Reading at Northburn

Research shows reading is the most important skill to enable success across the curriculum.  Reading is at the heart of our Northburn curriculum.


We understand how important reading is in a child’s learning and we are committed to improving the English skills of all our pupils. Raising the profile of reading and encouraging reading for pleasure is so important in the development of these skills. Staff share a variety of classic and modern books; children’s picture books and non-fiction texts to encourage early engagement and a love of reading. To develop this, the teaching of phonics is introduced in Nursery, continuing daily throughout Reception and Key Stage 1 with Read, Write Inc. 

Reception/Key Stage 1


We use books from 'Read Write Inc' in phonic sessions until children are confident and secure with their phonological knowledge. Children use the books daily in school and also have access to the books and fun quizzes through the 'Oxford Owl' website.  In addition, the website has access to many online books for free reading.  As the Read Write Inc. books are tailored to the child's ability, we would expect each child to be able to decode the majority of their Read Write Inc' book, ensuring early success in reading.  All children will benefit from reading aloud regularly to family members.  When we are confident that a child is secure with phonics and can read with accuracy, fluency, expression and understanding then they can begin our Accelerated Reader reading programme.


Key Stage 2


All children in Key Stage 2 use Accelerated Reader.  Accelerated Reader is a computer programme that helps teachers manage and monitor children's independent reading practice.  Each child receives a book matched to their reading level.  When completed, each child takes a short quiz on the computer and passing the quiz is a good indicator that the reader has understood what was read.  School staff help each child by providing books at an appropriate level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that each child can pass the quiz and experience reading success. 


Accelerated Reader assessments are carried out each half term so that there are regular opportunities to move onto harder texts.  We find that as Accelerated Reader books are at the child's reading and interest levels, they are very likely to experience success. This tends to be a great motivator and best of all, they learn and develop at their own pace.  We devote 20 minutes of each school day to Accelerated Reader as research suggests that this will see the greatest gains in comprehension success and therefore progress in the Accelerated Reader system.  We encourage all pupils to read regularly at home to further support and develop their reading.  


Reading throughout Northburn


We encourage the importance of structuring the teaching of reading appropriately throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2, recognising the distinction between learning to read and reading to learn.    When reading in school, an emphasis is placed on both word-reading and comprehension, ensuring the children develop competency in reading. 


Some pupils may undertake specific intervention programmes if they experience difficulties with reading or phonological skills.


Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. We encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in; to establish an appreciation and love of reading; and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.


Northburn Library


All Northburn pupils visit our school and class libraries regularly to pick a book for pleasure.  They may need help to read a book they have picked which is absolutely fine and nobody at Northburn is too old to enjoy a good bedtime story! Our aim with our Northburn library is to find a book / author / genre that every reader loves.  Our library has a suggestion box for books that you would like to see on our shelves.  


We have opened 'Book Club' in our Key Stage 2 library during lunchtimes. This is part of our OPAL provision and pupils can come to read independently, research authors or read books to other children. When attending, children can add a reading raffle ticket to a pot. Children can earn reading raffle tickets for their reading and the winning house each week automatically receive a ticket to go into the draw. The winner of the the EY/KS1 reading raffle and the KS2 reading raffle will receive a book voucher at the end of each half term. 


At Northburn Primary School, we are passionate about the importance of reading, both as a skill in its own right and as means for accessing our entire school curriculum. We aim to support all children to achieve their potential.