The Asquith Way for Reading

Growing To Succeed- Reading The Asquith Way

‘So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.’

William James

At Asquith Primary School, we understand the importance of being literate and pride ourselves in developing these core skills within a rich and broad curriculum. We expect our children to apply these reading skills to the best of their ability in a variety of subject area, having high aspirations for all.

We strive to ensure that high-quality education in English will teach pupils to read fluently and comprehend texts. We place and importance of children being able communicate their ideas and emotions to others and read with confidence.


We want children to leave Asquith Primary school having read a diverse range of genres and text types allowing them to develop their own reader identity and a love of reading. As well as this, we endeavour to interest our children in their learning with a creative and cross-curricular approach. To do this, each term we base our quality shared texts on their current topic, which extends their learning opportunities beyond that particular subject area.


Our Reading curriculum is underpinned by 5 golden threads: High aspirations for all, Fostering resilience, Embedding key skills, Respecting diversity and Creating global citizens- with the intent that all our children have the opportunity to grow and succeed.





At Asquith Primary School we believe that reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill which should be developed to support lifelong learning, creating global citizens. Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within our school community.  We strive for all of our children to become confident and competent readers, embedding key skills and fostering a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We hope that in doing this our children will develop a rich vocabulary, be interested in a variety of genres, develop spoken language, become fluent readers and develop their reading comprehension skills. Our role is to inspire our children to read for pleasure, allow them to develop their own reader identify and offer them varied and rich opportunities in which to do so inside and outside the classroom.



At Asquith, we balance the teaching of reading between word reading and decoding skills, comprehension strategies and response to text, in order to develop fluent readers who can understand and engage with a wide variety of texts.

Reading runs through every aspect of the curriculum. Books are selected that link with themes across the curriculum which are relevant to their interests and motivate children to learn. A rich diet of fiction, non-fiction and poetry drives learning and pupils are empowered to see themselves as readers who can choose to open doors to new experiences, perspectives and knowledge via the written and illustrated word.

Early Reading and Phonics

Foundations for Phonics in Nursery

Early reading skills are taught from Nursery with a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include: sharing high-quality stories and poems, learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes, activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending and attention is given to high-quality language. At Asquith, we ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.

Reception and Key Stage One

The Little Wandle Phonics scheme is used consistently throughout Early Years and Key Stage One to ensure the high-quality, consistent teaching of phonics for every child.

Phonics is taught daily. Additional phonics sessions are taught as part of our keep-up plan. Children are regularly exposed to taught sounds to embed them in their long-term memory. Sessions focus on phonics as a route to decoding; to be able to blend to read and segment to spell. Each six weeks, the children are assessed on the sounds they have been learning, their blending skills, reading of words with key sounds and tricky words that have been introduced. The children apply the skills they are learning in their phonics sessions in 3 reading practice sessions per week with a decodable book.

Phonics sessions follow the same structure each day:

                                       Letters and Sounds | A complete Phonics resource to support children

Readings sessions:

Children focusing on the following skills through a weekly book, chosen specifically at their reading level:

·       Decoding

·       Prosody (expression)

·       Comprehension

At the beginning of Year 2, children continue with the Little Wandle phonics sessions and reading sessions. Later in the year, depending on phonetic ability, children either continue learning phonics or move on to learning spelling rules and grammar. They continue to learn to read with fluency and expression as well as developing their comprehension through group and whole-class reading sessions.

Home Reading

Children take home a decodable book that contains words with the same focus sounds as the book they have been reading in school. They keep this book for a week. The book is matched to each child’s phonetic ability and the aim is that reading becomes fluent and automatic with an accuracy of around 95%.

Reading in Key Stage Two

Reading is taught in daily 45 minute whole-class lessons in Key Stage Two.

Class Novel Lessons

We use our whole-school reading spine, which maps these texts across the school, ensuring coverage of a variety of genres and themes. The lessons focus on developing a love of reading and a deep understanding of the text using expert questioning and ‘book talk’.

The structure of each lesson is as follows:

  1. Quick Quiz – a recap of knowledge of the whole book.
  2. Vocabulary – 3-5 Tier Two words are chosen from the extract. These are quickly defined for the children using images to support understanding.
  3. Fluency Practice – a passage is chosen from the book for children to practice their fluency skills. Fluency teaching focusses on the 6P’s:

Fluency is developed through teacher modelling and partner reading.

  1. Individual Thinking –Questions require a short written response (In books, Independent, In silence).
  2. Partner Talk
  3. Solo Work – a deeper thinking question linked to the morals and values of the book or requiring children to give their opinion (which should be justified with reference to the text).

‘Texts on a Theme’ Lessons

These lessons use extracts based around a theme. These lessons:

·       Ensure coverage of a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres across each year-group.

·       Provide opportunities for reading across the curriculum and enhance curriculum knowledge for topics children are currently studying in other subjects.

·       Enhance general knowledge which research shows has a positive impact on reading comprehension.

·       Expose children to different examples of the genre they are studying in Writing lessons.

These lessons follow a similar structure to the class novel lessons:

  1. Read Aloud’ at the start of the lesson. The teacher reads the whole text aloud to the children to ensure that all children will be able to access the lesson by hearing the text. Children follow the text with fingers or rulers while the teacher is reading. Pace, prosody and self-correction is modelled.
  2. Quick Quiz focusses on retrieval skills. The teacher models skimming and scanning to support this.
  3. Fluency Practice - A key passage from the text is then selected for fluency practice which follows the same model as novel lessons.
  4.  Individual Thinking – as above
  5. Partner Talk – as above.


Home Reading

Children in Key Stage 2 take home a banded book linked to their reading ability. Children are expected to read at least three times per week and record this in their planners.

Little Wandle catch-up sessions continue into Key Stage Two for any children who are not yet secure in their understanding and application of phonics.

All children access a daily story time, where a variety of text types are enjoyed at the end of each day.