Meet the Reading Team

Miss R Edminson

Mrs J Wadsworth

Mrs L Barrow

Mrs T Barrientos

Mrs C Studholme

Reading Overview

Key Stage 1 Reading & Phonics Provision

Here at Fairfield Primary School our aim is to ensure that all children reach their full potential and become confident, creative and fluent readers and writers. Underpinning children’s success as early readers and writers is their knowledge and understanding of letters and sounds within the English Language- which is taught to them through Phonics.

Phonics at Fairfield Primary School begins in Nursery and continues throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. In Nursery children begin by exploring different sounds and developing their speaking and listening skills. When children reach Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 they are grouped according to their developing Phonetical knowledge and confidence. We group children across the year groups for Phonics- so that we can ensure that their Phonics lessons are tailored to their specific needs and are appropriately challenging.

At Fairfield Primary School we follow the structure of the Letters and Sounds programme for our Phonics teaching. This programme is structured into different developmental phases which teach children the skills of segmenting and blending (to read) and word recognition to promote accurate spelling. Lessons are delivered by experienced staff, in a multisensory and lively manner- promoting high engagement and enjoyment in the children’s learning. Staff plan daily opportunities within lessons to assess children’s Phonetical understanding and progress is monitored half termly. Regular use of assessments ensures that children are challenged daily and allows teachers to plan timely intervention groups- for any children who require extra support.

In Year 1 all children sit the Governments Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term. During the check, children are asked to read aloud 40 words. These words are all phonetically decodable and are a mix of real and nonsense words. This allows teachers to identify any children who have not yet reached the expected reading level by the end of Year 1. Those children then receive additional small group intervention and are re-assed in Year 2.

Our aim is to ensure that the children experience a smooth transition from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1. The Key Stage 1 curriculum builds upon and extends the experiences that children have had in Reception. Reading begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage where our main reading scheme ‘The Oxford Tree Reading Scheme’ is supplemented by a variety of other phonetically rich texts such as ‘Floppy Phonics’. These enable the children to practise and enhance their segmenting and blending skills. In Key Stage 1 children receive two reading books each week- at a level which is appropriate for their developing fluency and confidence. They also have an opportunity to choose their own Free Choice Library Book each week, to encourage their love of reading. When children reach Year 1 and Year 2 we provide them with books that offer a broad range of vocabulary, to build their growing repertoire of sight words. Children are given the opportunity to read a wide variety of different genres to promote their reading comprehension skills. When children reach Year 1 and Year 2, they also receive weekly Guided Reading lessons in small groups. This gives children the opportunity to learn from their peers and demonstrate their reading comprehension skills to the class teacher. Children’s reading is regularly assessed and their progress is monitored to ensure that they are on the correct reading level.

Through our Phonics teaching we strive to ensure that all children achieve their full potential, and by the end of Key Stage 1- are fluent and confident readers with a strong understanding of spelling.

Key Stage 2 Reading Provision

In Key Stage 2, we are committed to stimulating a passion for reading and we pride ourselves on our promotion of children reading for pleasure. We take inspiration from leading names in the field of literature, who state: ‘It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations, something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own” (Katherine Patterson). 

Therefore, reading for pleasure is a core part of every child’s educational entitlement in Key Stage 2. We believe that extensive exposure to a wide range of texts (both fictional and non-fictional) significantly contributes to every child’s achievement. This is because it broadens their minds and exposes them to new vocabulary and understanding.  We aim for our pupils to become lifelong readers for purpose and pleasure. We enhance both the child’s fluency and comprehension ability across all genres of texts. This is achieved by daily independent reading for pleasure; whole-class text study; daily comprehension activities and through exposing children to a wealth of texts.

We strongly believe that by providing our children with the life-long gift of reading, we show them that literature has the power to console, heal, transform and inspire them, for the rest of their lives. We promote the fact that reading can enhance a child’s literacy skills in all areas- particularly writing. Therefore, we use our class text(s) to stimulate our writing. All pupils will study chosen class-texts in depth and complete a whole unit of work based around a particular book. 

The reading provision in Key Stage 2 at Fairfield Primary School consists of the following main elements:

  • Having a quality literature spine across the Key Stage from Years 3 to 6;
  • Engagement in Accelerated Reader (see below for further information);
  • Studying class novels daily with relevant accompanying reading activities;
  • Utilising resources such as ‘The Power of Reading Scheme’ and ‘Talk For Writing’ to inform an in-depth approach to text studies;
  • Having an effective home reading system (including rewards for effort, via Class Dojo and Accelerated Reader);
  • Implementing an effective reading intervention scheme (see the 'wave' model below);
  • Promoting whole-school reading challenges and competitions to stimulate a love of reading.

All of our staff in Key Stage 2 act as reading role models and continuously share and promote their pleasure and enjoyment of a wide-variety of texts. The sharing and discussion about books and other reading materials is frequent and regular. Moreover, all pupils have access to a wide range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction in different formats. We are always willing to widen our knowledge of what is available to interest all children and regularly purchase new books, to keep our library shelves up to date. 

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice.  At Fairfield Primary School, children in Year 3 - Year 5 use AR, with some children in Year 2 using the system after Christmas.

How does Accelerated Reader work?
Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer (passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set targets and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using AR choose their own books, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.  Children can also take quizzes on books that have been read to them, e.g. by parents and teachers.

