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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” - Dr. Seuss

The member of staff responsible for Early Reading is Mrs Batchelor and Whole School Reading is Mrs Jones.


How Dovecotes Primary School’s Reading Curriculum Promotes Our Core Values:


Be Ambitious - We expose our children to a wide variety of high-quality texts written by the best authors and encourage them to move through the school reading scheme swiftly and access a wide range of books that challenge them.


Be Kind - Reading is exploited as a means to develop emotional literacy and enhance pupil’s awareness of emotions. It is used to encourage empathy by providing language to express and understand character’s actions, feelings and motives. We provide a ‘book rich’ environment and ensure that the books which form part of our curriculum expose pupils to a diverse cross section of literature – fiction, non-fiction and poetry – so that they gain an appreciation of different cultures and ways of life to their own.


Be Honest – Reading allows pupils the opportunity to respectfully debate and consider how characters should behave when faced with moral and social dilemmas.


Be Brave - We encourage pupils to read to an audience confidently, clearly and with expression.


Be Creative - We want pupils to understand how being an author helps them to express themselves imaginatively.


Be Healthy - We want pupils to recognise how reading is a positive way to relax, unwind and improve their wellbeing.


Intent – What Do We Aspire For Our Children? 


At Dovecotes Primary School we believe that Reading is the heart of our curriculum. Reading enables pupils to access other subjects and ultimately, if pupils are not able to read effectively, it impacts upon their life chances.


We give pupils the building blocks to be able to read effectively using synthetic phonics. At the early stages of reading, we want children to develop their ability to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed and to teach them how to read with expression and confidence. Once children have mastered the phonic code, we aim to teach them a range of comprehension skills to be able to really understand the meaning of a text.


It is important that our pupils develop a life-long love of reading and see reading as a means to entertain themselves as well as acquire knowledge. Many of our children speak English as an additional language, or join us with low levels of literacy, so we use reading as a way to acquire new vocabulary.


By the end of their times at Dovecotes, we want all pupils to be able to read fluently and to comprehend effectively so that they can move forward successfully in the next stage of their learning journey.


By the end of Early Years children will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling and re-enacting stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;

  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;

  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, songs, rhymes and poems and during role-play;

  • Read all set 1 sounds and know some set 2 sounds;

  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;

  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are also consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.


By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:

  • Be able to read age-appropriate texts accurately, with increased fluency and know all set 1, 2 and 3 sounds;

  • Read without overt sounding and blending;

  • Read most common exception words;

  • Answer questions and be able to make predictions and summaries from a text;

  • Make inferences based on what is said and done.


By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:

  • Read age-appropriate texts with confidence and fluency;

  • Draw inferences about characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives;

  • Make plausible predictions and summaries;

  • Comment upon a writer’s choice of language and explain the effect of vocabulary on the reader;

  • Make reasoned justifications for their views using the text to support their opinions.


Implementation – How Will We Deliver The Curriculum? 


At Dovecotes Primary we teach phonics using Ruth Miskin’s Read Write Inc. programme (RWI). We begin teaching phonics in Nursery where children focus on developing careful and accurate listening skills. We have fun with ‘Fred talk’ and ‘Fred games’. The children learn the silent signals and reading behaviour strategies to ensure a successful start. Children go on to learn the rhymes and picture cards that RWI uses to support children’s understanding of Set 1 sounds. Our Early Years children are surrounded by a language rich and stimulating environment. At Dovecotes, we believe that building upon vocabulary and using rich language in conversation daily with our children, helps to create a confident reader. 

The phonics programme continues in Reception and into Key Stage 1. We begin by teaching the children to say and recognise the letters that represent the most common sounds and show them how to 'blend' these sounds together to make words. Reception begins with teaching all the Set 1 sounds and initial blending of CVC and CCVC words. Then we introduce ‘special friends’ and teach children how to blend with diagraphs. Parents are invited into school for workshops where they learn the RWI rhymes and phrases and how to support their children with reading. Links to the Virtual Classroom for RWI are also sent home so parents have the chance to practice the sounds at home with their children.

