conventions, using text to back up arguments and discussions and evaluating the intentions of the author.


What is a ‘Rich text’?


Our Intent:


In English at Wivelsfield Primary School, we believe a ‘rich text’ is one which:                                 


  •         has exciting and compelling plots and characters which captivate the readers
  •         encourages a love of reading by ‘hooking’ the reader and makes the reader want to read on
  •         offers unforgettable stories and moments of learning
  •         offers vocabulary development through tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary
  •         may have potential to explore themes of equality and diversity e.g. authors or characters from BAME backgrounds (black, Asian, minority and ethnic backgrounds) and authors/characters that explore our diverse society
  •         may have to potential to build on cultural capital
  •         authorial skill can be shared and used for teaching vocabulary or grammar as appropriate if used in writing lessons
  •         texts may be used an explored for the teaching of reading skills through our reading VIPERS


Our Implementation:


Our teachers are highly skilled and passionate about using rich texts. Our teachers have had additional training through the CLPE (Center for Literacy in Primary Education).

Teachers and support staff at Wivelsfield are actively encouraged to be part of a reading community. Celebrating and sharing books which they are reading as well as taking part in regular professional development on reading. New authors and book releases are shared with all teaching and support staff as well as Reading Newsletters shared throughout the year with our entire school community.

‘Book Led’ approach to implementation:


Teachers planning focuses on a book-led approach (where appropriate) by using rich high quality texts . Sometimes teachers will use a text linked to their topic of History, Geography or other areas of the curriculum; sometimes it may just be extracts from a rich text. Other times the rich text may be used as the class reader.  We believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, providing a purpose and a context to writing. We believe that pupils who are provided a reason for writing demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes. 


Each week, the children are taught to develop an understanding of the texts through reading comprehension (known as 'VIPERS': vocabulary, inference, prediction, explain, retrieve, summarise/sequence)  - exploring the key themes, events, and plot of the texts being studied. From this element of the curriculum, pupils are taught the grammar from the National Curriculum which is taught to correspond to the genres being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content taught in identifying features of a high-quality modelled text, before progressing to plan, write and re-draft a written piece which is fit for task, audience purpose and audience. Children receive regular feedback from both teachers and their peers in the writing process; class teachers endeavour to provide guidance and feedback during lesson times through live marking and verbal feedback, in order to ensure this has maximum impact on pupils' outcomes.


Language acquisition & vocabulary development - Intent and Implementation:


We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a 'language rich' environment; we do this with our links to the School Library Service, which ensures we have a wide range of texts displayed around our school, to correlate with our wider curriculum. We raise profile of reading to ensure we share the importance of reading with our parents, carers and wider community. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language across the wider curriculum through the use of our knowledge organisers (where appropriate) and working walls. Working walls are regularly updated to ensure learning is documented within a unit of work.


Class teachers ensure that the writing process is clearly evident on working walls, with modelled examples being available to all pupils as the sequence of lessons develops. Within the wider curriculum, school displays of pupils' work include tier 2 and 3 vocabulary. Tier 1 – high frequency in spoken language (table, slowly, write, horrible) Tier 2 – high frequency in written texts (gregarious, beneficial, required, maintain) Tier 3 – subject specific, academic language (osmosis, trigonometry, onomatopoeia), which we hope that through displaying in, pupils begin to use this vocabulary in their everyday discussions and therefore broaden the range of academic vocabulary in their repertoire. Teachers have a 'word of the day' or 'word of the week' depending on the age of children to further promote vocabulary development.


What is ‘Reading for Pleasure’?


Reading for pleasure is when reading is done for the sole purpose of enjoyment. The Literacy Trust 2021 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.’

The Oxford Owl, 2021 states:


‘Reading for pleasure opens up new worlds for children. It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new characters. Reading for pleasure also improves children’s well-being and empathy. It helps them to understand their own identity, and gives them an insight into the world and the views of others. Research shows that reading for pleasure can be directly linked to children’s success throughout their time at school and even into adulthood.’


We recognise that if children have access to rich texts, whilst the sole purpose is enjoyment, there will be secondary benefits to their academic successes and emotional wellbeing too.


Our intent:


We develop a community of life-long readers who enjoy reading for pleasure and are able to gain from the many benefits of reading for pleasure.


Our Implementation:


  •         The teaching of phonics and texts which support the teaching of phonics, develops reading (for further information on phonics, please see phonics guidance on website)
  •         Early or specialist intervention for those who may need specific support with reading and access to appropriate texts which allow for reading for pleasure
  •         Designated time is usually given in school, specifically for ‘Reading for pleasure’
  •         Reading journals are given to each child to encourage reading for pleasure at home
  •         Our Reading Den is a calm and welcoming environment where children can visit as classes and on a rota to access new books and take books out of our school library to read for pleasure (October 2021 onwards)
  •         Reading is celebrated through special days such as author visits and our carefully crafted participation in World Book Day
  •         Reading buddies in the school allows older children to share books with younger children to enjoy reading together (October 2021 onwards)





Impact is monitored through external visitors such as school improvement partners, pupil voice and parent voice and through end of Key Stage Assessments. Impact is also monitored through learning walks, lesson visits and the English Subject Leader Survey.

Some recent Pupil Voice from Subject Leader Survey April 2021:

100% of children from EYFS to Y6 spoke enthusiastically about reading and the texts they enjoy both through their learning and reading at home. 

100% of children from EYFS to Y6 were able to share their enjoyment of the rich texts embedded through the curriculum and were able to reference the rich texts.

“I love reading as it expands my imagination and I like English because any bit of imagination you have can then go on paper.” Y6 Child. Pupil Voice Subject

“I love reading and finding words for writing that I can use.” Y5 Child.

“I LOVE reading and we read every day. My favourite books is the really funny one, Flip and Flap and I read a book outside all about leopard facts. The leopard was called Luke which is funny.” EYFS child.


Please find links to the documents on how we support the teaching of reading and promoting a life-long love of reading both at school and at home.