Reading Intent and Implementation



At Nether Alderley, we give all children the opportunity to enter the magical world that books open up to them. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of reading, of genres and authors and to review their books objectively and we promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. We ensure that pupils are able to access the academic curriculum using their reading skills and teach in a holistic way, creating inquisitive and knowledgeable children.  We actively encourage parents and carers to be part of their child’s reading journey and communicate using a home/school reading diary.  In addition, parents, carers and grandparents are welcomed into Nether Alderley to read with the children, especially in Reception with the ‘Mystery Reader’ project.  This provides valuable extra support and reading role models for the children.

By the time they leave Nether Alderley, they will be competent readers, who have a thirst for reading a range of genres, including poetry and be able to engage with the outside world with ease such as engaging in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s choice of language and the effect it has on readers.

At Nether Alderley,  we use  the ‘Bug Club’ scheme to teach phonics to our Reception and Key Stage one children. As part of this the children have daily phonics lessons in their class. The pupils participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities. The teacher's draw upon their observations and continuous assessment to ensure the children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who need additional support and implement a ‘catch up quickly’ approach.



Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Facilitate the teaching of synthetic phonics right from the start in an organised sequence and providing visual context for learnt phonemes and spelling patterns in modelled reading.
  • Provide a wide range of texts, both fiction, non-fiction and poetry, in order to give a breadth of styles and voices.
  • Teach reading skills of decoding and comprehension both discretely during planned English lessons and through other curriculum areas.
  • Proactively encourage pupils to take reading books home to continue their practice with support from their parents.
  • Support children to become lifelong readers through motivation and engagement.
  • Provide a range of reading experiences to promote Reading for Pleasure.
  • Cater for readers of all abilities by providing structured reading levels which support and challenge alongside free choice material.
  • Model and teach the key comprehension strategies of prediction, questioning, clarifying, summarising, inference and activating prior knowledge.
  • Cultivate fluent readers who can read quickly, accurately and with appropriate intonation.




Guided Reading

Within Reception, children have daily exposure to texts and stories to ensure a word rich environment which they are immersed with.  There is opportunities for reading woven into every day and chances to listen to teachers share stories with the children and their own love of reading and literature.  During the summer term a more formal system of Guided Reading takes place.

For Key Stage 1, Guided Reading continues using the ‘Reading Explorers’ scheme by John Murray.  This introduces skills of interrogating, discussing and engaging with a variety of text extracts on an informal level to begin with through small group oral sessions.  As the year moves on these skills are then applied to more formal written setting using written comprehension that is supported and aided by ‘Top Class’ books by John Murray.

These skills are further developed into KS2 again with ‘Reading Explorers’ where children have high-quality, oral based guided reading sessions that focus on the use of text extracts to teach the skills of literal retrieval, deduction, inferential question and word level interrogation before moving on to formal written comprehension. They are organised in small groups of children reading at a similar level and led by a teacher, teaching assistant or trained volunteer. The children access a range of text types, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays, which are pitched above their independent reading ability. 

For both Key Stages we also offer interventions for those children whose progressed has dipped to enable them to catch up quickly using the ‘Reading Rocketeers’ programme and extra dedicated small group support in terms of comprehension, text understanding and word reading and decoding.


Shared/Modelled Reading/Text marking and interrogation

At Nether Alderley, we see the importance of reading as a writer and writing as a reader so we weave reading skills into every English lesson.  We model reading to the children and unpicking and interrogating a text whole class looking at the authors language choices and intent and impact of their choices.  We model the process of reading for purpose and answering comprehension questions by directly teaching the skills of skimming and scanning, reading around for context, word replacement and bringing back information to answer formal comprehension questions using the PQC approach (Point,  Quote, Comment.)


Reading for Pleasure

We recognise that “reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child's future success – more so than their family circumstances or their parents' educational background and income. Our ambition is to restore reading for pleasure as a celebrated national pleasure for all. All of our children have access to a huge range of reading material within our school library where the children choose the books that we buy, much of it funded by the Friends of Nether Alderley and PTA.  Adults in school encourage book talk and recommendations amongst the school community through online systems such as Showbie and the school website to foster a clear love of reading whole school.  At various points of the year we have author celebration weeks and whole school book projects as well as celebrating National Poetry Day, World Book Day etc.


