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“Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work.”

[The Reading framework July 2021]

Inspired by World Book Day

At Scapegoat Hill and Linthwaite Clough Federation (SLCF), we believe that reading is an essential life skill, and we are committed to enabling our children to become life-long readers.  We believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and express themselves.  We want to cultivate behaviours in all our learners that they need to inspire a love of reading at all stages of their learning journey.

By the time our pupils leave us, we envisage that they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, seek out books from a range of different genres – including poetry – and engage in discussion about authorial choices or impact on the reader. Once our pupils have unlocked the key to reading, it is our intention that they will be able to apply their reading skills in order to access any subject in their secondary education and beyond.

We are committed to providing children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities which will help them to:

  • Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books
  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding
  • Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing confidence, accuracy and speed
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different texts and genres
  • Develop a deeper lever of emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Be a successful global citizen
  • Develop oracy skills


Across the SLC Federation, reading lies at the heart of all learning and we provide engaging, exciting and stimulating opportunities for children to develop and practice their literacy skills to enable them to become skilled communicators.

We support all children to learn through clear leadership; consistent teaching and learning approaches; regular monitoring and assessment along with a joint commitment between school and home.

The curriculum is designed to follow the EYFS Development Matters and National Curriculum guidelines for the teaching and learning of reading. We are committed to raising standards of children’s reading to ensure that all children are progressing and achieving at least in line with national expectations.

Early Years and Key Stage 1

Early reading begins with teaching phonemic awareness (ability to recognise and work with sounds) and phonics (the relationship between letters and sounds) The systematic teaching of phonics has high priority throughout the foundation stage and key stage 1. 

At SCL Federation we follow a rigorous systematic synthetic phonic programme called ‘Bug Club Phonics’.   It is a DfE validated phonics programme that supports the Reading Framework (July 2021) with an accessible and inclusive teaching approach at its heart.  It is built on strong pedagogical foundations and offers everything we need to teach systematic synthetic phonic programme to Early Years and key stage 1

The GPCs taught each week are displayed in classrooms alongside the tricky words which are used as a teaching resource during the language session and to increase daily exposure to these words.  The decodable books are written and designed with diversity and inclusion in mind.  They are organised into units and are displayed in order of progression. This ensures that the practitioner knows exactly which book the child needs and avoids children been given books containing ‘Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences’ (letters and sounds) they have not yet learned. We do not mix reading schemes and phonics schemes to ensure fidelity to the programme.

Early Years

  • The daily timetable includes a story time (including traditional nursery rhymes) and singing session.
  • Phonics and reading activities are taught as a whole class or in small groups starting in week 3 in Reception.
  • Discreet phonics sessions take place daily for 20-25 mins.
  • The phonic sessions are fast paced and multisensory, taking account of the needs of all learners
  • We follow the clear progression of the Bug Club Phonics Scheme
  • Phonics teaching is supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening and spelling activities.
  • Progress is monitored regularly through assessments
  • Target intervention is provided to ensure that the children ‘keep-up’.

Key stage 1

  • The daily timetable for Key stage 1 includes a story time/poetry session
  • Phonics and reading activities are taught as a whole class/large group
  • Discreet daily phonics sessions take place daily for 30 mins, including a language lesson and revisit and review session
  • We follow the clear progression of the Bug Club Phonics Scheme
  • Children who have not met the required standard for phonics in year 1 or 2 have regular intervention lessons either individually or in small group sessions.  This continues in key stage 2 where necessary.
  • To enable children to ‘keep up’, they are given extra practice, either in a small group or one-to-one.  Additional support with phonics and one-to-one reading takes place regularly in a quiet area so the children become familiar with it as a routine.
  • Phonics teaching is supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening and spelling activities.
  • Classes follow a structured approach to whole class reading and VIPERS.

Key Stage 2

All classes follow a structured approach to whole class reading and VIPERS.

  • High quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group
  • We recognise the importance of developing a rich and extensive bank of vocabulary; therefore, we discreetly teach vocabulary directly linked to the text during whole class reading lessons, ensuring new vocabulary is embedded.
  • Further to modelled sessions, children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the wide range of domain questions.
  • More complex questions are discussed in groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard and greater depth.

Keep-up and interventions – including the National Tutoring Programme

To enable children to keep up, they are given extra practice, either in a small group or one-to-one.  Additional support with phonics and one-to-one reading takes place regularly in a quiet area so the children become familiar with it as a routine.

  • Reading one-to-one with teachers, ETAs and Reading Friends on a regular basis is a priority; the focus being on the lowest 20%.
  • Pupil premium children are carefully monitored and where appropriate are support by all practitioners.
  • The funding from the National Tutoring Programme is used on a school led basis to support children with extra reading intervention.

