Reading - The Heart of our Curriculum

Reading the Heart of the Curriculum 

Every child reads and is read to every day. This is because we recognise that reading is the gateway to learning; therefore, your child must read at home and in school. Reading is the skill prioritised above all others, and all children are expected to develop reading fluency with a good understanding of what they have read. Ensuring high levels of motivation for reading encourages children to develop the habit for both pleasure and for information.  

Records of children's reading aloud at home should be entered into the home/school planner and signed by an adult. We also encourage independent readers to sign their home/school planner after reading to themselves and add a thought or question based on what they have read. Furthermore, a Reading Ambassador from each class is selected once per half-term to choose a book to keep from our Book Vending Machine. These children demonstrate a passion, excellent attitude and regularity for reading; they help promote reading in class and across the school. 

We also conduct half-termly reading surveys, which track the children's attitudes and engagement with reading for pleasure. From this, class teachers select three focus children to support their reading-for-pleasure journey and work with them to develop their love of reading. We track these focus children and review their progress at the end of the half term.


At Beam County Primary School, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child's understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to express themselves effectively. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading. We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using a range of evidence-based strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics (Little Wandle), a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud daily. These are essential components as they offer the opportunities to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

Children must be motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, their fluency and stamina increase their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children's motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure benefits not only reading outcomes but also wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children in developing both word reading and comprehension skills. Hence, we endeavour to build a home-school partnership through our coffee mornings and workshops, which gives parents and carers the confidence to support their children with reading at home.

Our school and class libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the beautiful world of books. They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction, encompassing the latest reading trends and classic texts. They should be part of every child's primary school experience and the children's cultural capital.

Books are chosen carefully to represent pupils' lives and allow them to experience new topics and themes. By pressing here you can see an outline of some books covered in our curriculum.