In addition to the above, each year group will implement the following:


In the early years, children begin to have discrete phonics lessons which teach them the key skills of decoding by segmenting and blending sounds.  Children begin learning to recognise key words or ‘tricky words’ through games during phonics and continuous provision throughout the week.  This leads the children to develop skills in reading simple sentences and using words during play. By the end of their time in reception, most pupils will be secure in their knowledge of phases 1-4 and be developing skills at phase 5. 

Children are exposed to books throughout their continuous provision and are encouraged to explore fiction, non-fiction and poetry linking to their current theme.  Practitioners lead children in storytelling and poetry through repeated tellings, actions and joining in.  Each child will have an appropriately banded book from the reading schemes we use to read at home and individually in school. 

Parents and carers are welcomed and encouraged to join their children at the start of their reading journey by being invited into class as part of the ‘Mystery Reader’ Project.

Year 1

In year one, children continue to have phonics lessons to develop their vocabulary. Building on from their knowledge in reception, the children will be taught the phonemes from phase 5 to enable them to make ‘best guesses’ with their spelling and decoding. A small group of pupils may still need support at phase 3 and 4 level.  They continue to learn tricky words and common exception words which will increase fluency and confidence in reading.  The children are introduced to early dictionaries in year one that support their phonics and spelling lessons.  These dictionaries are very pictorial.

Children will be encouraged to continue to retell and join in with stories and poems and learn some by heart.  This brings literature alive for these young children and embeds crucial language and tone. They will begin to explore words with suffixes, contractions and the meaning of words.  Pupils will begin to develop prediction and inference skills; giving their opinion and discussing likes and dislikes.


Year 2

In year two, the children build on their phonic knowledge and read new words with increasing accuracy and fluency. Any pupils who did not achieve the pass mark in the PSC will have additional small group support, delivered by a teacher or support staff before retaking the test.  

They will read and explore a range of stories and poems, both classic and contemporary. The children build upon their knowledge of dictionaries in Year 1, by being taught further strategies on how to use them to make vocabulary choices and aid spelling.  Teachers will help pupils to find clues and make predictions about their reading and give opinions during discussions. 

Year 3

During year three, children continue to read a wide range of texts now including non-fiction, reference books and plays.  The children start to discuss texts by familiar authors and compare them to others.  Pupils’ fluency is increased as they become more confident and familiar with common exception words, root words and prefixes and suffixes.  They will now learn spelling rules and patterns, building on their phonic knowledge. The children continue to build upon their knowledge of dictionaries in year 2 and are encouraged to use them independently. Pupils continue to make and justify inferences and predictions and participate in discussions about their reading.

Year 4

In year four children take a more focused look at themes and conventions used by a variety of authors.  They continue to study a wide range of texts and explore reading plays aloud with focus on tone, volume and action. Our children will develop their own opinions about their reading and respectfully challenge others’ views and ideas. When studying spelling rules and conventions, children will apply knowledge of root words, suffixes and prefixes to understand new words whilst confidently using dictionaries to help understanding.

Year 5

The children will study a wider range of books including myths, legends, modern fiction and books from other cultures.  They will be taught how to use evidence to explain the author's choices, impact of language and to distinguish between fact and fiction. Year five children will be taught to comment on the structure of texts and make inferences about character feelings and emotions.  In addition, they will recommend books to peers and comment positively about books. In year five children will use and apply understanding of spelling rules taught so far, including pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

Year 6

In year six the children will continue to explore the impact of language choices on the reader and comment confidently on the structure and layout of a variety of text types.  They will build on their ability to participate in discussions about books more confidently and perform poems and plays for different audiences.  Year six children will use all of their prior knowledge of spelling rules and letter strings to read new vocabulary fluently and accurately. They will be expected to use technical language and other terms for discussing what has been read and heard e.g. metaphor, analogy, imagery, style and effect.


Alderley Edge Library

Alongside the books brought home from school, we recommend that pupils explore the books and services offered by local libraries. Many children enjoy listening to parents read stories as part of their bedtime routine. In helping families to select from a range of different reading materials, local libaries provide an invaluable and affordable service. Each year, we take some of our pupils to visit Alderley Edge library to see the range of books and services they have to offer. We would highly recommend a visit yourself...!

For information on Alderley Edge Library - including opening hours, please click here.

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Nether Alderley Primary School, Bradford Lane, Nether Alderley, Macclesfield SK10 4TR