Home Page

2023-24 Reading

Teaching and Learning Policy 



Policy last reviewed: September 2023

Reviewed by: Matthew Ascroft  

Agreed by governors:  

Shared with staff:  October 23

Frequency of review: Annually 

Date of next review:  September 2024

Head Teacher: Matthew Ascroft 

Leaders with responsibility for Teaching and Learning Policy 

Inclusion Lead : Lucy Pater

Curriculum : Ellen Parker 

Reading : Sarah Morris 

Writing : Nic Burns

Maths : Callum Morrow

Early Years and Phonics – Carla Lapworth 


Chair of Governors: Mr Bill Gallagher 


1 Vision


Believe and Achieve!

Stoke Primary School seeks to ensure that every member of the community can

Believe and Achieve.


The learning systems that are established within this policy place each and every child at the centre of their learning.  By empowering each child with skills, knowledge and learning systems, they can significantly impact on their own achievement and seek to be the best they can be.


2 Aims and Objectives 


Reading is essential to everyday life and in all aspects of the wider curriculum.  As such reading is prioritised with our aim to provide children with the basic skills of reading and phonic knowledge to enable them to engage in a wide range of reading opportunities for purpose and pleasure.


Phonics is high priority in Early Years and KS1, where daily lessons, seek to develop children’s phonic knowledge in a timely manner to ensure they are motivated and skilled to read widely.


Central to all reading is an ongoing drive to build a love of the endless possibilities of reading, storytelling and the adventures it opens.  Enabling our children to engage in the pleasure of reading and provide opportunities to embed a lifelong skill which widens their aspirations and opens up new dreams.


3 Key Principles of Effective Learning at Stoke Primary 


At Stoke we understand the importance of lifelong learning skills for all our children to enable them the chance to fulfil their dreams.  To facilitate this, we have three key aspects of effective learning.


  • Widening Horizons


We acknowledge that our children have wide ranging experiences that they bring to their learning.  We also understand that many children have had very limited experiences prior to starting at Stoke.

Early reading is focused primarily around the acquisition of phonic knowledge to provide children with a basis with which they can develop their understanding of the world through broad and varied reading opportunities.


As children progress into KS2, reading is integral to our approach to immersive topic planning. Bespoke, linked texts provide opportunities, not only to develop reading skills but gain knowledge and understanding of new vocabulary, far beyond children’s own experiences across wide and varied topics. The topics in turn provide opportunities to read for purpose.


SQUIRT (shh, quiet, it’s reading time) sessions bring all of this together, as we understand that reading can also be a social activity. These sessions help to stimulate discussions around books during class novel sessions, or when listening to audio books. Class novels also provide opportunities to experience texts and content that challenges and extends our children’s knowledge and emotional intelligence.


  • Characteristics of Effective Learning


These characteristics support effective learning in reading:


Active Learning

Children are actively involved in the choice of class readers and are encouraged to engage with a wide range of texts of personal interest.  Topic linked texts are the perfect opportunity to develop personal fascinations and fully involve children in the pleasure of reading. Children are motivated to read at home and develop a life-long love of reading through our OWN book project and use of the library.


Playing and Exploring

Extracts and texts used as part of skills teaching aim to support children in finding out and exploring new topics, people and events. Children are actively encouraged to have a go and try out new books and topics of personal interest in the reading for pleasure choices.  A wide range of reading material is available for children to explore including magazines, up to date current affairs and online texts.


Creating and Thinking Critically

Critical thinking is intrinsically linked to reading comprehension and as such is integral to reading lessons.  Skills progression develops prediction and explanation as key skills to fully build understanding. Alongside this, children are encourage to reflect upon their approach to reading and the strategies they are using to further develop their comprehension.


  • Classroom Expectations


To develop the children's learning and to aid their independence, each class will develop a learning wall based around their current book. Learning walls contain key vocabulary that has been discussed and gathered from our books (usually linked to our topic). Our learning walls will show the reading VIPERS and some examples of questions that the children have asked about the text., as well as the front cover of their current book.


4 Planning and Assessment

We believe that planning and assessment are inextricably linked and are fundamental to effective learning.  Teachers have the responsibility to assimilate core information to ensure that planned learning is tailored to meet the needs of the class and through effective assessment, progress can be clearly defined.


  • Weekly Planning

In KS1, teachers plan sequences of guided reading lessons for each ability groups, closely matched to children’s developing phonic knowledge.


In KS2, teachers plan in year groups and then tailor plans and resources for each class’s attainment and development needs.  Reading sessions stamina for reading across more substantial texts, linked to immersive topics. 


Teachers make professional judgement about how regularly they revisit the skills, with the expectation that all skills will be covered across a half term.


Where monitoring identifies planning as insufficient for effective learning or has limited impact on pupil progress, support is provided by subject leaders with the use of established formats and guidance.


  • Reading Assessment


Reading assessment grids are used to assess and record attainment. The grids contain key developmental skills and enable teachers to measure, track and share children’s attainment.  They are used to record formative and summative assessment and provide the supporting evidence necessary to make age-related judgements on children’s attainment.


To aid reading assessment, structured summative assessments are used:


  • PIRA tests are used in year 4 and 5
  • SATs papers in years 2 and 6


A strong emphasis is placed on reading evidence coming from multiple sources including but not limited to guided and individual reading notes, Super Sonic Phonic Friends phonics assessments, children’s work and short videos filmed for the purpose of moderation. Moderation sessions take place regularly within school in addition to external moderation within the school’s network.  This provides a clear and robust assessment procedure, enabling teachers to plan next steps.


5 Policies that support the Teaching and Learning Policy


  • Assessment
  • Safeguarding and Inclusion
  • SEND Policy


6 Research to support policy approach   


  • 19% of readers say that reading stops them feeling lonely.

This is backed up by a study analysing social connectedness which found that reading books significantly reduces feelings of loneliness.

  • Studies have also shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Reading for pleasure was also associated with better sleeping patterns.
  • 43% of readers said that reading helps them get a better night’s sleep.


Billington (2015) Reading between the lines: the benefits of Reading for pleasure.