Approach to Reading



We pride ourselves on Crookesbroom being a reading school and therefore it has a very high priority in school. Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader.  A good reader will be able to read more challenging material.  A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn.  The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

We have just refurbished our library and invested in over £20000’s worth of books. Our philosophy is that no child should leave our school without being able to read.

We award children who read at home with ‘regular reading’ awards. They are recognised half-termly in our certificate assemblies with special prizes and everywhere around school you will see encouragement for reading.


We like to encourage a passion for learning early on in a child’s development and have introduced the Dolly Parton Imagination library to our foundation children. This scheme provides every child with a quality book a month until their fifth birthday.


Approaches to the Teaching of Reading



At Crookesbroom Primary we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy.  RWI is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read.  It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

When using RWI to read, the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

From F1 the children will use ‘squiggle whilst you wiggle’ during RWI to ensure all children are writing all letters correctly.

Common exception words are now a big focus within our RWI lessons and we practise reading and writing 3 new common exception words per day.

During RWI for KS1 classes, teachers share a story with the children at the end of the lesson and ask ‘VIPERS’ questions linked to the text. This is to improve comprehension skills plus reading stamina.


Below is a link to a video clip which shows the programme in action and explains everything, especially ‘Fred talk’!

Below is further information on how you can support at home and most importantly a useful guide on how to pronounce each sound!

Please also look at the Oxford Reading Owl on

                           This scheme continues throughout school until the child is a confident reader.


Whole Class Reading


As an academy we have recently introduced a whole class approach to reading. We aim to improve the comprehension skills of the children by using a range of high quality texts, images, picture books and film. 

The sessions are then based around ‘Vipers’ - a range of reading prompts based on the 2016 reading content domains found in the National Curriculum Test Framework documents which can be found online here:

Vipers heading Content Domain


Vipers heading

Content domain reference

Content domain description



Give/explain the meaning of   words in context



Make inference from the text/   explain and justify

using evidence from the text.




Predict what might happen from the   details

stated and implied.


2f, 2g,2h

Identify/explain how   information/narrative

content is related and contributes   to the

meaning as a whole.




Retrieve and record key   information/key details

from fiction and non-fiction




Summarise main ideas from more than   one


In each class all of the children are seated in mixed-ability pairs, so as to allow for frequent, paired discussion. This is important as it is essential that less confident readers are exposed to the high-quality reasoning of more confident readers and become part of these discussions.

A wide range of stimuli are used in order to maintain the children’s interest and to develop their comprehension skills. When using a text, it will provide a clear challenge for all members of the class.


A typical timetable for a week looks like this:

Monday: Extract from a fiction book or a short story
Tuesday: Non-fiction linked to Monday
Wednesday: Poem or song linked to the same theme as Monday and Tuesday
Thursday: Another fiction extract, with a theme similar to Monday’s or by the same author as Monday’s, so as to compare authorial style.
Friday: Picture stimulus and short writing assessment task.

The teachers actively monitor the pace of the session, so as to ensure high levels of engagement throughout the lesson. Reading and listening to reading for long periods of time can be mentally taxing for some children. Therefore longer stints of reading are interspersed with paired discussions/independent follow-up tasks to help with this.

Written Responses

Each session includes time for children to answer questions independently. They provide written responses in their reading book which are then used for daily assessment. We expect the children to answer questions in-depth, using evidence from the text to support, explain and justify their responses.

Teachers also plan regular reading comprehension tests to apply the skills they have learned. These are used as further evidence to inform assessments.

Story Time

At our school, the teachers choose and share quality texts with the children every day. One of the aims of this is to foster a love of reading and turn the children into life-long readers. Another reason we do this is children will pick up good reading styles from the teachers’ performances. Eventually, they will start to emulate you in their own performances. Therefore when reading aloud, all adults will model the good use of intonation, movement, volume and expression. In addition, children’s vocabulary is developed through hearing and investigating interesting words in the stories and then applying them to their own learning.