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West Oxford Primary

West Oxford Primary

01865 248862



Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We aim to instil in all our children a love of reading. We give them the very best start they can have, balancing learning to read with enjoyment of books and other texts.

We recognise the importance of reading and aim for all of our children to become confident independent readers with an excellent understanding of what they read.  We believe that reading ‘opens the door’ to learning, enabling children to access a wider curriculum. Children who read a lot will go on to become lifelong learners.

We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities, which will help them to:

  • Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
  • Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
  • Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
  • Read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject



In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, early reading is taught using a systematic and consistent approach to phonics. At West Oxford, we follow the Unlocking Letters and Sounds programme. Formative assessments are continuous and ongoing during phonics lessons and all children are assessed at the end of a phase to ensure progress is being made.

Year one children and those in year two who did not achieve the pass mark in year one, are assessed using a national phonics screening check. Children in year two who still need the support, have additional phonic teaching in order for them to achieve their retake of the phonic screening check.

Unlocking Letter and Sounds Reading books

In school, we have a range of fiction and non-fiction decodable reading books which are used throughout school to support children in learning to read. We take a combined approach to matching appropriate levels to the books children read, which focuses on not only their decodable ability with words, but also on a child’s ability to read fluently and fully understand the books they read.

Guided Reading

Children in Reception and Key Stage One enjoy weekly guided reading sessions and children in Key Stage Two enjoy guided reading activities three times a week. Each session provides opportunities for children to practice reading strategies using level-appropriate text, expanding their understanding and approach to reading. Across each term, children will engage with a range of fiction, non-fiction texts. There is a big emphasis within our school for children to have a wide language comprehension and a broad vocabulary development. These guided reading sessions focus on the various reading domains to fully explore and develop the children’s understanding of what they read.

Reading Environments

Each classroom has its own reading area or selection of books with a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction texts for children to experience. There are also books displayed within class, which link to class topics to encourage children to read information and engage in subjects they are learning about.

Reading for Pleasure

We believe that ‘reading for pleasure’ is at the heart of teaching children to read. Across the school children are exposed to a wide variety of reading opportunities e.g. they regularly visit the school library, enjoy reading outside during their lunch time, keep a record of book recommendations, buddy up with reading partners and listen to visiting authors. Teachers regularly read to the children and share quality books from a range of authors. Additionally, all of the children have access to the books in our school library, which they are encouraged to take home.

Special reading events are celebrated in school and during Book Week, children are engaged in a host of reading activities.

Early Years Foundation Stage

As soon as children start in our Nursery, we begin the teaching of Phase One Phonics and start to develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories and encouraging children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine.

This continues in Reception, where we also begin to teach children to decode (sound out words) and read independently. Children progress at their own pace and, at this early stage, they read regularly to an adult during literacy activities and while taking part in phonics and guided reading sessions. We also talk about the books that we share to develop very important early comprehension skills. To support their work in school, children take home reading books, picture books and core books to share at home.

(For more information about early reading please see ‘phonics and early reading’)

Key Stage One

Through a combination of modelled, shared, guided, individual and independent reading, as appropriate, children continue to enjoy their reading success and progress. They learn to understand, analyse and thoughtfully respond to a wider range of texts. Children continue to take books home to support them both in learning to read and reading for pleasure.

Key Stage Two

Children continue to take part in regular small group guided reading sessions with carefully chosen, high quality fiction and non-fiction texts. As our children become increasingly fluent with reading they have, by now, developed the reading skills and strategies to read both for pleasure and to support their work in all areas of the curriculum.

Parents and Carers

We understand that reading is important and that parents and carers have a vital role to play in helping children to enjoy and gain success in reading. Reading and sharing stories at home is one of the most important ways that parents can help their child to succeed. We encourage all parents to take the time to hear their children read and talk about the books with them. By showing children that reading is both important and enjoyable at home, this has a positive impact on the attitudes and beliefs and will instil in children the love of reading.


The impact of the reading emphasis and teaching will be…

  • High progress measures from a child’s initial reading ability
  • Year 1 Phonic Screening Check pass rates
  • High levels of comprehension and vocabulary development
  • High levels of engagement in the books children read
  • The ability to read across a range of subjects
  • A fostering of reading for pleasure

For reading recommendations for children in all year groups follow the link;


Core Books in the EYFS

We have chosen a selection of ‘core books’ for the Nursery and Reception classes. We want our children to know these books well by the time they leave each class. These books are the type of books that can be re-visited again and again, on different levels to support language development. The idea is that children will develop language and increase vocabulary in addition to gaining a love of books and will become very familiar with these known texts so that they can remember and re-tell them. We have chosen fun, repetitive books, which are easy for the children to join in with, so that the experience of reading becomes interactive and the children begin to learn the story as they are read to. In each book there is lots to discuss so that the children understand the vocabulary as well as what is happening.

All of our core books have pictures, which support the text but also compliment and add to it. We discuss the pictures and what is happening in them as much as the text. We find our children learn the books word for word after a while, which can give them great confidence as early readers in terms of fluency when reading.

Our core books for each class are; 

EYFS Core Books


Useful links

Active learn primary

Book Trust

Love Reading

Oxford Owl


Phonics Play

Read for my school

Literacy Trust