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Cirencester Primary School and Nursery

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Cirencester Primary School and Nursery

Current Curriculum Content


Reading Overview statement

Reading continues to focus really strongly in our school curriculum. Our reading curriculum is deliberately ambitious, as it is designed to give all pupils the knowledge they need to become confident and accomplished readers. Reading is prioritised to allow all pupils to access our full curriculum offer.

We look at research and evidence-based approaches when designing our reading curriculum. We have particularly focused on information and recommendations made by the EEF.

By the time children leave our school, most are accomplished readers for learning, as well as readers for pleasure. In addition to this we have developed

  1. A culture of story time, storytelling and being read to daily in our EYFS
  2. High standards achieved in phonic knowledge and word reading  embedded across Key Stage 1

To ensure more children achieve more highly in reading comprehension by the end of KS2, we have the following priorities in place.

  1. The full range of reading skills are- coherently planned, sequenced, and then explicitly taught in reading lessons in every year group. The main resource we use for this purpose is taken from the Literacy shed and is known by the acronym VIPERS.
  2. High quality class texts are used to directly compliment the Big Question inquiry, and these texts have been carefully selected to be- a)  developmental in level of reading challenge and use of content vocabulary, b) progressive in complexity of reading content by plot, character, moral issue, cultural reference, ethical dilemma and background information/ cultural capital required to understand the text and c) the selected linked texts provide children with additional information on a specific subject that occurs in the class text, so they fully understand these new concepts that occur in the class text
  3. Teachers model reading and language. Children are read to every day by the class teacher. All children benefit from hearing a story, text or poem, which is ever so slightly above their normal range of reading material. This provides exposure to richer vocabulary.
  4. All children take part in Readers’ Theatre activities each week which:
  • Develop a better understanding of key vocabulary in the given text before the reading lesson
  • Allow all children to practice oracy skills by reading out loud with purpose to an audience
  • Enable teachers to model how the text should be read aloud
  • Enable all children to rehearse and practice reading key parts of the text
  • Allow key features in the text to be examined for spelling, grammar and punctuation development

All of this contributes to developing reading fluency, which takes our children from being strong decoders to fluent readers for learning.

In addition, to ensure all children have the opportunity to develop a love of reading we:

  • Provide regular information about new choices of reading material each week
  • Encourage access to adult support for reading in our school library at lunchtime
  • Pitch independent reading material to the decoding and the comprehension ability of the child
  • Encourage regular  book talk from the children rather than static comments recorded in the reading record book by parents
  • Set reading challenges across the school to promote and celebrate all reading
  • Provide spaces for children to read by themselves during their lunchbreaks

How our Reading curriculum has been adapted to ensure all children are able to read well

-Additional support for key individuals- namely

  • Heard read by an adult every day
  • Targeted phonic work based on knowledge of sounds not age
  • Pre-reading sessions of class text before the class lesson
  • SNIP spelling intervention to also help with reading CAW
  • Inclusion in class reading lessons (VIPERS)
  • Inclusion in Reading Theatre sessions
  • Inclusion in class text being read to the class

Catch Up in Reading

  • All children had access to reading material during partial school closures
  • We continued with our set school curriculum throughout both lockdowns
  • Teachers recorded themselves reading the class text for children to listen to at home
  • Comprehension tasks were set weekly
  • Phonic groups continued online via Google Meet

The impact of Covid restrictions on standards in reading has been noted.

  1. So, School leaders prioritised reading and reading material for our Recovery Premium spend, and for some of our Catch Up Premium spend. (Accelerated Reader, Cracking Comprehensions, EBooks subscription, Reading Cloud subscription, more copies of popular books, reading age group books, Barrington Stoke reading books and Pie Corbett’s Poetry Spine and RWI Book Bag Books)
  2. We have introduce to the children new books for them to read which are pitched at the age group impacted the most by partial school closures- namely Years 1 and 2, and Year 4 and Y5.

Since children have been reading these books, the interest in reading has reignited, and children are keen and eager to read in school.

for all children to take part in, as they know they have to be able to talk about their book read in class. Children not reading at home have responded much more positively to being encouraged to read so they can take part in daily book talk, than if their parents had not signed the Reading Record book.

Directly linking our Reading and Writing Curriculum

  1. As English leaders, we believe in the importance of oracy and language work as pre-requisites for good learning in both reading and writing. Across the whole school, starting in EYFS, all reading and writing lessons involve discussions and explicit vocabulary work.
  2. Our reading and writing curriculum are aligned to ensure children can link key knowledge together in order to develop deeper understanding of how our reading examples and writing WAGOLLs provide examples to all children of  age appropriate quality reading material which exemplifies for them how to structure their writing, and the correct use of age related spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Support from Reading Leaders

  • Teachers have good knowledge of the reading curriculum they teach.

As Reading Leaders we provide support in the following ways:

  • Weekly monitoring and support for RWI phonics teaching
  • Class texts scrutinised by reading Leaders to ensure depth of rich language matched to the age of the children
  • Interests of the children taken into account when selecting class texts
  • Additional and supplementary linked texts, including poetry, suggested to support reading content contained within class text
  • Activities to help teach VIPERS skills provide by Reading leaders
  • Example lessons modelled by Reading Leaders
  • TAs provide with CPD to enable them to support class reading sessions, Reading Theatre activities and reading interventions

Impact of our Reading Curriculum

  • Children develop strong phonic knowledge
  • Reading books connect closely to the phonics knowledge pupils are taught when learning to read
  • Children are familiar with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional stories
  • Children can make a plausible prediction about a text based on the information already gained
  • Children know how to retrieve information from a text
  • Children are using and understanding a wider repertoire of vocabulary in their everyday school talk
  • Children can talk about books they have read
  • Children are keen to read new reading material
  • All children, including SEND and PP, can apply what they know, and can do with increasing fluency and independence in reading as they progress through the school
  • Children will share books and book talk during their lunchtimes
  • Children tell us they love reading
  • More children volunteer to read allow
  • Children are becoming more fluent and expressive when they read allowed
  • Children love the class texts read to them by the class teacher
  • Children are developing a love of reading and are becoming readers for learning
  • Teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion
  • Teachers check understanding and misconceptions in reading lessons, and provide group and class feedback and will then adapt their future teaching as necessary. For example spending more or less time explaining key vocabulary
  • Children read more widely and more often, resulting in increased fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age.

Assessment in Reading

Teachers assess reading by (formative assessment)

  • Listening to children read
  • Marking their responses to reading comprehension questions
  • Talking to children about their reading
  • Asking questions related to the read text

This assessment information enables teachers to adapt their teaching to the needs of the class, and, for some individuals who have gaps in key reading skills; teachers can intervene with targeted support.

To help all children remember key knowledge related to the reading text, we provide knowledge organisers, which identify key vocabulary and concepts contained within the book, to be learned and understood.

At the end of each long term, all children undertake a summative assessment in Reading, using the NFER reading assessments. Teachers use the Question Level Analysis functionality to decipher which reading skills require additional development. (Summative assessment)








Accelerated Reader

Provides independent reading practice for pupils in once they have completed RWI. Your child chooses a book at their level, reads it at their own pace and takes a short online quiz to check their understanding.

Click on the picture to access (username and password required - please contact your child's teacher if you need a reminder)


Accelerated Reader Bookfinder

Searching for Accelerated Reader books is fun and easy with this free online tool.