Given our school context, where many children have English as a second language and where few have the opportunity to read to an adult, we invest heavily in Phonics and Reading. We expect our children to be able to Read for Pleasure with Understanding across the curriculum. We have planned our curriculum so that this is accessed and enjoyed through a number of interlinking strategies.  At all ages children are encouraged to take ownership of their reading.


Our School follow the ‘Supersonic Phonics Friends’ Scheme which has been created by Phonics expert Anna Lucas and designed by the artist, Fiona Cameron. It is a fully systematic, synthetic phonic approach ranging from the simple to more complex spellings of the alphabetic code. This programme is validated by the DfE. It is taught throughout EYFS and KS1. In KS2, it is used as an intervention strategy.

Phonics at Clarendon ensures consistency for all children’s learning phonics at every stage. Children have the chance to participate in pre- and post-teaching sessions to make sure their learning is ingrained and enables phonic progression, which is demonstrated in the application to reading and writing. To foster high levels of engagement through a variety of activities that support reading and writing of certain sounds, teachers encourage children to engage in active learning.

Dependent upon the phase children are working at, all books are matched to their Phonics ability. Children choose their books based on their interests within the colour band that is purposeful for them. Book Matching has allowed children to take independence in their learning exposing them to sounds they’ve been taught; not heavily relying on an adult encouragement when reading giving children a sense of achievement. Children are given Phonics Packs at the beginning of each EYFS/KS1 Year to support them with their early reading at home and Parent Workshops are scheduled to support parents with learning at home.

Phonics Toolkits provide all the resources needed for staff to provide quality first teaching alongside the ‘Supersonic Phonics Friends’ Scheme.

Reading for Pleasure with Understanding

We value and promote ‘Reading for Pleasure with Understanding’ as our ethos for developing children’s learning across the curriculum, where they have ownership of their reading and maintain their own Reading Record. The key strategies are Reading Skills by Thinking Aloud, Read Aloud- Think Aloud, independent Reading for Pleasure, Reading to an adult and Read Aloud – enjoying ‘Brilliant Books’ read by an adult. Children across school access these opportunities and all adults in school undergo an in-house training programme to ensure consistency of teaching. Children in Year 1 access the strategies progressively when they are ready, increasingly so from the Spring term. However teachers begin to model Read Aloud- Think Aloud from the autumn term and use Read Aloud when reading Brilliant Books to the children.

Reading Skills by Thinking Aloud:

  • the systematic teaching of reading skills which reflects the processes involved in the ‘moment of reading’,
  • access to age appropriate texts regardless of ability during whole class teaching
  • access to ability level and greater depth texts during a three day carousel
  • provides scaffolded prompts which supports reading the text several times, speaking using evidence from the texts as well as prediction, using background knowledge, clarification of phrases and words (by identification of very important phrases /words) and breakdown recovery strategies; asking inference type questions; showing understanding of text cohesion by including missing sentences, summarising by using a 5 finger gist, writing a headline and providing a visual representation of their understanding,
  • enables children to work independently (annotating texts and discussion) in a whole class setting with very low ability children paired with more able, whilst adults focus in more detail with an ability based target group.
  • provides for independent working on ‘Conversation Preparation’, (involving text/book talk) in readiness for a ‘Reading Skills Conversation’ with the teacher or TA. ‘Follow on’ and ‘Skills Development’ sessions provide for a range of other reading skills to be practised and applied,
  • ‘Skills development activities’ and ‘Follow on’ sessions enable children to reflect on their reading through a range of high expectation e.g. Reading Journal activities, showing their understanding of a text discussed during a ‘Reading Conversation’ and develop other skills e.g. vocabulary, showing their understanding of themes, using a dictionary and thesaurus, using reading challenge fans for questioning etc.
  • Teachers are supported by modelled mats and texts from which they can choose appropriate activities.

