Gamesley primary school


A Parent’s Guide to Reading at Gamesley School



Our aim is to enable children to become confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers as soon as possible. Children who read regularly also build up wide vocabularies, internalise rules of grammar and spelling and have the tools to become independent life-long learners. This is our ambition for all our children.

We strive to achieve this through

  • Daily reading lessons using high quality materials

  • Supporting and encouraging children to develop a love of books and become regular readers at home and in school

  • Sharing high quality literature in school on a daily basis

  • Giving children books of their own so they can build up their own library at home

    At Gamesley School, the starting point for our reading lessons are the Oxford schemes,

    Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) and Read Write Inc Language and Literacy

    which were devised by Ruth Miskin. The scheme provides us with a clear, whole school approach to reading.

    The methods and approach remains consistent across all years, preventing misunderstanding and ensuring children can confidently approach all new learning. Everything that is learned at the start is built on consistently and logically.

    All staff involved in the delivery of RWI attend training sessions, whether in house during staff meetings or on INSETs.



    Learning to Read in Reception

    Read Write Inc is a systematic synthetic phonics programme that ensures reading, writing and spelling success. In Reception, children learn:

  • 44 sounds (Speed Sounds) and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts

  • to read words using sound blending

  • to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds

  • to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes


    Reading at Home in Reception – Sharing Books

    As soon as they join  Gamesley School, children in Reception  take home picture books twice a week to share with a grown up at home. The expectation is that the grown up will read the book to their child and talk about the pictures. Picture books are changed twice a week


    Reading at Home in Reception – Reading Books

    When children can identify letter sounds and are able to blend sounds to read 3 and 4 letter words they begin to take home a reading book from our reading scheme. Our expectation is that children read at home with a supportive adult at least 5 times each week and if this achieved the child earns a sticker. When 8 stickers have been achieved, your child will choose a book to bring home to keep. We encourage parents to sign the reading diaries and return reading packs to school every day. Teaching assistants change reading books on a daily basis provided a signature or comment can be found in a reading diary.

    Teachers and teaching assistants do not listen to individual children read on a daily basis as reading is taught within lessons.


    Assessment and Feedback in Reception

    Teachers conduct a reading interview for each child on entry to school. Judgements are made based on the Early Learning Goals. From then on, assessments are ongoing including 6 reading interviews each year and take place during RWI reading and writing lessons, cross curricular learning and through planned and independent play.


    Learning to Read in KS1 and KS2

    English is taught five times each week for an average of one hour each day. RWI phonics lessons always include some reading opportunities on a daily basis. With Read Write Inc Literacy and Language, several “reading days” may be followed by a series of “writing days”. Work is adapted and differentiated to enable all children to be challenged, experience success and make rapid progress. Teachers and support staff provide one to one and small group targeted support in the afternoons to ensure all children have the skills they need to take part in the daily English lessons.


    Books of the Term

    At Gamesley Primary School we aim to foster a love for books and reading. From the beginning of Reception to the end of the Spring Term in Year 3,  a selection of picture books are introduced to the class each term. These books are shared frequently with the class and multiple copies are available in the class book corners. The aim is to replicate the experience many children have at home when parents read with them regularly and the children become very familiar with a number of much loved picture books. By providing a similar experience in school we hope to help children to internalise “book language” and recognise familiar themes and plots. The books move with the children to their next class and titles are shared with parents and with the library next door to the school. New “Books of the Term” are provided by the Reading Leader.

    In addition to the ”Books of the Term”, teachers also share picture books that are linked to each RWI unit. These picture books introduce children to new concepts and vocabulary to prepare them for the learning in their RWI lessons.


    Class Novels

    By the end of Year 3, “Books of the Term” have been replaced by the class novel. Teachers read aloud at least three times each week and each class completes at least 3 full length novels each year. The children all have their own copy of the novel so they can read along with the teacher as s/he reads aloud to them. This supports even the most reluctant reader in developing the stamina to read longer and more complex texts.


    Reading Homework

    Every child has a reading folder and reading diary and children are encouraged to value and care for these and their books. Children take a book to read at home every night.

    At Gamesley School we expect all our children to read at home for a minimum of 5 times per week. While emerging readers will read an entire reading book in one evening, it is fine for more confident readers to read 9 or 10 pages from a longer reading book. New “free readers” are expected to read for 15 minutes each night while experienced readers should read for at least 30 minutes.  Additional reading homework may be set by class teachers.


