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Excellence Everyday

Reading at Ashurst

English Leader - Miss E. Hunter

Reading Leader RWI - Miss R. Jones

'Reading at the heart of the curriculum'


Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we ensure our English curriculum gets children into books right from the start.  From our systematic and structured Phonics programme to our amazing school library, our wonderful class reading corners, our reading sessions with parents and our exciting enrichment opportunities, we make sure our school oozes books and reading.  Reading whole class quality texts as a basis for English lessons and many other subjects across the curriculum, we make sure that children are exposed to the best children's literature.  We develop a strong love of reading for pleasure, and have children who love to read a wide range of books including: fiction, poetry and non-fiction and digital texts.  Reading really is at the heart of all we do from Nursery to Year 6.

Our shared Reading Vision

Whole School Curriculum: National Curriculum  and Long Term Planning

National Curriculum Programme of Study

Y1-6 Skills Progression in Reading

Reading for Pleasure 

We want to encourage a genuine love of reading and believe that this will extend and stretch our children’s ability to learn across the whole curriculum. A love of books, words and reading for the simple pleasure of it, we believe, is vital for children to become life-long learners. As such, every class places a high emphasis on ‘Reading for Pleasure’ each day where books are read together, discussed and enjoyed as a group.


Whole class reading

Whole class reading takes place from Year 1 - Year 6. Texts chosen by each cohort offer high challenge . A variety of short texts and chapter books are used covering a wide range of genres.  During these lessons ,children have the opportunity to listen reading being modelled by the teacher through the modelled fluency approach.  Children have the opportunity to echo the reading back (Modelled Fluency Echo Reading).  Teachers plan and model activities covering the different reading skills, followed by children having a go at answering a range of questions and activities independently or with support. There are lots of opportunities to discuss  new vocabulary and for children to discuss their opinions about what they have read. 

Teaching Early Reading at Ashurst

Reading Leader - Miss R. Jones

We use an approved and validated systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme at Ashurst.  Validation status indicates that our programme, Read, Write, Inc. Phonics has been self-assessed by its publisher and judged by a small panel with relevant expertise and that both consider it to meet all of the Department for Education (DFE) criteria for an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme. 

Through the Read Write Inc phonics programme,  Children at Ashurst are taught to recognise sounds, read decodable green words, red tricky words and alien words.  Children also practise spelling these words and writing them down.   Children are taught to apply their phonics skills and improve fluency through the Read, Write, Inc. story books used during these sessions.  All staff receive RWI training, regular updates and development days to ensure high standards and consistency when delivering the programme.  Children's progress in phonics is closely tracked and children are regularly assessed and regrouped.  Our Reading Leader tracks progress and identifies anyone who requires 1:1 intervention which is implemented without delay in order for children to 'catch-up'. 

Home reading books for our Early Readers - Early Years and Key Stage 1

Home reading books are phonics based and exactly match our phonics programme to ensure books closely match the sound being taught in lessons. Children take these home and parents are encouraged to support children in reading these. There are also activities and questions for them to complete in the front and back of the books.  Children's progress through the reading levels is again closely tracked and once children no longer need the RWI phonics programme, they are moved onto colour book banded books. 

Click on the link below to find out more about how we teach phonics through the Read, Write, Inc. programme

Read Write Inc. 

A love of reading shines through in our Early Years

Reading in Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 Independent Reading 

From Year 3 onwards children access books from our school library through our colour book bands.  Children will be placed on the right colour book band for them.  We want all children to feel confident and successful when reading so we assess children to find the right level.  Children move through these colour book bands and love the variety, depth and breadth which we offer.  We have invested much into these books and really do have something for every reader.  Children have led decisions on stock in the library and have the chance to tell us what they want to read.  Children write book reviews through our 'post it note review' system which keeps book talk alive at Ashurst.  

Children in Key Stage 2 also access Reading Plus, a program which develops reading fluency.  Find out more below.

Reading Plus for Key Stage 2 children

Reading Plus is a program for children in our Key Stage 2.  It teaches them to become stronger readers by developing silent fluency, reading speed and comprehension.  Reading Plus provides stories which increase in difficulty.  Children read a short text and answer 10 questions.  Children have access to 800+ high quality texts that are constantly updated and adapted to meet every child's needs.  Reading Plus does not replace reading books.  The program is designed to teach each child to become a more efficient reader, thus helping to support a lifelong love of reading. 

Children at Ashurst work so well through this program and tell us they love it! Go to our pupil voice, in the 'Impact' section of this page, to find out what KS2 children say about it.  Keep up the brilliant work children!

Getting the most from Reading Plus at home

Click on the link below for some useful guidance:

Guidance for parents


Reading Fluency

We think it is important that children have the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluency is important because it helps children to recognise and understand text. When fluent readers read silently, they recognise words automatically. They group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking.  

At Ashurst we work together to build strong fluency in reading.  We use an approach (Modelled Fluency, Echo Reading).  Adults model high standards of fluency and children echo it back.  This approach is used in whole class reading lessons with groups and when hearing individuals read.  This is approach is consistent across school and is having an impact on reading fluency in our school.  Click on the links below to hear some of our children reading.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Reading beyond the classroom

Click on the links below:


Reading Ambassadors

Recommended books

Our school library

Support for parents