Read aloud, Think Aloud:

  • access to age approach texts regardless of ability,
  • a whole class teaching approach where children work in mixed ability pairs, using a reading ruler to help them focus on the words and phrases,
  • teachers model the mix of reading skills ‘in the moment of reading’ showing children how the systematic processes they have learned are activated when reading for pleasure with understanding.
  • enables children to read out loud to the class and read independently to themselves during one taught text,
  • children who are not confident readers may read out loud using an echo approach with their paired reader,
  • children who cannot read the text independently during the silent independent reading part of the lesson, have the text whispered to them by their reading partner whilst they follow on,
  • teachers question, expect children to show their understanding by sharing the 5 finger gist, ask and answer a range of questions (which always include at least one inference type question), see questions presented in different ways, work at pace orally and using shared white board work,
  • teachers and children identify vocabulary throughout which is then revisited at the end of the lesson and at the beginning of the next lesson,
  • allows children the following day to re-read the text, practise scanning and skimming to answer written questions which are modelled by the teacher and independently worked on to show their understanding,
  • children work through their answers as a class, which are then reviewed by the teacher to ensure robust and precise answers,
  • a weekly unseen comprehension text where children can show their skills and understanding through written answers. Children who are unable to access the age appropriate comprehension may receive adult support and /or a differentiated text. Children who are working at greater depth will also have the opportunity to access more challenging texts,
  • teachers model Read Aloud- Think Aloud in the moment of reading across the curriculum.

The Reading Working Wall supports children’s learning with visuals, vocabulary, very important phrases/words, teacher modelling, text annotation and child generated questions. Children working independently use this wall to help them with their conversation preparation and it is also used as a recap during the next lesson ensuring children are remembering more and understanding the previous skill taught.

In order to check how children are progressing, an unseen comprehension is set weekly to provide checks and balances against our teaching and learning approaches. These scores are recorded on a spreadsheet and reviewed half termly by the reading team. These help to inform teachers of the gaps in reading. Once the text has been competed as an unseen comprehension, teachers have the opportunity to revisit these texts during a reading lesson. Each half term, children in year 1 – 6 also take a reading test which is in a similar style to national tests.

Our teaching strategies help children ‘work out’ what words and phrases in a text mean to deepen their understanding and precision in their responses. Teachers choose texts with a specific learning purpose in mind which is challenging for the children and may use i-pads to support visualisation and context. There is regular access to non-fiction texts such as First News and the literacy spine displayed in class shows the range of books across the curriculum.

Our children find concepts such as inference difficult to master.  Teachers are supported in this through the systematic approach and pre-planned sequences available including a range of appropriate texts with models. In school, we define inference as being able to find something out by looking at clues and using prior knowledge. This means the ability to go beyond the text based upon personal experience, background knowledge or opinion of the reader.  If the text says, ‘he put on a warm coat, hat and scarf’ the reader infers it is cold.  Text detective approaches which focus on the search for clues, understanding conventions and from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) are a strong feature of our systematic approach to teaching.  Children learn the difference between ‘in text’ or ‘online’ (e.g. retrieval) and ‘in brain’ or ‘off line’ (e.g. inference) methods.

Reading challenge cards based on domains support teachers and children in developing their own questions and precision in their verbal and written responses.  Children are expected to understand the reading domains and this is progressively introduced from EYFS.  In Year 1 children begin to use the Reading Challenge Fans and Reading working wall when they are ready to do so.

KS1 domains: 1a  draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts; 1b identify/explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information ; 1c  identify and explain the sequence of events in texts;  1d make inferences from the text;  1e predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.

KS2 domains: 2a give / explain the meaning of words in context; 2b retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction; 2c  summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph; 2d  make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text; 2e predict what might happen from details stated and implied; 2f identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole; 2g identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases; 2h make comparisons within the text

These reading domains have been incorporated into our reading targets, which break down the domains in to smaller steps in each year group and across year 1 to 6. This enables progress to be clearly seen between year groups and across the year. These domains and target numbers are included in the child’s reading lesson in their WALT (we are learning today). This shows clearly which domain/target the children are focusing on. This is part of the monitoring cycle.

Teachers choose challenging, informative and enjoyable texts from a variety of sources e.g. a Literacy spine teaching text, Cracking Comprehension, appropriate Head Start/ Guinness World Record/ Read Write Ink, texts, books from The Oxford Reading Tree scheme, Big Cat Collins scheme, a range of authors and cross curricular texts (e.g. from Science or History) enabling children access to a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play-scripts from across the curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to use texts which link to the children’s current learning in other subjects or the book they are using for Writing or their brilliant book. This offers children the opportunity to make more tangible links.

