At Carlton Mills Primary School, our children are empowered to become enthusiastic and motivated readers who love literature and take enjoyment when reading for pleasure.  They have a confidence to read a wide variety of genres and text types and our lessons incorporate the reading of texts that provoke thought within children.  Our children grow in their ability to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with understanding – these skills are developed through a supportive network and regular reading time with adults and peer readers alike.

We have ambitious aims for all of our children to become lifelong learners and to build their cultural capital by utilising their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In addition to discrete English, phonics (KS1), spelling, reading and handwriting lessons we create opportunities for children to develop their use of the spoken and written word across the curriculum.  We use a diagnostic approach to implementing interventions and regularly review these to ensure that children achieve their full potential and progress.

Reading Curriculum

We believe in the simple view of reading and we ensure that our whole class teaching and interventions target the development of both decoding and language comprehension. Early reading is taught in EYFS and KS1 through daily discrete phonics sessions, following the Read, Write, Inc Phonics programme. We aim to foster an early love of reading by sharing a wide range of texts with children and by celebrating and prioritising reading on our school timetable.

While learning phonics, children will bring home a decodable phonics book matched to the sounds they are learning or have learnt. This helps consolidate their learning. Outlined below is our ‘Reading at Carlton Mills’ document which identifies reading opportunities.

Class texts have been carefully chosen by class teachers to incorporate learning within CUSP curriculum along with pupil interests. All texts are assessed against Lexile assessment scores providing accurate age ratings. Class teachers may choose to choose a text with a higher Lexile score however must ensure that adaptations have been taken into account.


Reading for pleasure is encouraged and children regularly listen to texts, beyond their current stage of independent reading comprehension, which are read aloud by an adult who will model fluency, expression and intonation. They are given the opportunity to discuss their understanding of this challenging reading material and adults will support them to develop their comprehension strategies. Reading for pleasure is by no means limited to fictional texts; children are given access to brochures, instructions, newspapers, comics and digital texts. Children are also encouraged to read independently, with their peers, with younger children and with adults at home.

To encourage reading for pleasure, we have ‘Read to Succeed’ a whole school reading programme which celebrates reading at home. Below is an overview of ‘Read to Succeed’.

Early Reading/ Phonics
  • A systematic approach to teaching phonics for all children in EYFS and KS1 using ‘Read, Write, Inc’.
  • Interventions using read, Write, Inc ‘Fresh Start’ for children in KS2 who require additional support to accelerate progress.
  • Acquisition of resources to support the delivery of Read, Write, Inc.


Reading curriculum

Our bespoke Reading into Writing teaching sequence was created as a staff team. The teaching sequence progressionally develops children’s awareness and ability to understand and apply different genres of reading. Teaching includes:

  • Daily reading lessons, utilising VIPERS comprehension question strategies.
  • Read Theory assessments to identify accurate Lexile scores for children in KS2.
Reading for Pleasure
  • Redevelopment of the school library to develop a love of reading both during school and after school.
  • Dual language texts to support EAL learners and parents/carers
  • Weekly after school library session
  • ‘Read to Succeed’ reading scheme embedded into school life with certificates for active readers.
  • High Interest reading texts across KS2 using ‘Read Theory’ and Lexile assessments.
Vocabulary development
  • Differentiated vocabulary grids to develop an increased awareness of subject specific vocabulary and the etymology of words.
  • Increased emphasis in subject specific vocabulary across the curriculum.
Celebrate Reading
  • We celebrate reading through whole school events such as World Book Day, through celebration during assemblies and through regular communication with parents.
  • We ensure that school staff receive regular reading training and that all members of our team are early reading experts.  Our training may include visits from external specialists, internal staff CPD, specific intervention training and peer observations.
  • Reading newsletters shared with parents/carers every term to encourage and promote reading at home.
  • We ensure that reading is prioritised on our school timetable and that children have many opportunities to read alone, in groups, with their peers, younger children and adults.

Reading at Home

To support reading at home, each year group has some suggested questions you may wish to ask your child while you are reading with them. These are available on each class page on the school website and within reading records and planners.

Reading Impact

Pupil Voice

Through discussion and feedback, children will talk enthusiastically about reading and writing and understand the importance of this subject. They can talk about books and authors that they have enjoyed and can make reading recommendations whilst also discussing their favourite pieces of writing and giving reasons for this.

Evidence in Knowledge

Pupils can make links between texts and the different themes and genres within them. They can recognise similarities and differences. Children understand the reading and writing process.

Evidence in Skills

Children are taught reading and writing progressively and at a pace appropriate to each individual child. Teacher’s subject knowledge ensure that skills taught are matched to specific year groups within the year group National Curriculum objectives.


We aim to ensure that:

  • Reading, writing and phonics standards in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 are at least broadly in line with the national average.
  • Children are exhibiting 85% in year progress.


Writing lessons at  Carlton Mills follow our ‘Reading into Writing’ teaching sequence.

Class texts are carefully selected by class teachers to ensure that they are diverse and engaging for pupils, resulting in an increased motivation and desire to write. Published outcomes link with the text studied and encourage children to apply the grammatical concepts they have been taught.


Adapted Alan Peat sentence types are utilised within school with key National Curricululm links incorporated. The sentence types are essential to allow children to write more exciting, sophisticated  sentence structures.


The teaching of handwriting is continuous. Pupils develop fluent lines of correctly orientated letters throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

Early development within Foundation Stage provides children with the opportunities to mark-make using a variety of materials. As the children progress through Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, they develop their fine-motor skills, resulting in a comfortable pencil grip and the ability to form letters using the correct sequence of movements.

By the end of Year 2, the children are expected to begin using joined handwriting. These skills are extended as the children move through Key Stage 2 and regular practise continues on a whole class or small group basis depending on class need.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Throughout the school, children are expected to learn spellings appropriate to their age group as part of their weekly homework and the rule is explicitly taught in school. In Year 1 and 2,  weekly spellings are linked to phonics teaching and in KS2, spellings follow the Purple Mash Spelling Scheme.

Grammar and punctuation is taught during English lessons and sentence level work is linked to the class text where possible. Pupils are given opportunities to apply their spelling, punctuation and grammar skills in longer pieces of writing and these are celebrated through the editing and publishing processes.

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