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Ashmead School

Ashmead provides its children with two everlasting things, one is roots, the other wings.





At Ashmead school, we intend for our readers to become fluent and confident when leaving primary education, maintaining a passion for reading and having a love of a wide range of literature. Reading is a key driver within our curriculum and enables pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We foster a love of reading where pupils develop the habit of reading widely and often for pleasure, feeding their imaginations and opening up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds, and to acquire knowledge and information to build on what they already know across the curriculum. We aim to develop both word-reading and comprehension. Robust and progressive teaching of Phonics will develop pupils’ confidence and competence with word reading and decoding to ensure the speedy recognition of words and arm them with strong foundations for reading from which to build. Comprehension skills are developed through high-quality discussions and draws from linguistic knowledge and knowledge of the world. Pupils will develop a rich vocabulary, knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live and have an appreciation for our rich and varied literary heritage.



Pupils are provided with ample opportunities to develop their love of reading, and reading skills, across the curriculum on a daily basis within taught reading sessions and through class novels.

The effective systematic teaching of Phonics has high priority throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1, and is taught daily through the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme to all pupils in EYFS, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not yet passed the Phonics Screen Check. This ensures pupils build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code and are able to master Phonics to read and spell as they move through school. Reading is taught through a ‘Reading Squad’ approach where teachers plan and resource for a team of adults to deliver guided reading sessions daily. Within Key Stage Two, where appropriate, timely intervention is planned for those pupils who are working below expected levels, as soon as needs are identified. Reading books are closely matched to the abilities of all pupils, including those who are developing phonic knowledge.

From Year 2, all pupils take part in five reading lessons per week, which teach a variety of comprehension skills through a wide range of carefully chosen texts. Scheduled ‘Book Club’ sessions, where pupils and teachers participate in high quality discussions, share personal recommendations and celebrate themes, characters, plots and stories, also happen on a weekly basis. Pupils are encouraged to try new authors and expand their choices. Teachers regularly read with pupils enabling pupils to get to know and love a variety of stories, poetry and information books.


As pupils’ phonic knowledge is embedded, the range of books that pupils can read independently expands rapidly. Texts which develop vocabulary, and the breadth and depth of their reading, are available. See Reading at Home section for further information.

Engaging learning environments are equipped with a wide range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts which celebrate classic and current literature, and represent equality and diversity both in content and by author, while considering Cultural Capital. Each overarching curriculum theme is also supported by a wide range of texts.

Pupils are also provided with a list of suggested texts to read at each year of their primary education, and these are accessible within their classroom libraries. Additionally, the Ashmead ‘Book Nook’ acts as a lending library for pupils to borrow and exchange books on a regular basis and promote a love of reading at home.

Ashmead celebrates World Book Day annually across the school, where the focus of the day’s activities centres around reading for pleasure. Author visits are also planned into the curriculum, further inspiring pupils and igniting their imagination.


We have a strong focus on language development for our pupils because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. Within classes, pupils have the opportunity to work independently, but are also given the opportunity to work within a range of different groupings, as per the Oracy Voice21 project pupil groupings, to support the reading process, e.g. learning from each other, respectfully receiving feedback on learning, acting as a knowledgeable other, rehearsing and preparing their ideas, and exploring misconceptions. Pupils are also taught the conventions for talk (through the developing use of Talk Tactics) to support discussions and debates, allowing pupils to elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas, as well as giving them the confidence to formally present.


Ashmead aims to develop language and vocabulary through in-depth book discussions on a range of quality texts and debates, as well as through reading a wide variety of increasingly complex texts. Environments across the school build upon prior knowledge, continually developing quality talk and discussion, and allow pupils to become “word rich”.


Our intention is that pupils will develop a love of reading during their journey through the school. Driven not just by the long-term benefits of reading (academic success, knowledge of the world, emotional well-being) but in the knowledge that if we implement a nurturing, engaging and inquisitive environment, pupils will discover the intrinsic value in reading, in that moment. Ashmead believes that in creating this environment, we will naturally create curious minds, ready to reap the benefits that the literary world has to offer.



Pupils leave Ashmead School with a love of reading. They are well prepared for the next stage of their schooling, and able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


Pupil outcomes are monitored by: work-sampling, pupil voice interviews, listening and learning explorations, drop-in sessions, moderations and within team and staff meetings. The reading lead identifies clear next steps to assess impact and inform the School Development Plan, which are determined by a cycle of monitoring, evaluating and reviewing. Pupil progress is carefully monitored to ensure pupils are prepared for the next stage of their education and ready for life in the wider world.

Our values: Reading


To achieve our vision, our practice is underpinned by the following values:



We aim for all pupils to communicate confidently and effectively through the spoken and written word.

  • High quality book talk: At Ashmead, we provide our pupils with opportunities across the curriculum for high quality book talk. This can be teacher or peer led; through debates, discussions and across curriculum lessons. Texts are chosen for their richness in vocabulary, as well as their diversity, and we encourage reading for pleasure; always prioritising increasingly complex texts.
  • Performances: Through the progression of the National Curriculum, performances of compositions, playscripts and poetry all occur throughout the classroom. Pupils develop intonation, tone and volume to express themselves and their character.
  • Justifying: Using skills such as referring to the text, justifying their answer and using evidence to formulate ideas in the spoken and written word.



We aim for all pupils to have respect for themselves, others and the world in which we live.

  • Books and Library Spaces: Book monitors, classroom monitors and library spaces are looked after; with teachers setting expectations for nurture and care for our books. Classroom libraries are established and teacher displays show the progression of reading throughout the year.
  • Listening: Story time, 1:1 reading and the sharing of ideas is firmly routed in respect. At Ashmead, we respect that all readers are at different stages and should celebrated for being brave to read new words, be different characters and share stories.
  • Diversity: Diversity is celebrated throughout the school, with pupils encouraged to expand on their reading or author choices by looking at new texts suggested by the teacher, ‘Books to read before’, or listening to peer recommendations.



We aim for all pupils to engage in opportunities for learning to gain knowledge and understanding.

  • Planning for Phonics and Early Reading: At Ashmead, we use phonics to teach early reading backed up by our assessment and interventions where necessary. We have a comprehensive plan to ensure that early reading and phonics interventions can be accessed by all students who need it.
  • A Focus on Quality Texts: We provide access to a wide range of age-appropriate high-quality texts (increasingly complex texts), including both fiction and non-fiction. Our teachers are knowledgeable about literature and use their expertise to help pupils choose texts that match their interests and reading comprehension levels.




We aim for all pupils to challenge themselves, showing the belief and the resilience to succeed.

  • Regular Assessment and Adaptive Teaching: Our teachers regularly assess pupils' reading comprehension and adapt the teaching and learning to ensure all pupils can access the curriculum. We use a range of assessment tools to identify strengths and weaknesses and use the outcomes to tailor our teaching.



We aim for all pupils to recognise and appreciate the value of achievement through collaboration.

  • Collaboration: Working together on playscripts, performances and debates is a key part of our progression and learning.
  • Peer Assessment: The sharing of thoughts and ideas and providing feedback to others is integral part of reading.




We aim for all pupils to enjoy their learning and wider experiences.

  • A Rich and Varied Curriculum: We have a curriculum that is enriched with reading opportunities in all subjects. We provide regular opportunities for pupils to read in all areas of the curriculum and we encourage pupils to read at home.
  • Developing Reading for Pleasure: We have developed and nurtured a culture around reading; our school provides quality events and opportunities for pupils to get involved in reading beyond the classroom such as World Book Day, story time, Book Club, ‘Books to Read Before’, and our school reading awards. We celebrate and reward pupils for their achievements in reading.