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Victoria Road Primary School

Inspiring a Love of Learning

Reading and Phonics


Curriculum Policy Statement for Reading

Our Aims 


At Victoria Road Primary School we are passionate about reading and aim to inspire a love of reading within every pupil. We believe that reading has the power to improve a child’s future academic achievement, well-being and success in life. There are many studies which find positive correlations between regular positive engagement with reading and academic achievements (Clark 2011, PISA 2009) and that reading may be a greater indicator of educational success than a familys’ socio-economic status (OECD 2002). This drives the high aspirations that we have for all our pupils, to not only meet the National curriculum aims of being able to…

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding  
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information  
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language  
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage  write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas 

…but also to perceive themselves as a reader. To achieve this for our pupils we have a carefully crafted reading curriculum which starts as soon as the children enter our school to minimise any impact of early life disadvantage. 



How we will achieve and measure our aims                                                                                

These are the strategies we use to teach reading

  • All pupils access high quality lessons.
  • Daily high quality phonic teaching in EYFS and yr1 using Phonics Bug.
  • Guided reading in EYFS and yr1 using Bug Club decodable books.
  • EYFS children borrow real books each week, all year to support vocabulary and comprehension skills, in addition to reading books.
  • Home reading books are decodable to consolidate what is being taught in school.
  • Online decodable books for those in ks1 who prefer accessing text on a screen.
  • Pathways to Read guided reading sessions have a heavy focus on reading comprehension, this is introduced at the end of yr1 and continues to yr6.
  • Reading interventions are put into place swiftly to ensure gaps are not able to form.
  • Interventions are data driven and monitored for impact by the SENCO.
  • Children with complex learning needs access the appropriate support, resources and learning sequences to enable them to make progress.
  • Reading for pleasure is promoted across the school with our rich reading culture that includes visits to the local library, book swaps, celebrating world book day, visiting authors etc
  • Progress data and attainment is carefully analysed by the SLT to support teachers through pupil progress meetings.
  • Parents are encouraged to attend our reading workshop and parents evenings.


In a recent survey, (Term 1 2022 conducted with pupils from yr1-6) 87% reported that they enjoyed reading with 65% saying that they read most or every day. Pupil voice said how much the children enjoyed their book corners at school and our library at lunchtimes is consistently busy. Statutory data shows that reading is a strength at Victoria Road, in particular our consistency with phonics and the number of pupils who read at greater depth.


Phonics Screening (red= national)




Year 1

83% (82%)

83% (75%)

87% (79%)

Year 2 retakes

97% (91%)

100% (87%)

97% (89%)






KS1 results: 

% Expected

% Greater Depth

% Expected

% Greater Depth

% Expected% Greater Depth


77% (75%)

33% (25%)

70%  (67%)

30% (18%)

83% (68%)33%

KS2 results:

2019 (28 pupils)




86% (73%)

25% (27%)

82% (28 pupils) (75%)

32% (28%)

77% (73%)37%




At Victoria Road Primary school we use ‘Phonics Bug’. This is the plan for what is taught and when during years R&1. For those children who do not meet the expected standard at the end of yr1 they will receive additional phonics teaching to meet their needs in yr2 before progressing on to the spelling scheme of work, Pathways To Spell for September.

Early Reading


In EYFS and Year One guided reading takes place once a week and focuses upon decoding skills, recognising high frequency words, using punctuation and understanding what is read. We use online books through Bug Club which match the phonic teaching exactly. Towards the end of y1 ‘Pathways to Read’ is introduced. This is the scheme of work that yr2 -yr6 follow. Pathways to Read teaches reading skills and comprehension through whole class and group lessons. These are structured sessions which use high quality texts to engage children in story development, support reading and understanding and expose children to high level vocabulary.


Home reading books are changed weekly in EYFS and Year One, children take two phonic reading books and are then encouraged to access more via Bug Club Online. In Year Two home reading books are changed flexibly as appropriate to the length of the book. Children also borrow books from the book corner each week to enjoy at home. 


We value the crucial role that parents play in supporting their child in learning to read by practicing these skills at home. We hold parent workshops each year to support and encourage home reading.


Reading Buddies

Pathways To Read


This is the scheme of work we follow from the end of yr1 to yr6. It gives children the opportunity to read many high quality texts of various genres. Through the whole class, group and individual reading sessions the children develop decoding skills and reading fluency alongside comprehension, prediction and inference skills. 

Reading for Pleasure


To foster a reading culture within our school we ensure that our class reads / story time are planned carefully in advance with quality texts. These are selected to compliment the class learning, to broaden childrens’ exposure to a range of text genres and to inspire. Every class has a dedicated informal reading for pleasure time each week, (Drop Everything And Read) during which children are encouraged to bring books or magazines from home, to share, discuss and recommend to their peers. 


There are many enrichment activities that are embedded into the fabric of our school year including book swaps, library trips, reading partners, dress up days and storytelling events to ensure that books, stories and language are always a consistent priority.