    Reading Interviews

    Reading is taught within lessons therefore teachers and teaching assistants do not listen to individual children read on a daily basis. However all children have at least 6 “reading interviews” with their class teacher during each academic year. These interviews provide the opportunity for teachers to observe children’s reading skills, check their understanding and make an assessment of their attainment and progress. Teachers use the information gathered from these interviews to update the child’s reading assessment booklet and establish a current NC level for reading. Written comments including the NC level are recorded on reading interview proformas and shared with parents who are encouraged to add their own comments in their child’s reading diary.


    Reading Rewards

    We encourage all children to read a minimum of 5 times each week at home. We support this with a reward system. Children collect stickers each time they meet their reading target and once their reading bookmark is full (8 stickers) they are able to choose a book to take home and keep from each classroom’s “Book Shop”.

    Each Monday morning, teaching assistants collect reading diaries to check how many times the children have read in the previous week. The book is underlined in a highlighter to show it has been checked and the number of times read is recorded above the highlighted line e.g. 3X.

    Children who meet the target of reading 5 times are rewarded with a sticker which is placed on individual reading target bookmarks. 

    Bookmarks can be found on the server within templates. Bookmarks remain within reading packs and are sent home every day. A record of the number of stickers achieved is to be kept in the front of each reading record file in case bookmarks are misplaced.

    Books for reading reward baskets are ordered by the Reading Leader and are stored centrally.


    Irregular Readers

    An irregular reader is a child who has not met our whole school reading target for two consecutive weeks. When this is identified the following procedure will be followed:

  1. Class teachers speak to the parents/carers of children who are irregular readers.
  2. Class teachers/teaching assistants inform the Reading Leader of any children who have not read for more than 3 consecutive weeks. A record is kept of those children who have not read and a letter explaining our reading policy is sent home.
  3. If there is still no improvement, the parents/carers of irregular readers are invited into school for a meeting with the Reading Leader. This meeting is friendly and non-confrontational and is a means to explain to parents the importance of regular reading and to ascertain if any support can be offered. We are always sensitive to the possibility that parents may be struggling with their own literacy skills.
  4. Support can be offered in school such as provision of a learning mentor, an invitation to join a before or after school reading club.

At all times our aim is to help children and their families develop a regular reading habit as we know that this is the key to future educational success.


Reading Club

Gamesley School provides a reading club for KS2 children who find it difficult to read at least 5 times a week at home. Children who do not read at home are provided with a comfortable place to read during morning play. This club is also open to children who do read regularly but would enjoy spending time indoors enjoying their books. The Reading Leader supervises the club and makes a record of children who attend.

A similar club is introduced for Year 2 children during the summer term and is organised by the Year 2 teachers.

When Reading Club is not supporting a child in reading more regularly at home, the Reading Leader liaises with the child’s parent/carer and arranges for the child to read in his/her classroom 15 minutes before the start of the school day or arrange other support as outlined above.



Book Week

Book Week is held in the spring term, around the same time as World Book Day. At Gamesley School, Book Week is a focus for giving reading an even higher profile throughout the school and always focuses on a popular children’s author.

In the past we have had Book Weeks based on the works of Julia Donaldson and the Ahlbergs. The Reading Leader buys class sets of books by the focus authors and class teachers plan a series of lessons based on these books. Teaching plans for the week are collected by the Reading Leader and a selection of children’s work is displayed in school. The Reading Leader keeps in close contact with Gamesley Library and the staff there are happy to order extra copies of books by the focus author so children are able to borrow favourite books.


Individual Needs

At Gamesley School we recognise that some children need additional support with reading. The following resources are available to support those children:


  • Toe by Toe, a 10 minute daily intervention programme which primarily focuses on spelling but can also support early reading skills

  • Project X,a scheme which supports those struggling with the main reading scheme

  • Project X Code, a 30 minute daily intervention, delivered by an adult

  • coloured overlays

  • Rapid Reading – an ICT based resources which is very effective in encouraging reluctant readers


    If children reach Year 4 and are working at such a low level that they are unable to attain a minimum of a Level 3c by the end of Year 6, they are referred to Mrs Liz Hill who runs small group intervention classes in English and Maths each morning. She uses and adapts “RWI Code” and “RWI Phonics” to support children in developing basic reading and writing skills in a supportive environment with a very high adult to child ratio.