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Our aim at Springbank is to produce fluent, confident readers who have a passion for books and are exposed to a wide variety of different text types. Reading forms a central role in all curriculum areas and allows children to develop continually widening background knowledge in order to understand the world around them. Regular opportunities for reading, the teaching of reading and practicing the skills of reading are threaded through planning. We want children to be given every opportunity to discuss and explore their reading understanding in depth but also to be allowed to relish the experience of reading and being read to, so as to promote a life-long love of the written word.


YR and Y1 read ‘Five Favourites’. These are five carefully chosen picture books and poems per half-term, using Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine and RWI’s Talk Through Stories as guidance. We aim to include stories from a range of cultures and stories which celebrate diversity. These stories are frequently read to children so that children can hear them over and over again.  We aim for children to want to return to familiar stories and be able to join in with familiar phrases and rhymes using ‘jump in’. Year 2 also use 'Five Favourites' which includes a longer chapter book per half-term and poetry.


Taking inspiration from Doug Lemov’s ‘Reading Reconsidered’ and Pie Corbett's Reading Spine, we have created a Springbank Reading Spine between for KS2 which encourages reading of five different key text types which help children to navigate reading with confidence. These five ‘plagues’ include the types: Archaic, Non-Linear Sequence, Narratively Complex, Symbolic and Resistant. All children will experience a variety of these texts during their journeys through both Lower and Upper Key Stage 2. Alongside these challenging texts (and the children’s own reading for pleasure) we also have in-class reading challenges where age-appropriate and challenging texts are available to each year group. Children read one or more of these texts per half-term with a view to expanding their reading horizons by reading ‘outside of their comfort zone.’


We are passionate about giving our children the chance to meet and be inspired by real-life authors so that they can understand the processes of writing a book but also recognise that reading is always at the heart of every great story. Our thriving partnership with the School’s Library Service provides us with these opportunities as well as termly deliveries of class fiction and non-fiction books and access to resources which mean that the hub of our school, the central library, is always stocked with the most up-to-date texts (as well as a good selection of the classics).


Reading is not just an activity at Farsley Springbank it is a culture. We are proud of the dedication that we place upon a skill which can explain the children’s past, enrich their present and build their future.



Single text approach

Once children in Year 2 have completed the Read Write Inc programme and are reading confidently they begin a whole group/class text approach which is designed to include all learners in the classroom. Each half-term a year-group will read a text (or selection of texts) which will form the basis for the teaching and learning of reading and writing. The text will be used on a weekly basis for three reading lessons.


Teaching of reading

In order for the children to be able to develop a depth of understanding of the text (digging below the surface) and answer in-depth questions we utilise a triple reading system. Firstly, children will be given time during the week to read the extract/chapter of the text which they are using for learning (this may be independent or alongside an adult where necessary). A subsequent read will then take place whereby an adult will read the same piece of text and use this opportunity to model intonation, reading with purpose and recognition of punctuation. Children will then use a variety of techniques such as ‘ping-pong’, ‘snake reading’, ‘mirrored reading’ and many more to remodel all of those skills.  A final read of the text then takes place when the child is using it in order to demonstrate their skills in an independent learning scenario such as comprehension.


Reading lessons will follow a three-lesson approach designed to specifically supports the learning needs of our children. This model promotes understanding of the mechanics of reading through five main steps.

  1. Background Knowledge – where the children use prior knowledge to solve areas of confusion within the text.
  2. Visualisation – a period of reflection which allows the children to put themselves into the text and empathise with characters in order to get a better understanding.
  3. Hunting for Clues – build up, over time, a series of clues based upon what is being read in the text to aid understanding.
  4. Questioning/Prediction -  the children ask questions about what they have read and make predictions about what they will read next.
  5. Breakdown – what to do when meaning is lost while reading and how to best solve those problems in order to move forwards.


Lesson 1: The children begin their learning with a lesson which develops retrieval skills and allows the children to familiarise themselves with the text. This will include utilising the skill of ‘text mapping’ in order to form a cognitive pathway through the text which will support subsequent use of the text and learning from it. LKS2 children learn to do this by highlighting the text alongside a selection of symbols that represent key areas of learning. UKS2 continue with highlighting but remove the use of symbols so as to show independence in the action of actively reading the text.


Lesson 2: The second lesson of the week prioritises the teaching of the key skills in line with the National Curriculum content and requires a variety of written and oral reasoning strategies. Children have the opportunity to delve more deeply into the use of language and infer meaning from the authorial intent. These taught skills involve a mixture of independent, partner and whole-class work and prepares the learner to be able to demonstrate their learning at a later date.


Lesson 3: The third lesson allows children to prove their understanding and confidence by using the text to practice key skills. In this lesson children will be repeating skills used previously during the week and retrieve past learning in order to tackle independent tasks. Children can then review themselves and their developing confidence based upon their success.


Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is promoted at Springbank by ensuring that our children always have complete access to a wide selection of high-quality, stimulating reading materials. Our school library is the central hub of our school and children have daily access to self-selection of these fiction and non-fiction texts. Our classrooms are stocked with a selection of age-appropriate collections of challenge books which have been chosen specifically to gently nudge the children into reading outside of their ‘comfort zone’. Once off the RWI scheme, children are expected to read at least one of these challenging texts per half-term. In addition to these, children also have age-appropriate book banded books in the library which they are able to select from. Again, once off the RWI scheme our children are expected to read at least one of these books per half-term. We also utilise the Schools Library Service alongside our own reading materials by including their topic book boxes and author book boxes in classrooms for children to select from. Ultimately, we want children to have every opportunity to select a book which grabs their attention but also have the underpinning knowledge to recognise which texts are appropriate for them as an individual.


At Farsley Springbank the impact on our children is that they have all learned to read by the time they move into secondary education and that the majority are fluent, confident and have amassed a wealth of reading experiences within their young lives.


The impact of our reading curriculum is that our children develop a repertoire of reading skills which leave them perfectly placed to tackle the next challenges of their education. These skills also go hand-in-hand with promoting a fascination in the wider world and being able to link their learning together through retrieval of key facts and making links between new knowledge and background knowledge.


The impact of our reading teaching is that our KS2 statutory data demonstrates that children leave Farsley Springbank with a significant percentage above the national standard and many working within the greater depth standard for reading.


The impact of our passion for reading is that our children leave Farsley Springbank having been immersed in story, text and verse for the whole of their primary education. These children can become life-long readers with a passion for the written word and the knowledge and skills required to make use of them.

Reading progression

EYFS and KS1 Five Favourites

KS2 Reading Spine

Support for parents