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Abbey Gates Primary School

Learning Together & Making a Difference



Reading Curriculum Offer


Reading is at the heart of everything which we do at Abbey Gates. It is fundamental to our curriculum, which is book based. This means that our class projects and termly big questions are explored through books and ensures that children read across the curriculum, developing an understanding that reading is a tool which can be utilised to find out new information.

Our aim is that all children will be successful and fluent decoders, who can comprehend effectively. Our vision is that all children will be able to talk confidently about authors and will have enthusiasm in recommending books to each other. Ultimately, our intention is that children will read for pleasure and enjoyment. To foster this, we have a broad and purposeful reading enrichment programme, which inspires children to read.

Throughout their time at Abbey Gates, the children take part in a carefully planned, progressive and sequential reading curriculum, which follows the Early Learning Goals and the National Curriculum. Children in the Early Years and Key Stage One begin their journey of being successful readers by embarking on a carefully planned and consistent systematic synthetic phonics journey. As their skills progress, the focus shifts to developing fluency and prosody and comprehension skills. This is undertaken by taking part in reading lessons, which have varied structures, including both close and extended reading. Children are encouraged to articulate their understanding of the text by being asked questions which focus on their ability to explore the meaning of vocabulary, make inferences, predict what might happen next, explain the meaning of text, retrieve information from text and sequence and summarise events which they have read about. In addition to this, staff across school consistently model enthusiasm for reading and teachers use their ever-growing knowledge of children’s literature to carefully select high quality books to motivate children.


At Abbey Gates, the texts which teachers select as focus books for children in their class are compiled into a Reading Map, which ensures that children read a diverse and wide range of genres and books by a wealth of authors. Children take part in various reading focused activities and lessons throughout their timetable. This includes:

  • Fluency and prosody lessons – focusing on reading text aloud with good pace to equip children with the skills to comprehend effectively,
  • Close reading lessons – focusing on unpicking a small amount of text and answering comprehension-based questions,
  • Extended reading lessons – focusing on reading a longer amount of text and answering comprehension-based questions,
  • Shared reading – where the teacher models reading aloud to the class to develop and foster a love of reading,
  • Phonics lessons – to provide children with the vital foundations they need to become successful readers,
  • Independent reading – to give children time to read for pleasure and apply all of the reading skills which they have been taught,
  • Cross curricular reading – reading extracts and information to enhance foundation subjects,
  • Children reading their books, which have been carefully selected according to their phonetical content, to an adult,
  • Accelerated Reader – children in Key Stage 2 complete an initial star assessment which produces a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) code and a reading age. Children use their ZPD to choose an appropriate book and take part in a quiz on completion of a book to assess comprehension. Star assessments are then completed termly to monitor progress.

In addition to this, we have a number of reading enrichment initiatives, which aim to inspire children to read for pleasure. These include:

  • Visiting the Ravenshead library and choosing books to bring back to school,
  • Having inviting reading corners in classrooms and communal reading areas throughout school,
  • Visits to the school library, which is well stocked with books from the Books for Topics ‘50 recommended Reads’, to choose a book to take home and read for pleasure,
  • The masked reader – children are shown a video of a member of staff reading whilst wearing a mask, they must guess who the masked reader is,
  • Mystery reader – a parent or relative of a child comes into the classroom to read the class a story,
  • The Reading Café – the reading cafe is a termly event which celebrates children who have shown enthusiasm or made exceptional progress with their reading. The children are selected by their teacher to come to the reading café where they will read books and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit,
  • Reading ambassadors – each class has a reading ambassador, who has the important job of choosing books for their class reading area, recommending books to their peers, running a reading club at break times and celebrating children who have made progress or shown enthusiasm for reading during assemblies.


The vast majority of children enjoy reading books for pleasure which have been written by a range of authors and are of different genres. They understand that reading is a fantastic way to find out new information. They apply their phonetical skills to accurately decode and blend the graphemes in words to read them and, as they progress through school they are able to read with fluency and comprehend effectively to answer questions about what they have read. In 2019, 93% of children reached the expected standard in reading.