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Holmer C of E Academy

Holmer C of E Academy

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Reading Curriculum Overview


" Inspiring us all to create a better world"

Matthew 5: 13-15 " You are the salt of the are the light of the world."



1. The importance of Reading

At Holmer C of E Academy, we believe that reading is at the centre of learning. For this reason, reading is prioritised: we are determined every pupil will learn to read fluently and with automaticity. Pupils will become confident and coherent readers; learning to read fluently enables them to fully focus on acquiring strategies to ensure a comprehensive understanding of what they are reading.  By the time children leave Holmer, they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres, and participate in discussions about books, including explaining their ideas and opinions as well as evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact that this can have on the reader. They will understand the pleasure gained from engaging in a good book and will use it to explore their imagination and creativity.

We know that reading can open doors for our pupils and can help them to gain experiences, improve language and vocabulary skills and stimulate their imaginations. We aim to create confident readers who have good independent learning skills and develop a range of interests through reading. We believe that every child should be given the tools in both word reading and comprehension to develop into an enthusiastic and confident reader provides children with the exposure to different types of texts.

Therefore, we aim for all of our reading lessons to:


  • expose children to the very best of published children’s literature, covering fiction and non-fiction genres;
  • allow every child the opportunity to read texts aloud becoming fluent readers who practise intonation, pitch and tone;
  • teach children the skills to become confident readers who, by developing fluency and automaticity, understand the text through inference and deduction;
  • motivate and inspire children to choose books written by different authors;
  • enjoy reading for pleasure;
  • be read to by the class teacher who models how to use the reading voice effectively;
  • make links between reading as a reader and reading as a writer;
  • incorporate links with SMSC and cultural capital by choosing a variety of books that have clear links to history, heritage and culture;
  • nurture a passion for reading by motivating and encouraging.


2. Choosing and Organising Texts

Pupils will be able to access high quality texts through the following avenues:


  • Curriculum – high quality texts support the teaching of foundation subjects.
  • Class Library – high quality, age appropriate and challenge appropriate through a range of authors and genres
  • School Library – different text types to promote a love of reading
  • Gazebo/swap shop – different text types to engage reading and parental interaction


Teachers use quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning. Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are chosen carefully to develop vocabulary, language comprehension and foster a love of reading. Furthermore, they are built on themes such as:


  • Friendship
  • Companionship
  • Adventure
  • Good over evil
  • Kindness
  • Loneliness
  • Differences
  • Humour
  • Empathy
  • Perseverance


Teachers skilfully adapt whole class reading to ensure ALL pupils can access the text and deepen their understanding. This means teachers plan activities that enable the objective to be learned by all children including those who will find the objective challenging, those children who with hard work will secure good progress and those children who can tackle extra stretch and challenge in this subject. Further information on this page is a guide to help you understand your child’s progression through school. 


Take a look at our long term plan below:






Reading Long Term Plan

Holmer Reading Curriculum


Phonics is the precursor to reading, writing and spelling. It provides a key foundation for children to develop crucial literacy skills that will carry them through life. Research shows that high quality phonics teaching effectively supports younger children to master the basics of reading. To find out more about how we teach Phonics at Holmer using the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, please click the link below:

4. High quality modelling

In the classroom, we provide a range of contexts in which to model the importance and enjoyment of reading, for example, reading stories and rhymes, notes and instructions, information texts and children’s writing.

‘Modelled Reading’ is a recognised strategy which allows the teacher to explicitly demonstrate the process of reading by ‘thinking aloud’ about the strategies that are being used to decode words, comprehend meaning and read with fluency and expression.

Children participate by listening and observing the expert at work, rather than by contributing suggestions and pursuing points through discussion.

The teacher talks through the process step-by-step to show the learner how things are done, for example, making, confirming or changing predictions, re-reading if meaning is unclear or using context to work out a difficult word. 


Features of Modelled Reading

Each session has a planned focus.