SEND and disabilities

  • We enable access to appropriate phonics instruction for children with complex needs. Under the Equality Act 2010, we make reasonable adjustments to enable pupils with disabilities to have full access to the curriculum and to be able to participate in it.
  • Systematic Synthetic Phonics, rather than a whole-word approach, provides children with moderate to severe and complex needs the best opportunity to gain functional literacy.
  • Children who have a mild hearing or visual impairment are generally able to access phonics teaching.
  • We provide learners with the skills and knowledge they need to read and spell, by direct instruction, progressing systematically with carefully structured, small and cumulative steps .
  • We use instructional routines that become familiar and provide materials that limit distraction.
  • We provide opportunities for work on vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension .

Teaching for all children is:

  • at a suitable pace for the child because progression through a programme will be much slower than for their typically developing peers.
  • daily, with well-paced, well-planned lessons that are engaging and motivating.
  • taking full account of the child’s individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and understanding, and profile of needs.

Some children may need additional strategies, such as for those who:

  • have physical disabilities that affect their fine motor control for holding and manipulating objects, e.g. use of desktop manipulatives, alternative writing strategies
  • are pre- or non-verbal, e.g. use of alternative communication strategies, such as selecting their response from auditory choices anchored to visual symbols or place-markers
  • have both fine motor difficulties and are pre- or non-verbal, e.g. use of low- or high-tech eye gaze strategies.

Storytime, class reads and reading for pleasure

  • All classes are exposed to a daily class reader, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children and to expose them to different genre, new authors and a new and varied vocabulary.
  • All classrooms have a reading corner and the quality of books themselves are the most important aspect of this.  Aplace where children can access a range of books, both fiction, including poetry and graphic novels, and non-fiction to help embed their love of books, stories and reading.
  • Time is spent of selecting, displaying and promoting the books. We believe that the choice of books on display should not be overwhelming.  As part of this, the children are taught how to look after and respect all reading material.
  • To ensure that they have a rich diet of literature we have strong links with Lindley children’s Bookshop.  We are guided on choosing high quality texts that are age appropriate, ensure that we have a rich diverse selection and are linked with the termly unit of work.
  • Workshops with authors are sourced to raise the profile of new authors and their reading material.

We also want our children to develop positive behaviours towards reading, including enjoyment, engagement and independence.  We aim to provide many opportunities where children can listen to and read in a quiet and reflective environment. Our library has a range of reading material, including newspapers, magazines and a bank of high-quality book for all ages that reflect the diversity of our modern world.

How do we develop the home-school reading partnership?

  • Reading at home is strongly encouraged and promoted through books being sent home on a weekly basis
  • In KS1 each child brings home a book to read aloud to an adult. It has been carefully chosen so that they can work out all the words.
  • All children in Reception and Ks1 are given a phonically decodable book that is carefully matched to their secure phonic knowledge so that they can regularly practise decoding, develop fluency and continue to build reading confidence.
  • The phonics programme allows e-books, games and other interactive activities to be allocated to children and their engagement with reading at home can be monitored and then discussed with parents.
  • Children who are independent readers are encouraged to borrow books from school
  • Meetings to help parents understand both our reading scheme and the value of reading for pleasure are organised
  • Book fairs are organised to promote reading for pleasure and make valuable links with parents


At Linthwaite Clough School, we strive to promote a positive reading culture where books and the love of literature is both celebrated and valued. Through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter even when they have come to the end of the programme. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school; accessing a range of texts independently. We aim to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using statutory assessments and a range of formative and summative assessment procedures, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support.  More importantly, we believe that reading is the key to unlock all learning and so the impact of our reading goes beyond the statutory assessments. We give all the children the opportunity to enter the amazing new worlds that a book opens up to them and share texts from a range of cultures or genres to inspire them to question or seek out more for themselves.

Pupils progress is measured through:

  • Daily within class to identify children needing keeping up support
  • Weekly in revisit and review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
  • Half termly to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the ‘keep-up support’ they need
  • Work scrutiny/moderation, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children so that any additional support for teachers can be put in place

Statutory Assessment

  • Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check.  Results are analysed and additional interventions are implemented as appropriate.
  • Any child not passing the check resits it in Year 2
  • Year 2 children complete the SATs in the summer term and the results are analysed to inform teaching and learning.

We give all the children the opportunity to enter the amazing new worlds that a book opens up to them and share texts from a range of cultures or genres to inspire them to question or seek out more for themselves.  We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school.  We want them to possess the reading skills and love of literature which will help them to have high aspirations and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future.