Our Approach to Reading

Reading at Sandiway Primary School

At Sandiway Primary School we value reading as a key life skill and ensure reading is a fundamental part of what we do. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every child learns to read with confidence whilst developing a true love of reading.

All children from the moment they start with us in Reception are exposed to high quality texts across the curriculum, reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups and reading is given a high profile throughout school.

How we Teach Reading

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We follow a Mastery approach for the teaching of reading through the programme Pathways to Read. Units of work are delivered using high quality texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities for reading. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and children apply these skills in the reading activities provided.  

We deliver one whole class shared reading lesson per week from years 2-6 with bespoke grouped reading for every pupil at least once a week as well as individual reading.  In our shared and grouped reads, there is a clear teaching focus with the opportunity to master key reading skills in each session. There are follow on reading tasks to enable pupils to evidence the skills they have mastered independently. For pupils still needing support with phonics, we provide a reading programme that has phonically decodable texts at the heart of it.

Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Read approach and this builds on the extensive work we do in school to provide our children with a rich and varied vocabulary.  

We also use Pathways to Write to drive our writing curriculum. This aligns with Pathways to Read ensuring meaningful links for our pupils with texts and topics that are used across Literacy, Humanities and Science.

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Reading Books in School

Our goal is to foster a passion for reading. We provide a variety of excellent reading resources in the classroom. Stories, newspapers (First News), levelled reading materials, library books, informational books, eBooks, and more. Research showa that children who read a variety of books form preferences and incorporate ambitious vocabulary and writing styles into their own work.

At Sandiway Primary, we are passionate about reading for pleasure as this plays a major role in reading development. Each classroom has an inviting Book Area with high quality texts that have been carefully chosen. These include our Sandiway Readalouds and a selection of books from the Top 50 Books (as recommended by Books for Topics). These Top Picks are continually monitored to ensure they are kept in good condition.

Each class has two Reading Ambassadors who help to choose new texts for their class and monitor the ones they have. Our teachers are readers and share their love of reading with their children in a range of ways, including Readalouds and making book recommendations. 

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Early Reading

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.

The children in Key Stage 1 read a range of high quality scheme books, including Project X, Bug Club and Big Cat books. These books are carefully levelled to match the child's phonic skills. Children should be able to read these quite easily, gaining confidence and fluency and aiding comprehension.

Read more about Our Approach to Phonics

Progression in Reading Skills

Whole class reading sessions following the four-part structure:

    • The core elements of each session are prediction, developing pupils' vocabulary and retrieval.
    • Guided small group reading sessions allow time for refining comprehension skills'
    • Follow on activities are provided following each group session for pupils to complete independently.

Sandiway Readalouds

Each class has a Readaloud Book Spine. We have chosen the books carefully to ensure they have a strong and meaningful narrative,they extend children's vocabulary and help children to understand the lives of people whose experiences and perspectives are different from their own. We encourage our teachers to include their own favourites in this spine too.

Recommended Reads

We use Books for Topics for a collection of fifty high quality up to date recommended reads for each year group. Books (fiction and non-fiction) are carefully chosen for specific year groups and these are updated regularly as new books are published. Each class has a basket of these books in their classroom to enjoy. Parents are also directed to these lists for age appropriate, high quality texts from a range of authors.

Our Reading Ambassadors

Each class has two Reading Ambassadors. To find out who they are and what they have been up to click here

World Book Day 2023

Some memories from the day:

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You can hear some of our school staff read a story by clicking the YouTube links below:

Webpage updated September 2023

Files to Download

Sandiway Primary School

Weaverham Road, Sandiway, Cheshire, CW8 2ND

01606 883298head@sandiway.cheshire.sch.uk