At Northbourne, our staff and pupils fully subscribe to the wise words of Dr. Seuss:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know; the more you learn; the more places you’ll go”.

As such, reading is at the heart of our curriculum – not just that for English.  Staff, working closely with parents, ensure that children become fluent, confident and passionate readers from the start of their time in Reception.  This is underpinned by a systematic, whole-school approach which is summarised in our Reading Policy, below.  This explains what parents can expect from staff, and how we approach the teaching of reading.


In addition to our daily focus on ensuring the quality of provision in reading is as good as possible are our regular reading events, aimed at developing a love of books and reading.  This year, these include weekly buddy reading where children work with an older or younger child to share a book and help each other develop their reading skills; our annual Book Week with author, poet and illustrator visits; Drop Everything and Read events; and our new library.  



Regular reading at home is a fundamental part of our reading curriculum. This is because we understand that parents have a significant impact on helping children learning to read – not only for children in Reception and Key Stage One who will be working on mastering decoding, but also on helping older pupils continue to develop and refine their comprehension skills.


Your child’s Homework Policy for their year group indicates how much reading at home is expected but, generally speaking, we ask that children read little-and-often throughout the week (five times over the seven day week).  This reading could take one of many forms – reading a book-banded book from school, a book pupils have chosen from one of their library visits, reading a newspaper or magazine, reading to a sibling, or even listening to a story and discussing it with a family member.  We ask that reading is recorded in your child’s reading diary to help us track this in school; your comments are really valuable in helping us make sure that children are making good progress and moving on well with their reading.


If your child is stuck in a rut with their reading, have a browse through the reading list below.  They contain a range of recommendations for different year groups; how many has your child read?


Our Reading Curriculum

Staff at Northbourne use a combination of whole-class and small-group teaching to address the objectives outlined in the National Curriculum programmes of study.  This ensures that, as children move through school, they develop the decoding, comprehension and analysis skills that make a successful reader.  The objectives covered in each year group are shown at the links below.


Support for Learning to Read

At the early stages of teaching reading, staff use the progression in phonics outlined in Letters and Sounds, supported by Jolly Phonics images and songs.  This helps pupils get off to a flying start in becoming confident readers by helping them rapidly develop their decoding skills.  For children who might make slower progress at the early stages of learning to read, we employ a dedicated Literacy Support Teaching Assistant who works with children on a one-to-one or small group basis to provide additional daily teaching and consolidation of their in-class learning. In addition, all of our Teaching Assistants are trained in delivering the Better Reading Partners intervention; this is an evaluated, structured intervention which targets specific areas of reading which children of all age groups might be struggling to master.