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Reading at Hetton Primary School 


Reading is the key to success and being the best that you can be. It enables us to achieve great things while also providing an environment to relax, imagine and enjoy. 


At Hetton Primary School, we read every day. Our soft start enables us to read for enjoyment at our own level: 

  • Our youngest children pick up familiar stories to read and re-read, building up the vocabulary and language skills that are the foundations of reading and learning. 

  • All of our staff are skilled at introducing vocabulary that will extend children’s understanding – not only of what they read, but the world around them and the interests they demonstrate. 

  • Accelerated Reader enables us to test our reading comprehension by quizzing after every book that we read. 


Our children get off to a flying start to reading through the RWI programme, working in small groups at least 4 times a week. All the texts they read independently are phonically decodable at the level they are at. When children are able, they will access RWI Book Bag Books to take home and impress their grown-ups with their super skills. We also realise the importance of sharing stories, so children will also select a high-quality text to take home. Even our youngest children will bring home a bedtime story bag – the best way to develop a love of reading is to snuggle up together to share a story. 


When children are ready, they will move onto our Accelerated Reader programme where they will choose from a wide range of texts (all matched to their Star Reader Assessment). Star Reading tests are repeated every half term to track progress and ensure that all children are reading at the appropriate level for their ability. After every text, children take a quiz that checks their understanding of what they have read. 


In addition to this, children who have completed the phonics programme access a daily whole class, discrete reading session. During this time, they will look at extracts from fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playscripts and song lyrics to develop their reading range whilst maintaining their enjoyment and enthusiasm. They will study rich texts that have been highly recommended for the year group and may complement other themes across the curriculum. 


All children return to their own classrooms for one reading session each week, so that staff can focus on wider reading skills, including oracy and drama activities based on their reading activity. 


We quickly identify any child that needs additional support with reading. Highly trained tutors work with children to catch them up to their peers. This may involve extra phonic sessions or daily reading and support with quizzing. We also identify children to access our Reading Plus and other interventions to develop pre-literacy skills and/or build up their reading speed and comprehension skills.  


We expect our children to read every day at home too and log this in their reading diary. We love to see parent/carer comments regularly – this tells us that at Hetton Primary School, we work as a team to achieve the very best for every child.