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Abbey Gates Primary School

Learning Together & Making a Difference



Reading Curriculum Offer



At Abbey Gates, our goal is to ensure that all children become successful readers. We believe that reading is a key life skill and is essential for overall academic success. We understand how complex this process is for children and are fully aware of the need to provide them with a secure foundation to develop these skills, whilst promoting a love and enjoyment of both reading and writing.


A strong culture of reading is at the heart of all learning and we are determined that all children can learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. Our aim is to deliver English through lessons that ensure a progression of skills and is driven by possibilities, diversity and community. Vocabulary, stories, poetry, rhymes and songs, phonics and fluency are aspects which are planned into the curriculum to ensure breadth and depth.


Our whole school reading map demonstrates the advancement in skills which the children acquire, whilst ensuring diversity and develops cultural capital as they journey through school.

It is our intention that children are given regular opportunities to engage with the community as part of the English curriculum offer; this includes regular visits to the library and whole school reading events throughout the year. By the end of their time at Abbey Gates, we want children to:

  • Read at or above the expected age-related standard,
  • Develop a life-long love of reading and read for pleasure,
  • Describe settings, characters, plot and atmosphere.



We ensure that all children take part in high-quality, well-planned lessons focusing on phonics, spelling, grammar, comprehension and writing. Quality teaching equips pupils with the breadth of literacy knowledge and skills outlined in the National Curriculum in an engaging way that challenges them at their stage in learning.


We ensure that pupils ‘revisit and review’ as a key part of each and every English lesson which is taught. Children have frequent, planned opportunities to revisit and master prior learning, as well as apply it in new contexts.


Abbey Gates provides opportunities for children to engage in reading events within school, as well as the wider community.



As our curriculum is based around books, teachers carefully select texts which offer a wealth of opportunities for children to read and write for various purposes and audiences.


We recognise the importance of children’s attitude towards reading and their genuine love of books. This is something which is a focus for all staff all the way through school and the wide range of reading enrichment which we prioritise ensures that the vast majority of children read for pleasure and understand the magical world that books can unlock for them.


Guided reading happens regularly from Year 2 upwards. Each class has timetabled sessions involving close reading, extended reading and reading for fluency. These sessions are carefully planned and are progressive throughout the year groups. Texts are often read and re-read to allow children’s understanding of the plot and vocabulary to deepen, whilst allowing children to explore literary devices and techniques used.


Story time is something which happens daily in all classes at Abbey Gates. Staff have a wide knowledge of traditional and contemporary literature and share high quality texts with their class. They ensure that a diverse range of texts are used, which allow children to encounter characters whose experiences and perspectives are both similar and different from their own. All classes have access to a wide range of well-chosen, organised books and teachers communicate effectively with parents to ensure that they understand the benefits of reading at home.


We use Accelerated Reader to assess children’s current reading levels. This enables us to provide children with reading books that are matched to their reading level. Children regularly complete ‘quizzes’ to assess their understanding and comprehension of the books read. Fluency is assessed using ‘words correct per minute’ assessments which are completed regularly. Staff understand that accurate decoding is assured before moving on and know that fluent reading is essential for comprehension.


Reading and writing are thought of as two sides of the same coin. When teaching children to develop comprehension strategies, they are encouraged to keep the intentions of the author in mind. When writing, they are reminded of this and taught the importance of writing for different purposes across the curriculum.



At the end of a child’s time in Key Stage 1, the vast majority are fluent readers. They have a strong understanding of the alphabetic code and have the skills to tackle unknown words confidently. The percentage of children who pass the Phonics Screening test has been consistently above the national average. This strong foundation enables teachers in Key Stage 2 to focus on developing fluency and prosody and comprehension. In 2022, the percentage of children who left Abbey Gates as expected or greater depth readers was significantly above the national average; we are confident that this will allow them to flourish in their further studies and work and ultimately allow them to have a successful adult life.