Norton CEVC Primary School
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A Curriculum for Reading

A Curriculum for Reading



At Norton CEVC Primary School, children will be:

  • Exposed to a depth and breadth of literature
  • Explicitly taught key vocabulary and reading strategies
  • Actively helped to build fluency
  • Able to access a cohesive and coherent programme which will build explicitly on prior knowledge
  • Prepared for the wider curriculum
  • Benefitting from research-informed practice


National Curriculum Reading

In the National Curriculum, the programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two areas:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ skills and understanding in both of these areas.


Word Reading

Skilled word reading involves quickly figuring out the pronunciation of unfamiliar words in print (decoding) and also the swift recognition of familiar words. This relies on the understanding that letters on a page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start at our school.



Good comprehension draws from:

1. Linguistic knowledge (vocabulary and grammar)

2. Understanding of the world. (knowledge)

3. Pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with their adults and teachers, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. (discussion)

4. The encouragement to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction. This develops their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live; it also establishes an appreciation and a love of reading to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and frequently increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. (Range)

5. The crucial ability that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. (Fluency)


Research-informed Practice

At Norton, our reading pedagogy and practice is research-informed.

Explicit instruction and extensive practice is needed for pupils to become proficient at reading and writing. The goal of teaching reading is to enable children to comprehend written texts. To do this, pupils need to build both word reading and language comprehension skills. These two key components of reading are supported by a broad academic consensus by research evidence, and are underpinned by a number of other building blocks of reading.


Developing Pupils’ language capabilities

We provide purposeful speaking and listening activities, including:

  • Collaborative learning activities where pupils can share their thought processes
  • Reading books aloud and discussing them, including structured questioning
  • Pupils articulating ideas verbally before writing

We promote high quality dialogue in the classroom to develop thinking and use of language

We extend pupils’ vocabulary by explicitly teaching new words, providing repeated exposure to new words, and providing opportunities for pupils to use new words


Developing Pupils’ fluent reading capabilities

Fluent reading supports comprehension because pupils’ cognitive resources can be redirected from word recognition to comprehending the text

Fluent reading is developed through:

  • Guided oral reading instruction - teachers model fluent reading than pupils read the same text aloud with appropriate feedback
  • Repeated reading – pupils reread a short and meaningful passage a number of times to reach suitable fluency

We prioritise the assessment and understanding of pupils’ capabilities and teach accordingly - some children may still need support with foundational reading strategies


Teaching reading strategies through modelling and supported practise

We teach specific strategies that pupils can apply to monitor and overcome barriers to comprehension. These include: retrieval, prediction (based on text content and context), explanation, inference, summarising, and activating prior knowledge.

We model and scaffold these strategies; then support pupils to increasingly use reading comprehension strategies independently, with less and less prompting from the teacher.

We carefully select texts to support the teaching of these strategies.



Fluency is the bridge between word recognition and comprehension. This is because fluency connects to accuracy and automaticity in decoding. Furthermore, it connects to comprehension through prosody or expressive interpretation. Fluent reading supports comprehension because pupils’ cognitive resources are freed from focusing on word recognition and can be redirected towards comprehending the text. Fluent readers comprehend better.