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Jesse Gray Primary School

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Reading is at the heart of our curriculum at Jesse Gray. Not only do we want all our children to be functioning readers who can access the whole curriculum, we also want them to love reading and become readers for life.  

By the end of year 6 we want our children to be able to read fluently, with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. 

We know that reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious minds. We therefore actively promote reading for pleasure so that our children have an experience of a wide range of texts and have a positive attitude to reading.

Reading For Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is at the heart of our Reading Curriculum and we pride ourselves on being reading teachers. We know that a teacher with a rich, up to date understanding of children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, is far more skilled at recommending the right book to the right child. We ensure that all children love reading by taking the time to know them as people and as readers. By marrying their interests with their reading level, we are able to select the best book for them and we know that it only takes one book to hook a child into becoming a reader. We are strong believers that there is no such thing as a reluctant reader, only a child who has not yet found the right book. Our joint mission is to ensure every child finds that book.

To ensure our children have the best diet possible when it comes to reading, our talented librarians, children in Year 6, help the subject leader to select the texts that they believe should adorn our shelves. This, paired with our teachers’ well established knowledge of rich texts, has ensured that we have invested in the best texts to fill our library and classroom bookshelves.


The Reading Journey at Jesse Gray

Foundation Stage

Our children’s reading journey begins in Foundation Stage 2, where the enjoyment of texts is the heart of the curriculum. They begin their love of reading through experiencing a wide variety of new books that have been carefully selected to engage and inspire them.

From their very first day in Foundation Stage, the children engage in systematic, synthetic daily phonics sessions that explicitly teach the children how to decode and blend sounds.  

Please see our phonics page for more information on our phonics programme.

All children begin with frequent 1:1 reading sessions with their teacher who is able to gain a thorough assessment of them. Reading skills are then explicitly taught through daily English lessons.

Phonics books are sent home every week. We ensure that the books match the sounds that your child is being taught so that they are able to practice this at home.

Key Stage One

In Key Stage One, the children continue to engage with daily phonics sessions that teach and embed phonic skills. These skills help children to become fluent readers who can decode and blend sounds.

In Year 1 we continue to send home phonics books that match the sounds that your child understands. From Year 2, once we are confident that your child can read fluently, we will move them on to our Accelerated Reader scheme. Please read our section about Accelerated reader for more information on this. 

Throughout Key Stage One your child’s teacher or a teaching assistant will hear them read on a weekly basis to check that they are on the right level of book and that they have been reading frequently at home.

Whole Class Reading- Year 1-Year 6

We explicitly teach comprehension skills through our whole class reading approach. Every half term children in Key stage one focus on two selected texts, whilst in Key Stage Two they focus on one longer text. Prior to studying these books, book warmers are sent home to parents. These book warmers are filled with key vocabulary and background knowledge that we believe will help every child to access the new texts. 

The texts we have chosen follow our bespoke reading progression map which has been designed by our English subject leader. It has been designed to ensure that every year group has a rich and diverse range of texts. These include archaic texts, modern day fiction, inspiring non-fiction and picture books as well as books that provide access to different cultures and backgrounds and reflect the rich community of our school.

By teaching in a whole class forum, all children have access to the richness of talk from all of their peers, therefore improving their depth of understanding and ensuring that there is no glass ceiling to their progress. We teach the skills that they need, based on our progression map, and adapt our teaching based on the assessments we make. Children are then set differentiated tasks to embed their understanding of the reading skill taught. 


Our children are all assessed formatively using our SONAR system to ensure all children are achieving our objectives. We use termly summative assessments (STAR reading assessments) to ensure all children are on track and use these to confirm our teacher assessments. The subject leader can then see whole school trends and base future CPD needs on this.

We use Accelerated Reader and each child knows their own ZPD (an accurate reading level). They use this to independently select their own texts from our Accelerated Reader library. Once they finish reading their chosen text they take the accelerated reader quiz. Teachers can see how well they do on these quizzes and use this data to help them select the next best text for them. Please see the Accelerated Reader part of our website for more details.


The subject leader ensures that all staff are up to date on the best new books, and the best new research, when it comes to texts and reading pedagogy. Every teacher has had high quality CPD, delivered by the subject lead, through team teaching, where we have focussed on how to engage the children with texts and how to explicitly teach inference skills. Learning walks take place, alongside planning and book scrutiny to ensure that the children are receiving top quality education.