Reading at Elburton


At Elburton Primary School, we firmly believe that reading is at the heart of every child’s education and journey through the primary phase.    We believe that everyone can succeed in reading and our reading teaching not only develops a love of books but provides the children with the knowledge and skills to become life-long learners. 

We aim to:

  •        Develop understanding and skills to become enthusiastic and competent       readers who see reading as intrinsically pleasurable and worthwhile.
  •        Allow children to access age-relevant and appropriately challenging texts.
  •        Understand that language they have acquired, may be relevant across all areas of their learning and apply that language where possible. 

We achieve this by providing a wide variety of good quality texts, which will appeal to all children, we teach a range of strategies to help children to become effective readers.

At the beginning of their journey, in Foundation, we use a synthetic phonics approach to teach early reading skills providing a systematic programme of reading which involves a combination of shared, guided and individual reading. We aim to develop a reciprocal and interactive community of readers, fully involving parents and carers with supporting their child’s reading development. We aim to develop an appreciation of a wide variety of literature from English and other cultures. We believe that it is important for children to hear stories read aloud to them, to engage in making preferences about books and to build vocabulary of the written word.




Read, Write, Inc Phonics

At Elburton Primary School, we use the RWI scheme (Read Write Inc.) for the teaching of phonics and daily lessons are delivered to groups of children who are regularly assessed to ensure that they are making progress and accessing the correct part of the programme. The emphasis is on teachers modelling the correct sounds and providing practise time. Reading books that are sent home match the sounds being taught in class. The children are also given a reading for pleasure book that links to the themes of the books that have been read that link to the children’s phonics knowledge.  The lessons are fast paced and develop fluency of recognition of phoneme/grapheme correspondence. Children are assessed on a termly basis and move groups according to outcomes. Children who are identified as falling behind receive support to catch-up. All children take the phonic screening check in Year 1.

In Year 2, children continue their RWInc phonics journey and are taught reading comprehension skills using the RWInc comprehension books which develop the children’s understanding of the key reading skills which include retrieval, vocabulary tasks, sequencing and explaining.  Once children complete the RWInc programme, the  children are taught reading through whole class comprehension sessions as in Key Stage 2.  At Elburton, the mnemonic VIPERS is used to support the children's understanding of these key skills.  However, the children will still be exposed to high quality phonics teaching through their writing, reading and spelling lessons. 


Accelerated Reader

As children finish the phonic programme, they begin their Accelerated Reader (AR) journey. This scheme (Yr1-Yr6) ensures children select the correct level of book to take home. A termly ‘Star Reading’ test determines the range from which a child may select books. After reading a book, children take an online quiz and the results count towards the child’s overall word count and progress towards their reading targets. Teachers monitor the engagement levels of children and certificates are given to reward children at different points of progress. After termly STAR Tests, children identified as working below expected levels are supported with reading and comprehension in class and on an individual basis according to the need.

Opportunities are provided for children to read independently in class and to discuss and recommend books to each other through ‘Book Talk’ which is integral to promoting a reading for pleasure culture within the classroom.  Teachers regularly listen to children read in class during whole class reading sessions.


Whole Class Reading

Once the children finish their RWInc journey, in Years 2 – 6, reading is taught during whole class comprehension sessions which develop the children's reading comprehension skills in the areas listed below:

 - Vocabulary,

- Inference, 

- Predict,

- Explain,

- Retrieval

- Sequence and 

- Summarise.

During whole class reading sessions, children are immersed in their reading through a range of reading strategies: teacher led reading, echo reading, choral reading and paired reading   This is an integral part of the reading process and helps build confidence and develop the children's fluency.  Each week, children are taught new vocabulary linked to the text which is reviewed daily to build a deeper understanding of the words in a variety of contexts.

This whole-class approach centres around real books and empowers every child to engage in high quality texts and progress together through interactive lessons and practical activities linked to fiction, non-fiction and poetry using extracts of books and texts. This means that all children access the stories and develop a greater love of reading through exploring vocabulary and talking around texts deepening understanding and knowledge of whole stories. Children learn to recognise question types used in formal comprehension and we use our 'Steps to Success' to teach children how to make sense of the text and to answer questions. Consistency of approach is seen through linking all learning in reading to these reading skills and using the mnemonic VIPERS to support the children's understanding of these skills.