A Planning and Evaluation Reading File is maintained. Reading evaluative records are provided for each child. This highlights each individual child and their specific, personalised gaps in learning. This enables teachers/ TA to tailor questions to their specific area for development. Digital evidence is saved on All Staff for questioning, summarising and reading proficiency.

Independent Reading for Pleasure:

Children have a daily opportunity to read for pleasure, choosing whatever is of interest to them.  This could include their home reader, reading challenge book or a book they have brought from home.  During this session children are listened to read their home reader, on a one to one basis by an adult. Once per half term, the teacher will write a detailed record of the child’s reading ability in the child’s reading record. Where the reading gap needs to be closed or accelerated progress required, children are heard read at least once per week by teaching assistants, teachers, parent volunteers or Year 5/6 Reading Buddies allocated to each class, in addition to the Reading Skills sessions.  We prioritise our Vulnerable Groups.

In Individual Reading, the child practises without the teacher’s help.  The component skills need to be so well practised that they no longer require conscious attention and the reader can concentrate instead on other features.  Motivation for reading is critical. The teacher ensures that each child’s appetite for reading can be satisfied from the variety of books available.

We support children in developing reading stamina so that they become absorbed in a text with complete involvement and high levels of concentration which creates a ‘flow of experience’.  We develop this through: choosing ‘just right’ books; setting individual targets; teaching self-regulation strategies; creating purposeful opportunities and celebrating success.

Read Aloud – Enjoying listening to our Brilliant Books:

Adults read to children across school at the end of every day using a Read Aloud approach.  The teacher will read with expression and explain vocabulary as part of reading without interrupting the flow or enjoyment.  This enables children to:

  • develop a love of reading,
  • listen to an adult read,
  • access to new authors,
  • develop their knowledge of the world in which they live,
  • widen their vocabulary by encountering words they would rarely encounter in everyday speech,
  • feed children’s imagination and curiosity.

Wider Reading Opportunities

This is facilitated by:

  • the woodland themed library allows our children to take time to choose high- quality texts based on their interests to further develop a love of reading for pleasure.
  • weekly time slots are set aside for classes to interact with the school librarian to discuss their progress through the colour bands, perform reading comprehension exercises, and provide children with the opportunity to understand their statistics while encouraging healthy competition between classes.
  • children are encouraged to request books to promote positive engagement in reading. Reference Books are identified to allow teachers to use specific books related to their topics linked to the National Curriculum. This high-quality texts are age appropriate and underpin the whole of the curriculum areas. The poetry section within the library allows children to access a variety of different poetry.
  • Accelerated Reader is used throughout KS2 as a Home learning tool to motivate, monitor, and manage children’s independent reading practice developing a true love for reading.
  • each class throughout KS2 are continually motivated to gain the best possible results whilst using Accelerated Reader. The children enjoy comparing the number of books read, points and words read which is then celebrated on each class Reading Display.
  • throughout the year, children complete three assessments to assign their ZPD level. This level is set to enable children to take ownership of their reading choosing books which will be of the right challenge to ensure progress in their reading.
  • children complete three assessment points in the year, children read books within a certain level and complete a quiz to check their understanding.
  • teachers access and analyse these reports to establish which children need support to progressively move through the colour band levels and motivate children to pass the quizzes.
  • each class throughout school have their own library with texts for children to read. KS1 children use these texts to complete their Reading Challenge (see below). KS2 children use this space to engage with quiet reading. It allows children the opportunity to choose from a smaller breadth of texts which are age-appropriate and meaningful to their learning. Within each class library, the golden ‘Brilliant book’ boxes contain specific ’11 books before 11’ for the teacher to share with the children at the end of the day. In EYFS, Book Boxes are outside for parents to take books home to share with their children on a signing in/out system.
  • all children throughout school have access to the ‘MyON’ Online Library to access a range of books throughout the year ensuring children stay motivated. This programme gives children ownership over their reading diet boosting their progress. This has created a buzz about reading and more children are now spontaneously discussing books and recommending books to their friends.

Home Reading

We encourage children to read at home, wherever possible to an adult, a minimum of three times per week.

