Reading Philosophy


Our priority is that children leave Rook’s Nest Academy with a lifelong love of reading. We aim for our pupils to leave school as fluent and confident readers who have the essential reading skills needed to further their understanding in all areas at secondary school and beyond.


Reading for pleasure is at the core of what we do. Teaching staff dedicate at least 15 minutes daily to reading a book to their class which is purely for pleasure (Everybody Reading In Class or E.R.I.C Time). Literacy and topic lessons are often driven by a quality text (“Hook Book”) to ensure that children develop their knowledge, apply different reading skills and boost their comprehension within a broad curriculum. We encourage children to talk to each other about books and build in regular opportunities for paired reading. In the early years and KS1, we invite parents and grandparents into school once per week to share books with their children (Due to Covid restrictions, this is not able to take place at the moment). We have a very well resourced library and book corners enhanced by the resources of the Schools Library Service. All these resources are available to children and we carefully monitor the selection and changing of books. Opportunities to promote a love of reading are also built into the school year through themed events such as World Book Day, visits from the library, author visits, rewards and competitions.


The academy has strong expectations that pupils read daily at home and school. We make sure that parents and pupils understand the importance of daily home reading throughout each academic year and strategies to support reading are shared via parent consultation, twitter or the school website. Communication between home and school is encouraged via a pupil reading record.


Phonics is taught rigorously in differentiated groupings throughout Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 using our own tailored scheme based on strategies outlined in the Letters and Sounds document. Within daily phonics lessons, children focus on specific sounds and rules within a set structure of review, teach, practise and apply. The reading and spelling of tricky words (common words that cannot be sounded out e.g. said) are taught at a separate time each day within KS1. Children’s progress is closely monitored. For children who are not on track to reach year group expectations, we provide additional interventions and support. We ensure that children’s independent and guided reading books match the current phonics phase that they are currently working on to reinforce and consolidate learning.


In the Early Years, a range of quality books, stories and nursery rhymes are shared with children daily. A variety of books are read to children for their pleasure throughout the week and a specific “hook book” supports and enhances learning each week. Reception children individually read to a teacher or teaching assistant at least once each week. Texts are discussed and explored through focussed questioning. Children are encouraged to ask to read books of personal interest from book areas during free flow (continuous provision).



The teaching of reading takes place for 30 minutes each day in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

In KS1 children are taught reading skills within both whole class and guided group reading sessions. In KS2, reading is taught through a whole class approach.

In daily class reading sessions, the majority of children in a class read, discuss and practise specific reading skills using a quality shared text. Texts are carefully selected to ensure that they are age appropriate and that they have real purpose and meaning for children. These texts are often used to make links with the current topic, literacy unit or other aspects of the curriculum as well as specific themes or seasonal events. Children are given opportunities to practise their reading and familiarise themselves with text, through quality discussion. Specific reading skills known as VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation and sequencing (KS1) or summarising (KS2)) are referred to when teaching reading with our students. These skills are modelled, practised, applied and evaluated in reading lessons. The children are given the opportunity to mark, correct and improve their own responses to reading questions.

In KS1 guided reading, children are grouped according to their reading ability and read a variety of texts that match their current phonics phase. They read once per week with a teacher and teaching assistant alternately. Within this guided reading session, children are taught specific word reading or comprehension based VIPER skills which they then practise and apply independently.

The Accelerated Reader program is used in school for children’s independent and home reading, from Year 2 upwards. Half-termly assessments determine children’s reading age. From this, pupils are assigned a “reading zone” from within which they can choose a library book. After reading, pupils complete an online quiz either at home or at school which assesses their comprehension and understanding of a text. Teachers carefully monitor pupil completion and performance in these quizzes every fortnight.


We assess children from Year 1 upwards termly using the PIRA assessment and Star Reader data alongside guided reading and class assessments based on year group specific reading objectives.

Each half term, overall attainment and progress is assessed and monitored for each child in terms of their reading. Children who have not made expected progress are identified and support interventions for reading are put in place. Some children may also need daily one-to-one reading support at school and provision is made for this. As staff, we communicate with parents regarding the importance of daily home reading.

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