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Our Trust of Schools


Reading is at the heart of everything we do at Exwick Heights Primary School. We value not only the huge role that reading plays across our curriculum on a daily basis in raising standards of achievement, but also the social and emotional gains it brings to every reader. We promote a reading culture that inspires children to find passion in reading, makes them keen to read and helps them to develop into ardent, avid readers and life-long learners.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass

Our library is a place of wonder and discovery. Weekly sessions can include input from adults about different authors, discussing and listening to stories or children can scan out a book to take home and share with their family. Staff support children in using the Library effectively and along with our Reading Ambassadors, helps to keep it organised, updated and accessible to all.

Children in Year 2-3 continue to use our Little Wandle scheme, moving forward to reading fluency practice. Their fluency will be assessed against national words-per-minute reading norms and then children will be grouped based on these assessments to ensure they are reading books which match their current fluency skill. These books are written by popular, celebrated authors, who have written these texts specifically for the programme. They are especially enjoyable to reading, helping to make this first experience of extended reading as positive as it can be. Each group will complete three sessions of fluency practice per week, with adults also supporting development of vocabulary, prosody and comprehension. These sessions will also introduce children to different ways of practising and honing their reading skills, using techniques such as echo reading, choral reading and emotive reading. This will ensure that children are best prepared for the jump in reading content in UKS2.

Children from Year 4-6 engage in whole-class reading lessons, where the week’s extracts fall under a theme that complements learning in different curriculum areas. Our children love the ambitious and broad topics covered in these sessions, which help to give them a wider awareness and understanding of their termly topics, as well as the wider world.

Children who are not yet accessing whole-class teaching progress through banded books – these are Phase and Set specific (in keeping with Little Wandle Letters and Sounds) books from Collins Big Cat, which match the children's attainment in Phonics. Some children in Year 2-6 may be part of our daily ‘Rapid Catch Up’ intervention, to ensure they secure their phonetic knowledge. We expect families to regularly read with their children at home and make comments in their child's reading record.

We make sure that all children from Year 2-6 are accessing books that are appropriate to their current fluency and comprehension attainment. To ensure this, we use Accelerated Reader, an online platform where children complete STAR tests to determine their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). When children know their ZPD, they can borrow any book from within their level from the library. Once they’ve finished their books, they can complete comprehension quizzes on books they have read from the library or at home, earning points towards reading certificates in our assembly - our children often aim to be a word millionaire!

We work closely with our local Schools' Library Service to keep our book stock current and to ensure that we have something for everyone, particularly gaining quality fiction and non-fiction texts that provide further context for our current learning. Each classroom will have a selection of books in their classroom which is directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum and further develop their understanding and knowledge of their current topic.

All year groups have Shared Reading time every day, where the class teacher will read a specifically-chosen, high-quality text that is challenging in language, plot or theme, to help children be immersed in a world that they may not yet be able to enter by themselves. All staff agree that this time together is a class is sacred and protected - it is often commented as both staff and children’s favourite time of day! There are also opportunities for children to read simply for pleasure during the week with our Drop Everything and Read sessions, where simply all work ceases and the joy of reading begins! Learning if never limited to the classroom at Exwick Heights, and outdoor reading is a particular highlight during the sunnier months of our summer term - children will often request to read in our outdoor classroom or bird hide for a peaceful, calming experience.

Children are encouraged to recommend books to each other and to make suggestions to staff of any books that they’d like to see in the school Library. Our Reading Ambassadors do a fantastic job creating book reviews for every school newsletter.

Children record regularly in their reading journals; if there are three comments about their reading, as well as one adult signature, per week, a ticket into our termly Read to Succeed draw will be given, where the children could win a brand-new book selected from the Recommended Reads list used by teaching staff. In addition, our extra-curricular reading offer continues to grow, including book clubs run in the Early Years and KS2, as well as opportunities for children to meet and work with awesome authors during World Book Day.

Reading has, and always will, be the highest priority at Exwick Heights Primary School!