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Hurst Knoll St James'

CE Primary School

Inspiring Faith and Learning for Life




Reading is of utmost importance to us at Hurst Knoll. We want to foster a love of reading, engaging children in high quality texts and allowing them to find their own preferences in their reading choices as they move throughout the school. If you happen to be in our school at 3pm, you will hear our story time bell, which indicates the start of story time for all classes. We believe that the pleasure of listening to an adult read at the end of the school day will help to develop a love of reading, as well as end the day in a relaxed but purposeful way. It is our hope that children will leave Hurst Knoll with a knowledge of the text genres they enjoy, a habit of reading frequently, transferable skills that enable them to read and understand texts in all subject areas and a love of reading that will last them a life time. 


We work hard to ensure that the texts we read and share with the children are diverse, from a range of cultures and represent the children who attend Hurst Knoll. Recently, we have invested in a range of high-quality texts to further supplement our class libraries. We endeavour to ensure that reading is pleasurable and that all children read each day. 




EYFS is where our excitement for reading begins. We provide reading experiences which promote curiosity, engagement and wonder about the world. Reading to children allows them to build their imaginations, hear language they may not otherwise, and creates passionate, life-long readers. Children in Early Years often like to read as part of their play and staff support this by helping the children to retell stories and give them the chance to discuss stories they have read many times. 


In EYFS, we teach phonics daily, using the Read Write Inc phonics programme. Alongside this, we use different books within each half term to link to our learning across EYFS, ensuring children are engaged and enthralled in high-quality texts. 


Key Stage One

Children in Key Stage One take part in a daily phonics session, following Read Write Inc. 

They also have reading sessions linked with Read Write Inc, where they are given the opportunity to explore a text alongside the class teacher, answer questions about it, either individually or with a pair / small group, and then share their responses with the class


Reading is taught daily across Key Stage 2, and links with our Writing curriculum 'The Write Stuff'. This helps children to engage with the text across all areas of English, and some broader areas of the curriculum too. 


Key Stage Two

Children acquire skills in reading across eight specific areas:


  • Word Definition
  • Retrieval of Information
  • Summarising
  • Making Inferences
  • Making Predictions
  • Relating to the Text
  • Exploring the Text
  • Making Comparisons (with other texts they have read)


As well as reading within school, children are provided with a reading book to take home. These reading books are very carefully designed to challenge children and develop their reading skills to compliment the teaching taking place in the classroom. The reading books follow a progressive colour-banded scheme and children may change their books in order to continue to develop their reading skills.



We also offer recommended reads on the school newsletter every 3 weeks.


Parents and carers can support reading in a number of ways. Decoding, is just one aspect of reading. Comprehension can be supported by:


  • Rereading books, so children become familiar with the vocabulary, prediction, sequencing and inference.
  • Checking whether their child understands specific words. For example, what does ‘mumbled’ mean?
  • Checking whether children understand the structure of a text. For example, where to start on specific pages, how to read a newspaper article and taking turns to read a script.
  • Asking children to explain what they have just read.
  • Discussing the illustrations before reading the text on the page.
  • Asking who their favourite character is.


Inference, prediction and sequencing are a large part of comprehension. These are essential skills and can also be supported through television programmes, films and real-life contexts.For example, 'How do we know that Macey felt sad?' 'She covered her face with her hands and she looked like she was about to cry.'


Reading is supported by speech and having lots of conversations. These can start as observations and build onto more in-depth transferrable skills.




Across the school, writing follows ‘The Write Stuff’, a scheme by Jane Considine, a progressive 'sentence stacking' approach which curriculum of high quality texts which are used throughout school that builds children's knowledge of literature and their reading ability in a structured way. 


Writing is taught daily in all year groups. Writing includes daily development of skills in:


  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Non-fiction Writing
  • Narrative (story) Writing