Children continue with phonics in Year 1. Phonics Screening check results remain strong each year and remain above national average. Children are assessed every six weeks by our Early Reading Leader and grouped according to their ability. Once children complete the programme in Year 2, they begin specific reading lessons where DERRIC (decode, explain, retrieve, review, infer, choice) comprehension skills are taught. However, phonics teaching remains a distinct part of all reading lessons from Year 2 onwards and throughout Key Stage 2, so that children retain taught strategies to decode unfamiliar words and comprehend effectively across a wide variety of text types. 

In Reception and Key Stage 1, children take practice words or a RWI book bag book home once they are able to decode words. This is a book that is phonetically decodable at their level and matches their reading ability. Alongside this, they take home a ‘book to love and share’. This book is for parents and children to enjoy together to ensure a love of reading is promoted. In Key Stage 2, children are given the opportunity to change their own books within their reading band. Once they have completed all reading book band levels they become a ‘free reader’ meaning that they can choose from any book in the school library. We encourage parents and families to listen to children read at home as much as possible to encourage and support them in their reading journeys. Children are rewarded for regularly reading at home and are given stickers, prizes and certificates.


We have recently introduced a new approach to whole class reading called ‘Reading Escape’. The children hear a story carefully selected based on their interests; they also listen to stories with social/moral/cultural messages as well as stories with rhyme, stories in which our children can identify themselves and non-fiction texts. Children hear the same text each week in Key Stage 1; this creates an opportunity for those children in RWI to have exposure to a text that develops their comprehension skills. We discuss text retrieval, participate in discussions about vocabulary and use a mixture of choral and echo reading to promote higher-level reading skills, such as prosody and intonation. In Key Stage 2, classes complete a whole book in their ‘Reading Escape’ sessions before moving onto the next. Children show great enthusiasm in these reading sessions; the texts are also displayed in each class to allow children to discuss them with peers and other adults in school.


Our school libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of books. They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction texts to support every ability and reading choice and encompass the latest reading trends and classic texts that should be part of every child’s primary school experience - building the children’s cultural capital. In Key Stage 1, each class visits the library regularly for a slot where they can spend quality time exploring the new texts and new library. They are also provided with the opportunity to visit the library at lunchtimes, three times a week, for calm zone. ​And, at the end of lunchtime each day, as part of our Pupil Leadership Teams, a selection of children in Year 6 are given the responsibility of being Reading Buddies and read with our younger children. Our Reading Buddies are children who love to read and want to share this passion with our younger children at Dovecotes to inspire them to love reading too.

Dovecotes Primary School Class Texts

Year 1

  • Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne

  • Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

  • Ruby’s Worry and Ravi’s Roar by Tom Percival

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

  • Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson

Year 1/2

  • Handa’s Hen by Eileen Browne

  • Whatever Next by Jill Murphy

  • Perfectly Norman and Meesha Makes New Friends by Tom Percival

  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

  • Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

  • Snail on the Whale by Julia Donaldson

Year 2

  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

  • Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

  • Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley

  • The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson

  • The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens



  • Cycle A

    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

    • Gerry’s Game (Literacy Shed)

    • The Silence Seeker by Ben Morley

    • The Present (Literacy Shed)

    • The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

    • The Dream Giver (Literacy Shed)

  • Cycle B

    • The Wolves in the Walls by Dave Mckean

    • Wing (Literacy Shed)

    • Matilda by Roald Dahl

    • Snack Attack (Literacy Shed)

    • Gangster Granny by David Walliams

    • La Luna (Literacy Shed)


  • Cycle A

    • Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

    • Little Freak (Literacy Shed)

    • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

    • The Giant’s Necklace by Michael Morpurgo

    • The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

    • Pandora/Rock Paper Scissors

    • (Literacy Shed)

  • Cycle B

    • Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian

    • Francis (Literacy Shed)

    • Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

    • Titanium (Music Video)

    • The Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen

    • Alma (Literacy Shed)

Impact - How Do We Know Our Reading Curriculum Is Effective? 


Pupil Voice


We constantly talk to children to find out what books they enjoy reading. School council also ask their classmates which books they would like the school to purchase for our school libraries.




We assess children’s reading in a number of ways (Salford tests, half termly Read Write Inc assessments, practise SATS papers etc). In addition, evidence from daily whole class Reading sessions is used to formatively assess children in order to identify gaps and plan subsequent lessons.  


For further information about the Reading curriculum please contact Mrs. Jones or Mrs Batchelor, our subject leads, through the school email address.

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