The approach to reading at Newton Poppleford

Newton Poppleford have adopted an approach to reading that fosters a lifelong love of books and stories. We understand and recognise the centrality of reading to the wider curriculum and that it is the gateway to deepening all knowledge and understanding. We give a broad and rich reading entitlement for children that includes: Phonics Lessons, Guided Reading, Whole Class Shared reading, Read Aloud, Paired Reading, Reading with children, Performance Reading and most importantly an onus on developing the love and passion for Independent Reading.

Early reading and phonics

We follow the FFT scheme for phonics and early reading. Please see the Early Reading and phonics materials available below and through our website.

See separate Earl Reading policy:

Our Approach to Phonics and Early reading:

Our Phonics and Early Reading Policy:

Transitional reading/Year 2

In year 2 pupils will move on from the phonics scheme to become more independent and fluent readers. As a school, we recognise that in this phase of children’s development, they need support to develop fluency and a love of reading. We combine a daily spelling and reading session with additional reading activities and intervention work for those who need further support. Children in year 2 have a combination of the Routes to Reading programme from FFT and guided reading. We develop children’s fluency, comprehension and vocabulary through a range of engaging texts. We also ensure that children have access to a wide range of quality reading material that enhances our wider curriculum as well as books that inspire and motivate them to read and be read to.

Whole class shared reading in KS2

In Keys Stage 2 we adopt a clear approach that is delivered through whole class shared reading and carefully crafted units of work. These units of work provide for both breadth and depth of reading and to provide additional curriculum knowledge for foundation subjects. The texts chosen are language-rich so that we broaden children’s reading experience and deepen knowledge

Our approach teaches all aspects of word reading and comprehension through high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. We adopt a clear teaching sequence to reading sessions that explicitly teach reading skills and strategies in a cumulative way through evidence-based approaches. The underlying principles of our whole class reading approach are as follows:

  • formative assessment is used to inform the teaching.
  • It involves all the children in the class.
  • Time allocated to each lesson is approximately 30 minutes
  • We encourage fluency development using our ‘rapid read approach’.
  • A four-step teaching sequence is adhered to for each session (see Appendix 1)
  • It is consistently and regularly delivered.
  • It is integral to whole-school improvement of reading.
  • All adults supporting learners are deployed effectively so there is access for all.
        Children have access to a copy of the vehicle text being explore
Children are taught explicit comprehension skills e.g. prediction, questioning, clarifying, summarising and inference etc. and these are reinforced across the curriculum
  • Guided Reading takes place in all year groups and children are listened to regularly.
  • Under resourced children are given the skills and tools they need to succeed.


Our approach teaches reading comprehension skills and strategies explicitly because our approach utilises the following:

  • Is sequenced, coherent and progressive.
  • Uses language-rich texts for vocabulary teaching.
  • Includes all elements of comprehension, taught sequentially across an academic year.
  • Has a clear focus on the skills and strategies needed to be a proficient and confident reader.
  • Uses engaging texts to promote a life-long love of reading.
  • Includes poetry, non-fiction and fiction that enhances knowledge learning across the curriculum.

 Wider Reading (Support at home, fostering a love of reading  and independent reading time)

As a school, we deeply care about reading and ensuring that all children (including those under-resourced in our care) are read to every day. We want children to have access to high-quality books that increase enjoyment as well as reading that enhances and engages children across the curriculum provision. Our reading spine has been carefully and coherently planned to give children access to a wide range of books that we believe will ensure they are ready to move on in their education and on their journey to being well-rounded and educated citizens. We ensure these are read on a daily basis (please see our reading curriculum map) during our daily Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time.

We ensure that reading at home and independent reading in the wider school is an integral part of what we do. We work with parents regularly and from a very young age to ensure that we target this. In reception, home visits and early engagement focus on the importance of reading and we offer workshops to discuss and give information on how parents can support this at home. Parents can access support through resources on our website, discussions with teachers and the care café offering. 

There are a number of methods we use to promote reading at home and the Love of reading. We see this as absolutely critical and believe it begins for the youngest age children we serve. Firstly, we provide books for all children and ensure we monitor and track children’s progress. For those children that are falling behind we do this on a daily basis. We also offer competitions, termly incentives and raise the profile of reading through the school with book boxes, reading corners, displays, recommendations and are very thankful to our reading volunteers for their place in enhancing our provision.  

Beginning in pre-school we begin to develop children’s understanding of sounds and stories we ensure that early engagement through a language-rich and story-led environment and begin to introduce sounds through the FFT scheme.