How much will my child read during the school day?
According to research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day in school and 20 minutes a day at home with a 90% comprehension rate (average percentage correct) on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child will have 20 minutes set aside for reading during each school day.  We would strongly encourage you to replicate this at home too.

How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
Teachers determine your child’s reading level in one of three ways: a STAR Reading™ test, a reading age estimation from a standardised test or by using their best professional judgement based on their knowledge of your child. STAR Reading is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level of the next question is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 10 minutes.

What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
In independent literature-based reading, ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a STAR Reading test or teachers can use their best professional judgement to determine a ZPD. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPDs. ZPDs should be adjusted based on the needs of your child.

What are points?
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book and the length of the book. Children earn points, or a portion of a book’s points, depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. For example, a child who takes a 5-question quiz on a  book  worth 1 point  will earn 1  point for 5 correct answers  (100%),  0.8 point for 4 correct answers (80%), etc. A child who reads a book worth 5 points and takes a 10-question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%), 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc.

For quizzes with 3, 5 or 10 questions, a child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn points. For quizzes with 20 questions, a child needs to pass with a score of 70% or higher to earn points.

Here at Fairfield, we celebrate the children's reading success in our popular Celebration Assemblies; such rewards aid motivation and engagement.

How will I know if a book has an AR quiz?
To know which quizzes your school has available, contact your child’s teacher or librarian. You can also visit the AR BookFinder™ at to conduct a search of all available books with AR quizzes.

Reading Interventions

Here at Fairfield Primary School, we have devised a very successful approach to Reading Intervention. Our approach is outlined in our 'Wave Models' below.

Reading Intervention

As you will see, a key aspect of our intervention strategy is our Structured Reading and Structured Reading and Spelling Programmes. Reading Intervention is a research based, one to one intensive and very successful approach to teaching children which helps to accelerate their development of literacy skills. This is a wave 3 intervention.

The one-to-one programme combines a highly structured reading programme, with systematic activities to promote and link phonological awareness (how we process and use sounds) to reading and writing.  The programme consists of 40 support sessions of 35 minutes duration, delivered over a 12-week period by a Reading Intervention trained teacher/teaching assistant. 

Pupils to be considered for this programme should be significantly delayed in the development of their reading and spelling skills and must be in year 2 and above. There must be evidence that pupils have received previous interventions such as ELS or 1-1 work with a teaching assistant at class level but despite this they have not made progress as expected.

Each programme is unique and specifically planned for an individual child.  Teaching is based on detailed assessments of a child at the start of a programme which are then repeated at the end of the programme to measure progress and identify next steps and targets.

A typical intervention session includes:

Re-reading easy books

The re-reading of books which are ‘easy reads’ is to reinforce and develop independent use of text reading strategies, develop fluency, develop confidence with books, consolidate letter and word recognition, contribute to ongoing assessment of letter and word recognition and use of text reading strategies and to improve recognition and knowledge of the use of punctuation.

Letter knowledge

Children are taught the letter names and sounds of both upper-case and lower-case letters and how to correctly form them.

Phonology and Sound Linkage activities

Phonological activities focus on identification of syllables, rhyme, ability to hear sounds/phonemes, blending for reading, segmenting for writing and sound manipulation. This is achieved by completing activities from the Sound Linkage Programme book and through the use of magnetic letters when introducing words for reading and writing, so making it a multisensory learning experience.

Writing a story

This section helps to develop confidence with writing, increase the number of known spellings through rapid recall, develop strategies to attempt to write new and increasingly more difficult words, improve layout of work, embed and improve knowledge of punctuation, reinforce correct letter formation and handwriting skills, and to establish a link between reading and writing and spoken to written word.

Reading- introduction and child’s independent attempt with an unseen book

Children are introduced to a new book at the appropriate level, initially talking through the pictures, looking at new sounds within words, new vocabulary, more difficult words and they are taught appropriate reading strategies. This ensures that they have all the necessary ideas, skills and language in order to successfully attempt to read an unknown text. It also reinforces and develops independent use of reading strategies, consolidates letter and word recognition, contributes to ongoing assessment and improves and reinforces the function and use of punctuation, particularly with regard to fluency and expression.  An adult modelling reading to a child promotes the development of phrasing and fluency and it also helps to develop and enhance a child’s comprehension skills.

Reading Areas

Furthermore, each classroom has a designated reading area which is used to promote independent reading for pleasure, on a daily basis. Pictures of 6G’s Harry Potter themed reading area are shown below. 

Recommended Reads

Here at Fairfield Primary School, we aspire to be an outstanding reading School. Therefore, our staff have selected twenty core texts for each year group. The books for Key Stage 2 are displayed below in separate tables for each year group and we hope your child will become very familiar with these titles during their time in Key Stage 2. These texts are available to read in school. If you wish to support your child with their breadth of reading then please feel free to read these books at home to and with your child. We hope that these book lists might play a part in birthday, Christmas or general “book treat” purchases from family and friends.

Phonics & Reading

A Culture of Reading

How can I help my child become a better reader?
As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading and discussing books that each of you have read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child’s age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning and creating a loving relationship between you and your child. Make learning a family affair!

At Fairfield Primary School, we have written our very own 'Parent Guides to Reading', which we hope you will find useful to support your child with their reading at each stage of the primary phase. 

Parent/Guardian Guides to Reading

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