The intent for our reading curriculum

At Paxton Academy, we foster a love of reading which empowers all children to read fluently, to comprehend confidently, and to engage in independent thought and study in all subject areas.

Good language comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and language structures) and on background knowledge of the world. Staff develop children’s comprehension skills through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.


Within Paxton, we begin ‘learning to read’ through the systematic synthetic phonics programme, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, whereby children are supported through reading-age appropriate phonically decodable books. Comprehension is introduced from Reception through our ‘Storytime’ sessions to enable ‘reading to learn’, which includes the skills of predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarising within reading-age matched, or thematically-challenging texts.

Support for parents with phonics can be found here: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds: parent support


The implementation of our reading curriculum

Whole-class Reading

Across the school, reading is taught through a mastery approach. Texts are challenging and engaging; we aim to develop fluency, comprehension skills, inference, prediction and structure analysis throughout the whole-class teaching of reading. Lessons are discussion-based, with children also from Year 2 and above using Reading Journals to record written responses where appropriate.

Individual Reading

Children have the opportunity and are encouraged to access high quality texts, which they also take home with them daily. These are selected from Big Cat Libraries and children are provided with a book that matches their reading attainment. In EYFS and in KS1, children take home a phonically decodable reading book based on the sounds that they have been taught with a reading record. In KS2 children take home an individual reading text matched to their ability with their reading record.

Wider Reading

In addition to the individual reading book, children also choose a text that interests and excites them which can be shared with their family and read to them to develop their comprehension and vocabulary. Children across the school have a reading for pleasure session once a week where they can share books with their friends.