020 8556 0103     school@downsellprimary.waltham.sch.uk     Downsell Road, Leyton, London, E15 2BS  



16 Feb 2024

Reading Curriculum

Curriculum overview
At Downsell Primary School, we understand that Reading is the foundation of children’s learning, so we strive to ensure our pupils have the opportunity to not only read in a variety of lessons but to read and listen to stories for pleasure.
We promote the love of reading and reading for pleasure through a variety of ways such as:

  • school visits by authors
  • class were previously named after authors 
  • an inviting library space
  • reading leaders in school
  • dedicated story time on all class timetables

Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at Downsell Primary School. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers, supporting both academic reading expectations and a love of reading.
Our reading curriculum aim is to ensure that there is clear progression across the school and a coverage of age expected expectations for all children. We aim high for all our pupils and the reading learning intentions are pitched in line with the National Curriculum, with the teachers providing scaffolding and guided focus group work to ensure all of our learners are able to have access to and achieve the learning intention.
Our reading curriculum runs alongside topic areas, where possible. This is to enable children to embed a deeper understanding of a topic while developing their understanding that reading goes alongside many areas of the curriculum and wider world.
We intend for all of our pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction, making links with other areas. Children in each year group from Year 1 – Year 6 will have the opportunity to take part in reading lessons with a text based focus each half term, for both fiction and non-fiction, accessing high quality and engaging texts.  This means that children will have access to and explicit teacher guidance for at least seventy-two reading books, across their time at Downsell. 

Reading takes part in many areas of the curriculum. However, it is explicitly taught through daily Reading lessons. During these lessons they are exposed to a range of reading texts and with teacher support work at unpicking the text in terms of the skills needed within reading.
All sessions are interactive and teachers facilitate speaking and listening opportunities, with children working hard individually. Passive learning is minimised and engagement promoted through regular use of think-pair-share, responses on mini-whiteboards and collaborative tasks.
High quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of children, and teachers use this to model the application of the agreed reading skills. Children are taught to notice breakdown in reading - identifying words/phrases they don’t understand and strategies to fix breakdown in meaning. Children are taught to relate the text to themselves, previous reading experiences and the world around them.
Further to modelled sessions, children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the wide range of domain questions. More complex questions are evaluated between wider groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard.

Utilising the cross – curricular learning, rich reading opportunities are provided across the curriculum, exposing children to a wide range of quality texts providing context to learning.
At Downsell Primary we believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. Levelled titles from PM Benchmark and Reading Pro schemes are used for home-reading to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genres that the children are engaged with but also pitched at the appropriate level.
Reading is also promoted through our dedicated slot on the timetable for story time. This is an opportunity for children to listen to an adult model read a text for pleasure. 

By the time children leave Downsell they will be readers.
Our curriculum and interventions ensure that all children, from their starting points, make progress, whether this be individualised progress or progress related to age expectations. They will leave school as a reader, who is able to recall books that they have studied and confidently discuss aspects of that book. They will have a deepening knowledge of topic areas due to the links made with their reading text.
Through the promotion of reading outside of the reading lesson, we hope our children will develop a love of reading and be confident in accessing a range of genres including poetry, as well as participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.
In addition to this, parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to reading records.

The following link takes you to the overview of texts read from Years 1 - 6:

Books Overview.pdf  

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