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At Northern Education Trust, we want every child to be fluent, confident readers. Our aim is that children in early years ‘develop a love and curiosity of reading, which is built on throughout their reading journey in school. We want our children to leave us in year 6 as lifelong readers with a thirst for reading.

Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum. Children are taught to communicate and express themselves clearly for a variety of audiences, in speech and writing. Rich, well-chosen texts support the curriculum and the development of writing in all curriculum areas. Our children become confident readers, who love and understand books. Reading starts on their first day in school.

As a trust, we have used the National Curriculum as a basis to create an ambitious and engaging curriculum. We have developed a reading strategy which supports children to become passionate and confident learners. Leaders have planned a reading curriculum sequenced from the beginning of early years through to clearly defined endpoints at the end of Key Stage 2.

We talk about ‘windows and mirrors’ to ensure our reading curriculum reflects children’s personal experiences (mirrors) and provides them with a ‘window’ into a diverse, and sometimes mythical, world. Children learn to read and then use reading to learn.



These are the key aims of our reading strategy:

very Student learns to read fluently. We teach phonics from the start of school. Books match student’s phonic knowledge. Students catch up quickly. We instil a love of reading. Staff are early reading experts. Students learn to read and read to learn. Students can talk about the books they have read.


To promote a love of reading we…
  • Have developed ‘Reading Routes’ from Nursery to Year 6
  • Create class libraries (book corners) which are inviting, well-organised and contain a wide range of diverse books to encourage reading at every opportunity
  • We have invested in high quality reading books to develop a love of reading
  • Have daily story time sessions where teachers read to children
  • Have a principal’s book basket which are used as rewards for reading
  • Have a vending machine full of books which are rewards for reading at home
  • Encourage author visits
  • Celebrate reading weekly with awards in our celebration assemblies
  • Provide weekly timetabled library sessions
  • Parents are invited into school on a weekly basis and enjoy sharing a book with their child
  • Set reading challenges
  • Provide a ‘book swap shop’
  • Share ‘bedtime stories’ on the website which can be viewed and enjoyed at home
  • Hold weekly lunchtime clubs, where children can read for pleasure and book talk about text they enjoy with friends
  • Have beautiful displays that celebrate reading


Reading Routes

Reading Routes is unique to Northern Education Trust. It takes children on a magical reading journey which is filled with an abundance of beautiful carefully chosen books. Children have the opportunity to move around a bespoke reading routes map using their passport and visit many lands. Each land has specific books attached to them so children can read their way through an array of genres and magical books.

There are three lands in Reading Routes. Nursery and EYFS have ‘Little Land, KS1 have ‘Land of Wonder’ and KS2 have ‘Land of Discovery’

We understand the link between reading, academic attainment and a child’s life chances. We are driven by outcomes, and success for all children. We recognise the impact of improving reading standards on a child’s future academic achievement, wellbeing and success in life.

Reading is, and will always be a priority.



Reading Books

Children will receive books from the academy to help them to develop their reading skills. In reception and year 1, and until they have become secure with their phonics skills, they will be given decodable books. These are books that match what the child knows, and they will be able to read all of that book.

Following this, in years 2 and 3, children will be given books that help them to support fluency, as well as embedding their phonics learning. These are called ‘banded’ books. Children will be able to use Reading Buddy where they can access digital e-books and complete quizzes on what they have read. They can access this from home using this link:

When children have fully embedded their phonics and developed their fluency, they will complete a STAR reader test. ‘They will then access Accelerated Reader’ (AR). This is an online programme successfully used across all Key Stage 2 classes. AR is an online programme that aims to foster the habit of independent reading. With a vast collection of books available in our library, children have ample opportunity to select books that are of interest to them and within their reading ability. AR initially screens pupils according to their reading level, and suggests books that match their reading age and reading interest. Pupils take computerised quizzes on the books they have read and earn AR points for their hard work, which is celebrated each week in assembly. Within the reading strategy there are clear pathways to ensure that each child is reading the correct book. The pathways also ensure that correct interventions are given to individual children. Any pupil who has gaps in their word-reading or phonics skills will be assessed and given the right book for them. Some pupils will join a Project X Code intervention, where they will develop both phonics and comprehension skills.

Whilst our curriculum has high aspirations for all pupils, teachers know to adapt resources and outcomes for the ability of individual students. As such, pupils with additional needs will receive the same high-quality teaching input from their class teacher, whilst perhaps working on different targets to their peers – for example the end result of a task may take a different form.

Our teachers read to children and model reading aloud during shared reading, changing the tone and intonation in their voice and pausing for punctuation. Our teachers are enthusiastic and engaging readers who encourage a love of reading for pleasure. Through focused book talk, the skills taught in English lessons are applied to all reading across the curriculum.

Story times are encouraged to be engaging and interesting for all children. Each child’s voice is valued during story time, as they have the opportunity to make recommendations or choose books they want to hear read. Books are brought to life through the use of different voices, props and expression. The atmosphere for story time is always considered, so the children can comfortably enjoy their selection.


Helping your child read at home

Helping your child to practise their reading at home is the best help you can give!

All children benefit from being listened to reading, as it gives opportunities for discussion, developing fluency and expression and learning new facts.

Reading with your child is vital to support their learning. Reading books together, reading to your child, hearing them read, discussing reading technique, stories, poems and non-fiction texts are all key ways to help. By listening to your child, you can make a huge difference to their educational success.

There are many ways that you can support your child to become a successful reader:
Read aloud to your child. A bedtime story is a perfect way to share a book together. Talk about the words, pictures, and characters and share ideas about the book.

Read yourself: Children who see adults reading, and enjoying reading, are much more likely to want to read themselves.

Make sure your child is surrounded by books: You don’t need hundreds of books at home, but make regular trips to the library or borrow books from the academy. Spending time together browsing and learning to make choices about books is a lovely way to develop a child’s reading.


Summary of Reading Provision in Northern Education Trust
Nursery Phonemic awareness- oral blending and segmenting
Sound awareness activities in provision
Book talk- shared reading
Reading Routes
Daily stories
Books widely available for children to choose in continuous provision
Reception Daily ELS phonics- up to one hour throughout the day
Daily stories: Shared reading and book talk
Daily reading 1:1- Decodable book
Decodable book sent home
Reading Routes
Books widely available for children to choose in continuous provision
Year 1 Daily ELS phonics
Daily story with book talk
Daily 1:1 with decodable book – all children
Teacher led whole class reading-at least once weekly and more frequently in Spring Term
Phonetically decodable book reading book sent home
Reading Routes
Wider curriculum reading
Highest attaining children using Reading Buddy in Summer 2
Years 2 & 3 Phonics- where appropriate
Banded books with Reading Buddy- embedding phase- opportunities to read independently
Daily whole class teacher-led guided reading: comprehension and fluency
Weekly 1:1 reading (more for target children)
Reading book sent home
Reading Routes
Daily story/ class novel
Wider curriculum reading
Years 4-6 Phonics- where appropriate for low attaining children
Star Reading test
Accelerated Reader- minimum 20 minutes daily -reading and quizzing
Accelerated reader book sent home
Daily whole class teacher-led reading lesson
Weekly 1:1 reading (more for target children)
AR or decodable depending on assessment
Reading Routes
Daily Class Novel
Wider curriculum reading
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