Reading Curriculum


At Holwell, we love to read! We regard reading as one of the most important life skills, because it is the key which unlocks the door to a world of knowledge and sparks imagination and interest. 

Reading is a priority at Holwell Primary school and is a central thread throughout our curriculum. Reading is the bedrock to our curriculum as children are unable to access learning if they are unable to read. Terrific Texts are chosen texts that link to the overarching topic for each half term. Teachers choose a range of high quality texts and spend quality time on reading through and analysing them. Children explore these texts within their reading, writing and topic lessons and take part in a range of activities which deepens their understanding

Each child takes home a decodable reading book, to ensure they have the opportunity to practice reading with fluency. To develop a love for reading, children are also able to have an additional book which is chosen by the child. This book may not be fully decodable but is used by the child when reading with an adult or a more confident reader. This book will contain an ‘I love to read’ bookmark.

Early Years

In the Early Years we provide endless opportunities to share books with adults to develop a child’s enjoyment of books and other printed material. This teaches them how to handle books and gives reading a real purpose. Together, children can talk about stories or information, join in with familiar phrases and sing favourite rhymes, songs and jingles. Our Early Years has high quality book areas, where the books are accessible, owned and loved by children and the addition of story props, sacks and boxes filled with desirable objects enthuse the children further.


In Reception, reading is taught through a phonics approach. We have recently introduced Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). Children learn to recognise 42 letter sounds (graphemes), read CVC words (ship, cat, hat, chop) by blending letters together, recognise common exception words, such as she, no, go, was, the and learn letter names. When they have achieved this, they begin to read short captions and simple sentences (The farmer gets up at six in the morning). Then it’s time to practice reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know, with our Book Band system.


Reading in Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1 we are learning to read! Our teaching of reading continues with a phonics approach, where systematic, daily, discrete phonics teaching takes place, with opportunities for the children to practice and apply their skills in the context of reading. Once children can decode, children need to be able to read and recognise words and their meanings accurately and with ease to become fluent readers.

As well as daily phonics, children will further develop within their daily, whole class guided reading lessons.

In Year 1, reading sessions will focus on children becoming fluent readers where there decoding skills will be extended and they will be taught to develop pace, accuracy and expression through listening to adults read, echo reading and independent reading.

Children are provided with a reading book that is accurately matched to their phonics level. This will allow children to confidently decode the book and recognise all of the common exception words. 

Reading in Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, we are reading to learn! At this point, texts become longer and less familiar, reading becomes more fluent and the pace of reading is quickened. However, if children are not reading fluently, they will still be working on learning the phonics sounds, reading colour banded books.

Reading is taught daily through a discrete, whole class reading lesson. In each guided reading lesson, children listen to their teacher read, followed by echo reading and individual children reading. ‘Vipers’ are used for question stems to conclude the lesson. What are VIPERS Questions? VIPERS cover developing vocabulary, interacting with the text and showing explicit modelling of how to answer comprehension questions.  

Beyond Banded Books

When children reach Lime level, they are able to choose their own books from the allocated area for their year group.  Once chosen, they need to show an adult who will hear them read a short excerpt to ensure it is an appropriate text.  The fluency and comprehension will be checked. The new title will then be written in the child’s reading record and signed by the adult to acknowledge it is suitable.


Buddy Reading

To encourage our love of reading at Holwell, our children from Year 1 to Year 6 will take part in Buddy reading every Wednesday morning. From 8:35 till 8:45, the children will enter as usual and join their reading buddy during their soft start to read a book of their choice. Please ask your child about their buddy reading sessions once they get started!

Year 6 – Year 3

Year 5 – Year 2

Year 4 – Year 1

The older children will join the younger children in their classrooms from 8:40 – 8:55

Please click on the links below to be directed to other pages within our website about our approach to the teaching of reading;


Curriculum Overviews

Curriculum Policy

Phonics and Reading Policy


Support for Parents

How to support your child with writing

How to support your child with learning phonics


We love to read! 

Story Time 


Our Local Library!

We enjoy visiting the local library.

Click here to find out how to become a member of Woodhall Library