Parents’ Voice:


Teaching Reading at Pashley

Everyone at Pashley shares passionate about reading and quality texts. We highly regard the need to develop a love of reading in all children that pass through our school. You will see that reading is the golden thread throughout the school and stories and a love of books is a huge part of the curriculum.

Selecting the right texts:

When choosing texts, we look for a balance of fiction, nonfiction and poetry; selecting emotionally powerful texts which deal with important human situations and strong feelings, and traditional tales with clear narrative structures and texts which have a strong musical quality and  make use of ‘poeticised speech.’ Reading is one of the most important ways in which children observe and absorb the best language skills. So, while components such as grammar and vocabulary are important in the new curriculum, they will be taught in a contextualised way, through the enjoyment of shared reading.

Shared reading

Shared reading takes place at least once a day at snack time and at the end of the day. We are one of the only schools left in the area who continue to preserve ‘snack time’ in KS1. We believe daily time for the children to relax, enjoy a snack in the warm whilst being read to is an entitlement. We have ‘Pashley Enrichment Texts’ which are 10 selected texts for each year group, that the staff ensure are shared with the children at some point in that academic year. These texts were selected using book award lists, recommendations from the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in primary Education) and by making sure the children have an excellent diet of quality literature. Check out the list attached below.

Book corners

Every classroom has a reading area that is inviting and themed. Book corners might include author reviews, book reviews, book talk icons, toys to cuddle up and read with, books of the week and story sacks. All of our book corners have baskets to make them more inviting for a child. The books are front facing and children can pick up a basket and flick through the texts. We ensure current exciting texts are always in the book corner and do not have them over crowded with texts.

To promote a love of reading we;

  • Read aloud to children, to introduce them to new authors and develop a love of reading.
  • Encourage and model reading for pleasure and establish an appreciation and love of reading.
  • Establish and develop a varied range of texts in the classroom.
  • Focus on book corners, displays and the library.
  • Stop, drop and read- this is where the whole school stop and read at the same time.
  • Celebrate regular reading- every child who reads at home at least 4 times in a week receives 5 class dojos.
  • Celebrate a love of reading through annual World Book Day events. We always invite authors to the school and have a regular visit from a local poet, Tony Peak. In 2023 we had a visit from Annabelle Marriot, a new local author, who shared how she became an author, inspiring every class in the school. In the past we have had visits from Rob Biddulph, Chris Riddle and many more now very famous authors!
  • Celebrate World poetry day each year.

Whole class weekly reading- phonics linked class book

Every Monday EYFS and Year 1 share a phonics linked Big Cat class text with the class, starting with phonics games, then walking through the text before reading some of it as a class. Utilising a range of reading strategies to develop fluency and prosody the teachers share the weekly class text. Examples of the strategies used are: choral reading (reading altogether) echo reading (asking the class to read back the sentence copying the teachers expression and intonation.)  The children are then all given a copy of the phonics linked class text, which links with the weekly phonics focus from Little Wandle. They take the book home and we ask parents to read the book at least 3 times with their child. The Phonics linked class text is then collected in on a Friday and the children choose free choice books (phonically linked) to take home for the weekend.

Group reading

‘Making it manageable and making it count’ guided reading is focused on covering all aspects of language comprehension. Teachers plan specific group sessions focusing on different skills e.g. predicting, empathising, making links. Whilst children are developing their phonological skills they will be reading from phonetically decodable book. EYFS teach group reading in small groups regularly. In Year One and Year Two group reading takes place for each child at least once a week, children who need additional boosting will be read with twice a week. Big Cat phonetically linked books from Little Wandle are used for group reading.

Book Talk

At Pashley we give great importance to speaking and listening. Book talk is planned regularly to give children a structure for talking about books. Four icons represent a different language comprehension skill at a very basic level for all infants to access.

From Early Years teachers model using the book talk icons to talk about a text. Children are taught how to use them and as they move through the school they begin to record their responses to them.

Reading comprehension journals

Year Two use reading comprehension journals to respond to texts. They are set specific comprehension questions to answer during group reading time. Sometimes the whole class will focus on the same text and respond in their Reading Comprehension journals. Year One begin to use a journal in term 5/6. In the journals children respond to a range of books. They carry out comprehensions, book reviews and a range of activities based on the following reading skills:

  • Visualising
  • Predicting
  • Empathising
  • Making links
  • Forming opinions

Reading at home

We send home a range of resources to support parents at home with reading. Reading bookmarks show parents how to support their children with decoding and comprehension. Reading diaries support parents with phonics and comprehension and regular workshops support parents with their understanding of how to help their child at home. Find the most recent ones here:

Reading bookmarks:

Reading trajectory attached shows our expectations of the level the children are at and how our home school readers correlate with our school books. The whole school overview shows how we sequence our key English texts alongside our writing units.