Children in reception and Key stage 1 are given a phonetically decodable reading book that is closely matched to their needs. This book is chosen by the teacher based on formative assessment which is carried out regularly. Children are also given opportunity to take home a book from the book shed. This is a supplementary reader that we allow parents to choose. We use the mapping framework provide by FFT to allow parents to choose appropriate books for their children that are again broadly matched. Children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 are also allowed to choose and take home a reader from the school library areas on a weekly basis. Children are given free reading time in school on a regular basis and we take a robust approach when tracking the books that children are reading.

Accelerated Reader

As a school, we also utilise Accelerated Reader from years 3-6. Please see below for more information.

Appendix 2


Our use of Accelerated Reader


Accelerated Reader is used by children, parents and teachers from year groups two to six. We use AR flexibly to both promote a love of reading and support us in ensuring that children are reading towards personalised goals. One key aspects of accelerated reader is that we can monitor progress and provide effective feedback that encourages and promotes reading.


The adopted model below is based on the assumed principles so that pupils grow as readers.

Guide – We set personalised goals to help students stay focused on the factors that matter most for their reading growth. We can monitor progress and provide feedback to keep learners on track.

Engage – pupil book shelves and individual reading recommendations guided by the teaching staff use students’ interests and reading levels to suggest “just-right” titles—or students can self-select!

Practice - “Just reading” transforms into high-quality reading practice that fuels growth: Reading quizzes monitor comprehension, while literacy skills and vocabulary quizzes extend learning and build skills.

Grow - Detailed reports provide insights into students’ progress we then use this information to encourage progress and tailor lessons and input according to pupil need.

We also recognise that Accelerated Reader is a system that is not always perfect. We use it in collaboration with parents and ensure that we always keep in mind the ultimate aim which is to improve the quality and quantity of reading undertaken by the children at Newton Poppleford.

Application of Accelerated Reader

Star Tests and Reading Range

All children complete a Star Test when they become a ‘free reader’ and move on to Accelerated Reader. These are then repeated at the start of each term. This is to assess their reading level and provides them with a Reading Range (ZPD - Zone of Proximal Development). The Reading Range suggests the readability-level range from which a student should be selecting books for optimal growth in reading without frustration. It is, however, approximate, and teachers should use their professional judgement to adjust the level of books read to match individual children's needs and interests.

Daily Use

Children are then able to select books within their Reading Range to read at school and at home.  When they have read a book, they complete a quiz, which assesses their comprehension of the text.

Reading incentives

We have a number of incentives that we apply to our reading provision. As children are reading at the level that is appropriate for them as individuals these incentives reward effort rather than level or progress. This is very important for us as we want children to be rewarded for trying hard.

Whole School incentives

If children reach 100% of their target, they will receive additional raffle tickets.  If they reach 200%, they will receive more, and so on. A raffle is held at the end of each term and prizes are awarded to the children who win. Children’s labels are moved up through the reward chart so that their accomplishment is visible in the classroom.

Individual Class incentives

Every time the children receive 100% on an individual quiz they receive a raffle ticket. Classrooms also have individualised reading awards based on points scored. These are age and stage appropriate as different year groups read different amounts of books due to length.

Word Millionaires

Children who read a million words or more are praised and rewarded on a whole school display. They receive certificates and a special badge for their efforts. Children can then go onto receive a certificate for becoming a Word Multi-Millionaire, if they read another million words or more! Children in lower years receive these for 250,000, 500,000 and 750,000 as well.

Celebration assembly rewards

We have a fortnightly Reading Assembly to reward children for their reading.

Two children in every class are awarded ‘Reader of the Week’ certificates.

Our adaptation to AR for greater depth readers and those that want greater challenge

As a school, we recognise that our library is limited in choice and children may be restricted in the books we have available. This is something we are particularly aware of for greater depth readers, who are reading large volumes of books. We support them to ensure they have access to appropriate books at their level. We also encourage all children to complete quizzes on any books they have read at home, even if they are at a higher level than their Reading Range. Information has been shared with parents to support them if they are struggling to find books for their children to read at the appropriate level. This includes websites they can use, for example: The Reader Teacher, ‘What Should I Read Next?’ and our ‘Who Next? A Guide to Children’s Authors’ book, which suggests similar authors, based on ones the children already like.

Parental Involvement

Accelerated Reader has the most impact when parents are engaged in their children’s reading. Every child is set an individual reading target of a minimum of twenty minutes reading per day. Greater depth readers are set higher targets. Parents are encouraged to support the children to reach their targets by hearing them read and discussing what they have read.

Parents are able to access information about their children’s progress on Accelerated Reader through ‘Home Connect’.  This shows them when their child last completed a quiz, their score and points awarded, as well as information about their overall progress.