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Cockshutt CE Primary School & Nursery

Reading Policy

Mere’s Edge Federation Reading Policy



At Mere’s Edge Federation we aim to make all of our pupils ‘fluent readers’. We provide a systematic approach to reading so that our pupils achieve the skills required and a positive attitude to become confident readers, as well as having a life-long love of literature.  Pupils are encouraged and supported to become enthusiastic, critical and independent readers.


We aim for pupils to:

  • become skilled readers who can understand print produced in a variety of forms and for a range of purposes
  •  read for information, interest and enjoyment
  • understand the features of a book and how it works
  • know that letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words
  • have an interest in words and their meanings
  • use a range of strategies which will help them to read with meaning, fluency, accuracy and expression
  • reflect on their reading through high quality discussions with their teacher and peers
  • offer a personal response to a wide range of texts
  • understand how the structure and language change with different genres
  • use inferential skills to find meaning beyond the literal
  • appreciate the work of individual authors, illustrators and publishers
  • read widely across the curriculum




Early Reading

Reading and phonics teaching begins early at Mere’s Edge Federation following the systematic phonics scheme Phonics Bug. Nursery children begin learning the foundations for reading from the age of two. First, we play fun, multisensory listening and talking games; then we move onto concepts such as rhyme and rhythm. We use songs to teach sounds in a fun and interactive manner. Nursery children also enjoy a wide variety of stories and songs throughout the day.


When children reach reception age, they are introduced to more complex sounds and begin to blend sounds together to read words. Children will receive their first reading book which will be matched to the sounds being taught in class. All books will be phonically decodable and progressively introduce the common exception words. As children’s reading skills develop, they will progress onto books with more complex sentences and, eventually, onto longer story books. To aid children’s progress, they have daily direct phonics lessons. We use the Phonics Bug programme to teach letters and sounds in a fun and interactive way to reception and year one children; alongside a wide variety of games within the classroom throughout the day to embed children’s learning.


Book Bands

When children are secure with their phonics they will progress onto books that are suited to their reading ability. These reading books are graded by difficulty based on reading levels known as Book Bands. Each Book Band has its own colour. As children’s reading skills develop they will progress through the book bands.


Guided Reading

Reading is taught daily through a guided reading sessions. These lessons focus on developing reading using high quality extracts including narrative, poetry and non-fiction. Guided reading is taught in a three week cycle to build on skills and the fourth week each class will complete a picture book study. Through these guided reading sessions and cycles children will focus on developing skills in vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieving, summarising and sequencing.   


Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is an important part of developing a passion and enthusiasm for reading whilst building vocabulary and cultural capital. Weekly reading for pleasure sessions encourage children and staff to share and recommend books of personal choice.  Children are encouraged to read a range of text such as newspapers, magazines and non-fiction books that they find interesting and engaging.


Storytime/Class Book

We believe that it is important that all children have the opportunity to listen to stories read by an adult. This allows all children to experience a range of texts that have been chosen to support our school values, cultural capital and children’s enjoyment.


Reading at Home

Children are expected to read at home every day and this is recorded by parents/carers in a reading record. Staff monitor reading records in order to highlight any children that are not reading at home and these children will read to an adult in school where possible. As an incentive to read at home the children receive rewards in line with the school learning behaviour approach.


Reading Support

There are pupils who will find reading challenging for a number of reasons. Reading throughout school is tracked carefully and pupils are given timely support. Where we identify that a pupil is not making progress we plan interventions and appropriate support. We involve parents/carers in all discussions around supporting progress to ensure that pupils make progress from their starting points. Where pupils do not make progress due to a special educational need or disability we put a pupil centred plan in place and follow the guidance set out in our SEND policy.


It is vital that all pupils make a solid start in school and develop the resilience needed to overcome barriers to learning in a supportive environment. We believe that all children can achieve and it is our priority to ensure they do.



Formative assessment for reading is ongoing and staff will assess reading fluency and understanding during 1:1 and guided reading sessions.

Summative assessment is completed each term using Rising Stars PIRA assessment.  The data added onto the whole school tracking system.

Individual reading attainment is recorded on the online MARK tool to analysis the progress of individual and groups of the children. 





By the end of Year 6 we expect our children to:

  • have decoding skills that are secure and hence vocabulary is developing;
  • be independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently;
  • have a secure understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non‐fiction;
  • have developed their knowledge and skills in reading non‐fiction about a wide range of subjects;
  • be able to justify their views independently about what they have read both verbally and in written form;
  • have a love of reading that feeds the imagination;
  • read widely across both fiction and non‐fiction, developing knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live;
  • have a developed vocabulary beyond that used in everyday speech;
  • understand nuances in vocabulary choice;
  • understand age‐appropriate, academic vocabulary.


Reading in school is monitored by the English Lead, class teachers, the Executive Headteacher and the link Governor for English.


Policy reviewed September 2021 by Kim Baker Consultation was with the Early Years Teachers, our SLE for Reading, and the Executive Headteacher.