• Reading

Mrs Orrin & Miss Lansdowne

Reading Subject Lead


Our curriculum starts in the Early Years and progresses sequentially through to Year Six. In every lesson we focus on threshold concepts that ties the ambitious body of knowledge together with the characteristics children are developing.

These essential characteristics of mastery in reading are:

  • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
  • An excellent comprehension of texts.
  • The motivation to read for both study and pleasure.
  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts

In reading, the threshold concepts are:

  • Read words accurately - This concept involves decoding and fluency.
  • Understand texts - This concept involves understanding both the literal and more subtle nuances of texts.

Threshold concepts are taught repeatedly throughout the curriculum, linking learning into meaningful and rich semantic schemas

It is our vision to inspire a lifelong love of reading within our pupils. Reading has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

At Gorseland Primary School, we see the importance of reading as an integral tool to expand the life opportunities of our children. This ensures that we develop individuals who can purposefully communicate and express themselves with confidence through creative and explorative learning sequences that encourage the development of reading skills alongside a love for reading.

We acknowledge that reading supports our children to review, retain and process information, making connections through their education.

Our reading curriculum is driven by our desire to improve the children’s awareness of diversity, managing the environment and a love of the arts.

Therefore, at Gorseland, our aims are to ensure children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.

Our curriculum maps are carefully crafted and available in school. The curriculum content is available on our website.


Reading begins where the children begin: in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We maintain a high level of subject knowledge of reading in our school by regular training and professional development for teachers and subject leaders. Teachers create a positive attitude to reading learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in reading.

We have an extensive collection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts in our Accelerated Reader collection and school library, which the children visit regularly. In addition, each year group has multiple copies of Pie Corbett’s ‘Spine Books’ for use in reading lessons or as a class reader. Teachers read aloud regularly to their classes with Year 2 upward using chapter books and EYFS/Year 1 reading a number of picture books throughout the day. Books are also used as hooks into foundation subject learning.


For pupils who have special educational needs, with support for tailored plans from the SENCO and SSC Deputy, full access to the full curriculum is given, linked to their specific needs.


For pupils who are disadvantaged in any way, or in receipt of pupil premium, teachers and coaches work together to ensure that the full curriculum can be accessed.

Most Able Pupils

Coaching meetings are used to discuss and build tailored learning opportunities for this group.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

EAL children at Gorseland are thoroughly supported through tailored plans set during coaching meetings, building skills to access our curriculum and engage and learn from others.


Teacher’s assess children’s understanding of texts and reading in a number of ways:

1:1 Reading Conferences

Every two weeks, the children have the opportunity to read their school reading book to their class teacher. Teachers can gauge a child’s interest and understanding of their book, identify whether it is at the right level for the child and, most importantly, discuss the book, make connections to other books/authors and recommend other texts that the children may enjoy. This helps to support each child’s reading skill and will. In addition, conferences provide a positive way of addressing individual misconceptions as well as a vital opportunity for teachers to verbally model and facilitate effective reading fluency including prosodic features (intonation, expression, pitch, volume, tempo, rhythm and the use of pause).

Daily Reading Lessons (45 minutes)

We are moving from guided reading carousels to whole class teaching of reading in Years 1-6. This will entail daily 45 minute reading lessons delivered by the teacher that are focused on the six VIPERS skills: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summary. Children will look at extracts from a range of genres in classic and modern fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each week, a passage will be explored through the lens of each VIPERS skill, with vocabulary taught in context every day. During these lessons, teachers will hear children read aloud (whether to the class or directly to the teacher).Assessment for learning will happen ‘live’ to ensure misconceptions are addressed in a timely way and competency in skills is identified for every child over time. Greater depth pupils will be stretched during these lessons and personalised feedback can be given to individual children to enable progress. Teachers will be using the ‘Assessing Reading 2018-19 Framework’ from Chris Quigley Education as a means of planning and assessing against ‘Key Milestone Indicators’.

Termly Reading Assessment

At the end of each term, children undertake a PIRA reading assessment paper. Scores aid teachers in their judgements but teacher assessment prevails. These scores are recorded in tracking spreadsheets so that progress over time can be monitored and gaps addressed. Teachers use this data to address whole class, group or individual areas of weakness in the whole class reading lessons and 1:1 conferences (where appropriate).

The successful approach at Gorseland results in an engaging, high-quality reading education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. EYFS engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them.

Frequent, continuous and progressive learning is embedded throughout the reading curriculum. Through World Book Day, Travelling Book Fair events and author visits, children are immersed in a culture of reading where reading is valued and promoted as a life-long tool that will unlock opportunities for every 3 child. Representation of different groups is considered so that every child, whatever background, can identify with books and be provided with positive role models. We know that a child’s reading ability influences their overall attainment in school and also their life opportunities as they grow up. Therefore, we have sought to provide a diverse, broad and robust reading curriculum that enables every child to reach their fullest potential in the skills of reading and, importantly, the will to read.

At Gorseland, children are immersed in reading through the following opportunities:

  • Regular reading and discussion of class books by teachers
  • Regular opportunities to read age and level-appropriate books independently, to an adult and with peers
  • Weekly access to our extensive library collection
  • Fortnightly 1:1 reading conference with the class teacher
  • Stories in assemblies
  • Termly book fair visits
  • Annual World Book Day celebration

Gorseland Primary School

Deben Avenue, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, IP5 3QR            Phone: 01473 623790            Email: office@gorseland.net