An enlarged text should be clearly visible to all pupils.

A selected range of relevant and motivating fiction and non-fiction texts should be used.

Texts should be within the children’s comprehension level.

Illustrated texts should support and enhance meaning.

Sessions should be short and enjoyable. 


5. Ongoing assessment of reading and phonics

Throughout all phonics sessions, ongoing formative assessment of early reading ability takes place; this allows teachers to provide any support necessary to ensure that every child can maximise their reading potential.  Children also complete termly summative assessments to demonstrate their reading comprehension skills; which provide detailed analysis of the range of skills required to determine attainment and progress made against planned National Curriculum requirements, as well as against the progression of skills and knowledge documented in our curriculum maps.  Phonic ability is also assessed by statutory assessment: Children in Year 1 sit the phonics screening check in June; any child not passing the check is given intervention assistance and resits in Year 2. The results from all these forms of assessment are combined with the formative assessments to determine children’s progress and attainment and to plan their next steps.  Additional ways of assessing the impact of our Phonics and Early Reading curriculum include lesson observations, learning walks by the Subject Leader and/or the SLT and annual reporting to parents of standards across the curriculum 


6. Discussion Opportunities

We use our story spines books to promote discussion, valuing all voices and giving our pupils the opportunity to explore and develop their understanding of different concepts. Pupils listen to each other and use Voice 21 Oracy strategies to build on each others’ points, along with both encouraging and challenging each others’ thinking, in a safe space.  For further information, please see our Voice 21 page.

7. Reading for Pleasure

We strive for children to learn to love books through daily storytelling sessions, drawing upon books from different genres, cultures and religions.

Furthermore, time is built into our curriculum for reading for pleasure, enabling pupils to read books of their choice. Teachers nurture a love of reading by introducing books with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the book is explored which inspires the children and evokes excitement, allowing children to become immersed in a huge range of literature.  Our Buddy Reading system sees pupils across year groups pair up to regularly ready with their partner and share favourite moments within books. The active encouragement of reading for pleasure is a core part of every child’s educational entitlement at Holmer C of E Academy, whatever their background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts makes a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement and develops a life-long love for reading. As such, we have devised Reading Menu’s for each Year group which consist of recommended reads for our pupils. These are books which have proven to be immensely popular through research carried out by booksellers such as Waterstones and Amazon, Copies of most of these books are made available in school, giving every pupils the opportunity to read them. In addition to this, we use our Super Six Story Spines for class reads. This are books which have been carefully researched and chosen to expose our pupils to a wealth of different cultures, concepts and themes, all of provide exciting discussion opportunities in class. 

Holmer Reading Menu!

8. Vocabulary Progression


We provide our pupils with a framework of sentence stems. This both facilitates text discussions but additionally empowers our pupils as readers through developing their understanding of vocabulary. We do this through Voice21, and additionally use our vocabulary progression document support planning for talk in a range of subjects and lessons across the curriculum. It identifies the language structures needed to acquire and manipulate learning and exemplifies progression through the year groups. This should enable our staff to both identify what is needed and to structure the development of language for progress in key skills.

Practical teaching and learning strategies to support language acquisition, which may be seen in our school include:

  • Visuals – display sentence structures enabling children to use them as a point of reference during talk-based tasks.
  • Modelling – deciding which sentence structure to use based on the context , then speak the sentence, ‘thinking aloud’
  • Improving the quality of talk – encourage responses that build on those of others, e.g. ‘I agree with …. because ….’
  • Partner and group talk – expect children to use sentence structures from previous lessons together with the given sentence structures, encourage them to question each other and develop each other’s responses.
  • Hand gestures to indicate the type of talk e.g. instigate, challenge or encourage
  • Oral rehearsal – practise orally using, in talking trios or individually.
  • Recording children’s talk –encourage children to listen to their own talk so as to develop and improve on it.

Reading Curriculum Statement