In Year 3 – 6 children will read a real book from the class or school library which is within their book level as assigned by accelerated reader. Once children have read the book they will take a quiz online. In Year 1 – 2 children read books from their book band and their own choices from the library. They are encouraged to maintain an eclectic diet of genres and can read their own books at home. Although ownership of reading rests with children, parents are encouraged to read with their children and make a comment in the home school planner.

Home reading books are organised by coloured book levels that link to the NC levels, teachers assign pupils to a book band through a combination of teacher assessment and test results and an ongoing ‘evaluative record’ in the reading file. Once children are in Year 2, their reading is assessed each half term and there is scope for the professional judgement of teachers to move a child forwards or backwards within the book band scheme.

My Reading Record

Children have ownership of their reading and recording in their ‘My Reading Record’ as soon as they are able to do so independently and at a reasonable speed. Where children are not yet ready to do so e.g. EYFS and Year 1, adults write the children’s comments in reading record.

Whenever children are heard read, or when they participate in an adult guided reading session in a guided reading session, this is recorded in My Reading Record using appropriate stamps (Guided reading, Comprehension, Reading Buddy) together with the text and objective. Children when reading independently write a comment to show how they have engaged with the text using a set of sentence stems to help them.

Teachers write a half termly detailed comment about the child’s reading so that parents are aware of reading objectives and progress being made.

Reading across the curriculum

Teachers plan reading opportunities across the curriculum using reading strategies and skills consistently which travel across all subjects e.g. in Learning Links, studying a non- fiction text about the plague and in Writing, using Wrap around the text and Read, Write, Perform to comprehend, focus on themes, identification of conventions, how feelings of a character change etc to understand the writer’s intended impact on the reader.  These skills can also be practised during a Skills Development Activity session in the Reading Skills carousel

Reading targets can be achieved through the most sensible medium and subject and teachers make a note of where this learning is taking place on their Reading Planning Tracker which is kept alongside the Speaking Planning Tracker in the Reading Planning and Evaluation folder.

Clarendon Reading Challenge

  • children participating in our Clarendon Reading Challenge have the opportunity to win rewards based on how many books they have read. Children have excelled in the number of books they are reading since the introduction of Accelerated Reader, which is reflected in the children’s individual Reading Challenge Booklets. The further up school the children go the more books they are expected to read throughout the year to consistently challenge the children with the amount an length of the texts they are reading Years 5 and 6 are challenged to read 84 books, Years 3 and 4 are challenged to read 56 books and years 1 and 2 are challenged to read 28books. Children are able to access books in the local library and books online during long holiday periods.
  • children progress through Reading Challenge by showcasing their reading skills on the books they have read. Teachers will ask children questions about their book and then children will earn a stamp on their booklet. In KS2, if children pass their accelerated reader quiz, they have the opportunity to earn a stamp. These stamps lead to prizes which include; stickers, house points, pencils, badges, bookmark, certifcard and bronze, silver and gold certificates.
  • all the children that read the set amount of books required for their year group will receive a gold certificate and their names are displayed on a board at the front and school. These children are entered into a prize draw to win an extra special prize- this gives children an ongoing inspiration to read.
  • teachers celebrate the children’s successful reading in the classroom libraries. There is a ladder for each class, and when students reach the bronze, silver, or gold levels, their photo is shown. Reading statistics from online reading platforms are also shown on the board to engage children and they are motivated to read as a result of the rivalry that is encouraged between home, children are expected to read their reading book at least 3 times a week and record this in their reading diary with a comment about what they have read using the sentence stems provided in their diary (page 11). This is a non-negotiable and is checked every week by the teacher and forms part of the homework.

Digital evidence

  • Animotos and digital recording of pupil conferencing both group and individual is captured for: Assemblies, English Day activities (e.g. everyone explains, poem in my pocket) and WOW events which include debates.
  • Assessment evidence is also used to demonstrate pupils’ attainment e.g. pupils observed reading aloud, non –fiction knowledge and presenting research; Reading Challenge and adult/child discussions following independent reading; Group ‘book talk’ etc.
  • In EYFS progress is captured through: ‘significant moments’; observational assessments; opportunities for self-initiated learning and enabling environments which provide rich learning.