Reading at Wansbeck

At Wansbeck, we strive to develop a love of reading by teaching children how and why to read. Our intent is for children to develop an individual passion for reading through being exposed to a wide range of texts and authors throughout the curriculum. We believe that is it crucial for children to leave Wansbeck as confident, independent readers with a life-long passion to explore books.

A high emphasis is placed on reading throughout our curriculum and due to this, our topics within each phase are driven by high quality, key texts. These key texts are chosen specifically to engage and challenge children.


Children begin their reading journey from Foundation 1 and continue their learning journey throughout the school. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children are introduced to range of phonemes through the Letters and Sounds scheme. This is taught daily, in small groups and sessions are carefully planned to meet the children’s needs. Each session follows a four-part structure: for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned. The knowledge children gain in discrete sessions is reinforced in lessons taught across the curriculum. Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged, and to identify those children who may need additional support.

‘SWOT’ reading

In KS1, as well as daily phonics sessions, children’s fluency and comprehension skills are developed through ‘SWOT’’ reading, which sees children read 5 times per week, in small groups with an adult. These groups are pitched accordingly, in order to support and challenge children at the level which they are working at.

Whole class reading

Whole class reading takes place daily in KS2 and twice a week in KS1. These lessons use class texts, which are linked to the class topic, as a stimulus. Pupils will study at least one novel each term and alongside class texts, children are exposed to a variety of genres including picture books, poetry, song, film and non-fiction as well as ‘cold’ texts, which allow the children to apply their new reading skills independently.

By having a reading session every day in KS2, children are given time to master a skill by applying it independently after been taught/modelled it. Children are given time within the sessions to word read, with several sessions throughout the week focusing on fluency as a skill.

Vocabulary sessions lasting 10 minutes are taught daily throughout the school. These sessions allow children to be exposed to new vocabulary, which they can then apply to all aspects of their learning. During the sessions, the children are encouraged to use a range of skills to learn new and challenging vocabulary: speaking, listening, writing, drawing and drama. We have high expectations for our pupils, so we choose texts which incorporate ambitious vocabulary.

Reading is not only taught throughout reading sessions but is incorporated into other curriculum areas, such as science, history, geography, art and RE.

Home reading

All children in every year group take home a reading book which has been carefully matched to the sounds or content that they have learnt. We use a range of literature from a variety of reading schemes such as Bug Club, and the Oxford Reading Tree. We also encourage children to select their own books from the school library and welcome suggestions regarding the texts they would like to read in future.

At Wansbeck, we understand the importance of developing a collaborative approach to reading with parents. In Foundation Stage, we offer family stay and read sessions and we encourage parents to read with their child at least 3 times per week. Children who read at home receive class prizes at the end of every week. Class percentages are then calculated and the classes which have the highest amount of home readers will receive book vouchers; classes are able to use these vouchers to buy books for their class library. Regular home readers are also celebrated weekly in our whole school reading assembly.

We pay careful attention to children who are non-regular readers and provide these children with additional opportunities to read with adults in the school and our volunteers from Ready Steady Read.

Reading for Pleasure

We provide many opportunities for children to develop a love of reading throughout the school year and we work hard to ensure reading is celebrated as a highly regarded subject at Wansbeck.

Each classroom has their own library and reading area, allowing children to read for pleasure and access a variety of texts. We subscribe to First News, which provides children with newspapers to read at their age level. On top of this, we carry out daily story times for pleasure and hold ‘The Book People’ book fayres throughout the year.

At Wansbeck Primary, we aim for children to become independent and confident readers with a lifelong love of reading.

We try to give children as many opportunities as possible to read so that they read fluently before leaving our school.

As a parent/carer, there are several ways you can help your child develop their reading skills:

  • Make reading and looking at books fun – talk about the characters and what might happen next
  • Try to read with them daily – set aside a special time for reading together
  • Discuss any areas they are interested in and try to provide books that follow his/her interests
  • Try to ensure your child has access to books in different rooms in the home
  • If English is not your family’s first language, try to discuss books in any language. Staff in school will support the children with reading in English.
  • Discuss your child’s progress with the school- if you need support with reading in English, staff in school are more than happy to support the family in any way they can. Opportunities for children to read in breakfast club are also available daily.
  • Visit the library

“Really happy with the way my child has developed whilst attending Wansbeck”

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“Wansbeck is an amazing primary school that puts my children’s needs first. Great staff and friendly pupils.”

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“Thanks for all the help & extra support that my child receives. It means that I know he is getting all the help he needs to progress to his potential."

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“Any issues raised are always dealt with, absolutely no concerns brilliant school and lovely caring staff. My child learns a lot attending this school. Thank you.”

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“Best decision I made for my children’s education was moving them to Wansbeck. The progress the children have made is amazing. Very happy mum.”

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“All my children have loved this school and all great memories of staff. Wansbeck is great.”

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