Home Page

Covingham Park Primary School

Caring for Pupils, Promoting Success

English Reading



The National Curriculum programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • Word reading
  • Comprehension (both listening and reading).


The teaching at Covingham Park focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. Phonics is therefore emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.

Reading curriculum intent


At Covingham Park, reading is promoted as an intrinsic part of teaching and learning. It forms a pivotal part of our curriculum. We recognise that the skill of reading provides children with access to the world around them and a wealth of knowledge which will support their learning and development in all other areas. However, we also believe that reading brings joy and experiences that cannot be achieved in any other way; discovering new worlds, reflecting on the past and exploring emotions from the viewpoints of others who are similar and very different.


Reading curriculum implementation

Reading is taught across the curriculum and is embedded within a range of subjects. Explicit reading sessions are taught across the week and may include a focus on a specific text or may be part of reading to support another subject, e.g. History, Science etc. Planned reading sessions aim to develop an understanding of a text, as well as encourage improved fluency when reading for pleasure or to support learning in other areas. We actively take the opportunity to develop children’s understanding of vocabulary, across both fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as linking their understanding of vocabulary to other curriculum areas including topics or spelling patterns

The documents below detail reading coverage across the curriculum. N.B: These are a working document and are subject to change as the needs of the children change.


Guided reading


Guided Reading is taught daily in KS1 and KS2 and adapted to teach skills appropriate to the age of the children. Book choices for the guided session aim to be inspiring to both teacher and children and encourage an enthusiasm for reading.



  • Coverage of the content domains
  • A daily reading session
  • Coverage of a breadth of texts - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, songs and picture books.


In KS1 Guided reading is planned on a 2-weekly basis:


Each session will include:

  • An adult led vocabulary/ grammar session based on questioning from a picture with the class. This could be related to your topic, your English unit or a daily story extract. The focus is on ‘teaching’ reading and not ‘hearing’ reading: One group per day in groups of reading ability.
  • An adult led group with a phonically decodable text which children can access appropriately. This will be used for two weeks. The first week will focus on understanding the vocabulary and becoming familiar with reading fluently. The second week will focus on comprehension and content domains. Record on current GR sheets and use one side for each week.


In KS2 Guided reading is planned as 5 sessions:


MONDAYS and FRIDAYS: The class novel

  • It is imperative that the children are read to every day for 15 minutes.
  • The class novel should be challenging. The children should be able to access it, but it should be a text that many of the class could not sit and read cover to cover independently.
  • Only the class teacher should read the class novel aloud so that children fully get the best possible understanding of it.
  • The questioning should be well-thought out so that when new events occur, the children are aware of their significance.


TUESDAY to THURSDAY: Cross curricular linked texts

  • These days should use one high quality cross-curricular text that links with your topic/ theme
  • The choice of text could cover all genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, songs and picture books.
  • The main skills covered should be inference (2d) and retrieval (2b)
  • All children should have the opportunity to read to the teacher across these sessions.

Deeper questions or activities could then be presented one at a time, which may use the same three forms: individual thinking, partnered talk and solo work. Children should get into the routine of knowing what each of the three forms requires of them.


It is our aim that, by the end of their primary education, where appropriate, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


At Covingham Park we believe in developing our children to become life-long readers, who choose to read for pleasure. We believe in the development of a sustainable reading culture, underpinned by a whole school commitment, which is understood and supported by the full school community.


For further information, see “READING FOR PLEASURE” policy.

Reading for Pleasure Policy