Park Lane Primary

How We Teach Reading

On this page you will find information about the approach taken at Park Lane Primary School to teach Reading across the whole school.

Our Teaching of Early Reading and Phonics

When our children start with us, our early reading skills are taught using a wide range of reading materials which link to our phonic provision and teaching and can be explained in more detail in the guidelines below...

park lane phonics and early reading guidelines 2023.pdf

To begin, we ensure the key strategies of using the meaning, structure and visual representation of language are fundamental to our approach to reading.

We prioritise learning phonics in EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and KS1 (Key Stage 1) through discrete phonics sessions using the Revised Letters and Sounds (Little Wandle).

If children do not pass the phonics screening test, or are identified as needing additional support with phonics knowledge even if they have passed, they will continue accessing the required elements of our Catch Up programme throughout years 2 and into the juniors. This will be assessed and delivered to meet the individual gaps of the child to support reading fluency and confidence as they move through the school.

Letters and Sounds Revised provides us with clear resources to support our teaching of phonics. It aims to build pupils’ oracy and speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils to learn to read, by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by age seven. Children are given opportunities to apply these in context to reading and writing throughout the weekly overviews. 

Please see our phonics pages by clicking on the link below for further information-

From the first week in school, children are taught how to handle books and can routinely access books throughout their day. Children learn that all print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through adults sharing and discussing books each day. Children are given opportunities for individual reading with an adult as well as shared, group and guided reading as the year progresses.

Throughout their school lives at Park Lane, pupils are provided with a diverse, rich and broad range of fiction and non-fiction books which are regularly changed to aid their progression with their reading.

Children in KS1 (and any child in phonics support in the juniors) will have two reading books which consist of a colour banded book (which matches reading and comprehension ability) and a phonics books which is closely matched to the phonics learning and level allowing the children to access at a fluent rate. Once they reach a level of comprehension and fluency in colour banded books, children are assessed using Accelerated Reader which ensures the books children are reading match their ZPD and reading ages. This access continues throughout the school until year 6.

Reading is taught at Park Lane in the following ways:

Whole Class Reading

Across the whole school, whole class reading incorporates the strategies of modelled expressive reading, echo reading, repeated re-reading, skilled questioning, challenging text selection and modelling comprehension skills. It develops a focus on developing a range of reading strategies and fluency such as vocabulary knowledge in context, inference, prediction, explaination, retrieval and summarising. These are all interlinked throughout a period of planned teaching around a key text that is being taught.

Rereading of text is key in our approach with an aim to increase fluency of reading- this has been proven to free up children's working memories to allow them to remember more, know more and therefore do more.

A skill focussed on within our fluency sessions is prosody- through exposure to intended rhyme and rhythm, stress of sentences, phrasing of sentences which connects children's language to their knowledge of written sounds and words. This in turn allows them to read with meaning and resolve ambiguity in their key words and phrasing.

Individual Reading

Reading 1:1, alone, with a staff member or with a partner. This helps to develop our reading stamina and fluency.

Shared reading

A teacher reads and discusses a text with the whole class, demonstrating how to be a good reader.

Guided reading

About 6 children, grouped by reading ability, read aloud from the same book at the same time whilst the teacher listens in and draws out teaching points. The level of this text is more challenging to enable direct teaching opporunites.

Story time

The teacher reads aloud to the whole class.

In addition to class based reading, children can also develop their enjoyment for reading throughout school. They have the opportunity to access the school library to choose from a wider range of books and on a termly basis parents are invited into school to share in reading opportunities with their child.

Parent workshops run in Foundation Stage and Year 1 to support parents understanding of their child’s development of reading and writing. See the below information about Reading at Home.

Above all, Park Lane strive to give children a well-rounded education in reading that enables children to be lifelong learners.

A fantastic resource for parents which breaks down reading into age bands, explains all the terminology and provides on line books for reading is Oxford Owl. We would highly recommend the site for further information. Click here to be taken to their homepage.

For more ideas, tips and activities on reading visit

Linking Reading in School to Reading at Home

At Park Lane, we aim to foster a love of reading as reading truly underpins all learning. To support children in their reading, they need to develop fluency. To do this, they need to be reading regularly at home as well as in school.

These books will vary depending on your child's year group and reading ability. Books which are sent home are to celebrate achievement and for your child to see themselves as a successful reader, these should support your child's ability to read fluently and with confidence.

We ask that children read at home 4 times a week. Children are asked to re-read books to ensure fluency and understanding and the expecatation for your year group will be set out in your child's Google Classroom information.

A Common Question- Is this book too easy?

Comprehension is key.

Even if your child can ‘decode’ the words on a page and read them out loud, it doesn’t mean they’ll truly take in what’s going on. If they don’t understand the story, then they will struggle to enjoy reading and as the text becomes longer and more difficult. We encourage the developement of discussing and verbalising what we have read to embed the early skills of comprehension so reading will be for meaning.

To help with this, make sure you don’t just listen to your child read – ask them some questions about the book too and make observations yourself. Make up your own versions of what could happen next in a story you are sharing. Talk about what the author decided. What else could have happened? What did you notice about..?

Some of the school reading scheme books have comprehension questions inside the front and back cover. Infant children can find a question bookmark in their reading diaries to help support conversations at home. 

But...What Is Fluency? How will re-reading the same text help?

  • Fluency is not about reading as fast as you can, but about reading at an appropriate rate with accuracy and inflection.
  • Every time your child is reading, he/she is decoding the words carefully in her head.
  • The more exposure children get to new words, the faster their young minds can remember words and recognise them without sounding them out. This is called automaticity.
  • As our children transition into fluent readers, they are able to focus on the content of what they are reading rather than the words.

Please speak to your child’s class teacher directly if you have any questions or concerns.

wcr overview.pdf