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Research indicates that reading is the cornerstone of pupils’ access into the wider curriculum and the wider world. Pupils who read widely, acquire extensive vocabulary through the texts they read, which allows them to attain highly and aspire to more complex and fulfilling careers in later life. At Darrington School, we believe that our readers should be exposed to a variety of high quality texts, as well as be provided with opportunities to develop their love of reading. When pupils find pleasure in reading, they will read more. Thus, we believe that it is our role to provide a wide variety of texts in order to inspire this love of reading, whilst supporting them to develop the reading skills they need to access texts independently.



In EYFS and KS1, phonics is taught following the Read Write Inc phonics programme.  To find out more about Read Write Inc (RWI) please follow the link:


Our aim in the Early Years and Key Stage One is to develop the phonic decoding skills of emergent readers, so they become confident and independent in reading text, develop increasing fluency and can begin to comprehend it with increasing depth. The aim is also for children to use these developing skills to access and understand a wide range of texts that support their learning across the curriculum. By the end of Key Stage One, children are well-equipped with phonic decoding skills, are building fluency and have developed the basic comprehension skills necessary to engage with and enjoy an increasingly challenging range of books. During Early Years and Key Stage One, we immerse children in stories and language in order to promote reading for pleasure.


Our provision has a number of strands:

  • A curriculum rich in texts and genres
  • Time for stories and reading aloud to children
  • Whole class shared reading to model and apply reading skills
  • A systematic, synthetic approach to teaching phonics (Read, Write, Inc)
  • Guided reading to develop fluency and comprehension in a targeted way
  • Individual reading to ensure pupils practise their skills and books are matched at the right level
  • Home/school reading to promote the profile of reading as a skill

In the Early Years and KS1, books are matched closely to the phonic development of the children through the Read, Write Inc programme. Once children exit the programme, books are organised into age-related reading corners. Children are supported to choose from a wide range of clearly labelled genres and authors to develop their love of reading alongside their reading fluency and comprehension.

Children take part in guided reading sessions which are carefully planned to ensure progress using texts that have been carefully chosen, so that they challenge and extend the reading and understanding of the children within their year group.  Guided reading sessions are whole class. Sessions are progressive across the school. Emphasis is placed on the development and securing of fluency for children in years 2, 3 and 4, with an increasing emphasis on comprehension over this time. In years 5 and 6, greater emphasis is placed on comprehension, with children looking at a deeper level at each text. 

Comprehension questions are initially orally undertaken with the emphasis on discussing text. Over time, pupils begin to record comprehension to further develop their skills. Assessment is undertaken formatively on a lesson by lesson basis and summatively through testing twice annually. 

Reading is implemented across school through a 2-yearly rolling programme of class texts and supported by other supplementary texts which link with it. This programme ensures that all children access a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts.

In order that families understand how we teach reading, there is a reading meeting in the first few weeks in September for parents of Reception children. Parents/Carers of children in EYFS and Key Stage One also have the opportunity to observe taught sessions involving their own child to better understand what they are learning in school.


Pupils achieve well in all national testing linked to reading. Outcomes are above those nationally in reading at GLD, end of KS1, end of KS2 and in the Phonics Screening Check. Most importantly, pupil voice shows that children enjoy reading, choose to read and have developed their own reader identity by the time they leave our school. In addition to this, children use reading effectively to learn across the curriculum and understand that reading is both important for learning and for pleasure.