Below is a summary of our teaching framework for reading:

  •        Weekly vocabulary introduced during whole class reading - learning new words, synonyms and application of the new words using a variety of approaches.
  •        Vocabulary gathering linked to writing which is linked to the genre being taught.
  •        A dedicated story time in the day to listen to the class reader which in KS2 and Year 2 is a novel and a range of picture books in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
  •        Vocabulary session within writing units.
  •        Additional opportunities for exposure to a variety of genres through the the English unit which develops the children’s understanding of the text structure and helps the formation of a 'Writer's Toolkit'.
  • Daily whole class reading in Key Stage 2 and daily RWInc Phonics in Key Stage 1 and Reception.   This extract is often linked to a theme to ensure strong cross-curricular links where appropriate and teaches children the key reading skills.
  • In addition to this, there are other opportunities throughout the week to teach reading and promote positive attitudes towards reading.  This will include the class reader, class book talk, quality texts chosen as the reading spine and reading integrated throughout other subjects e.g. research and through the writing curriculum.
  • Each class has a dedicated library time and classes visit the library regularly.


During the whole class reading sessions, children will be exposed to a range of text types to develop their reading comprehension skills which include:


  •        Non-fiction
  •        Poetry
  •        Fiction


In order to cater for the needs of all our children, we ensure we personalise the children’s learning to ensure the children are supported or challenged at an appropriate level. 

Reading underpins all that we do and oracy and building vocabulary are priorities in our curriculum, as a result high quality talk and embedding vocabulary are seen in lessons across all areas of the curriculum.

Reading events help bring our reading community together and help to foster reciprocal and interactive approaches e.g. shared reading between classes, reading challenges such as the Summer Reading Challenge and homework activities.


Reading for Pleasure

Opportunities are provided for children to read independently in class and to discuss and recommend books to each other through ‘Book Talk’ which is integral to promoting a reading for pleasure culture within the classroom.  This opportunity helps to further develop the children’s oracy skills as well as their vocabulary and comprehension of texts.

Class libraries and the school library promote reading for pleasure with an author spotlight to promote author knowledge.  Books within the school are selected from the Top 100 reading lists for each year group, CLPE book lists and offer a range of diverse texts to ensure there is breadth and balance in the children’s reading experiences.  As a school we subscribe to Plymouth School's Library Service which ensures our book stock is up-to-date and develop the children's cultural capital. We have a monthly selection of recommended reads which introduce children to books based around topical issues and are diverse.  In each of our library areas, forward facing books are clear to support children in their book choice. 

The children have regular library sessions to encourage reading for pleasure and to develop their oracy skills. 

At Elburton Primary School, we want pupils to appreciate how valuable and rewarding reading can be and dedicated time is built into our curriculum for independent reading each day.  

Each year, the school ensures that national events such as World Book Day, National Poetry Day and Storytelling week are celebrated to enrich the children’s reading experiences.



Assessment is fundamental to all aspects of our reading curriculum and ensures that children’s reading books are carefully matched to their level.  This is achieved through rigorous assessments as part of the RWInc process and through the use of Accelerated Reader book quizzes and Star Assessments.   In addition to this ongoing assessment process, children are formally assessed using termly NFER assessments and as part of the statutory assessment process at the end of Key Stage 2.  At the end of Year 1, children will take the statutory National Phonic Screening Test.  Once data has been agreed, it is inputted on Arbor according to the school’s assessment policy and this is discussed during Pupil Progress Meetings on a termly basis.   



Accelerated Reader Information and Book Guide
Accelerated Reader is a computerised programme that has not only been specifically designed to improve children’s reading ability and continue to raise their reading age, but also to encourage and nurture a love of reading that will continue into adulthood.

The Accelerated Reader Program works by identifying a child’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which is essentially a selection of books that will not only match their ability, but will also challenge them and develop their vocabulary. Each child in Y3-6 has sat a short online comprehension test in order to determine their ZPD.  Children in Year 2 will move onto the program once they have completed the Read, Write, Inc program.   Using the outcomes of these tests, children will be directed to choose books from the class library that fall within this range.  When they have finished the book, they will take a short, electronic quiz that assesses their understanding of what they have read. This enables us as teachers to have meaningful discussions about a child’s reading: what they have learnt and how we can help them to develop. It also enables us to closely monitor individual reading progress and ensure that children are selecting books that are challenging enough to meet their individual needs.

At Elburton Primary School, we want pupils to appreciate how valuable and rewarding reading can be and dedicated time is built into our curriculum for independent reading each day. 

To access a parents guide on the scheme please click on the link below. 

Parents guide to Accelerated Reader 


AR Bookfinder 

You can help your child choose books that are both interesting and enjoyable with AR Book Finder.

We have attached a guide to this for your information.

Information for Parents / Carers