Tansley Primary School

Learn, Lead, Achieve, Together We Succeed



The English curriculum at Tansley Primary aims to develop children’s skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening in a robust and responsive way.  It also aims to develop a love of reading, writing and language which will last our children a lifetime and enable them to fulfil their potential once they leave us. 


Books take you to places you haven’t yet been – it’s like diving into an unknown world.’


At Tansley Primary School, all children encounter a wide range of reading learning opportunities.

Whole-class teaching takes place and texts are used as a stimulus for further literacy based activities. Our children love to listen to stories! In Guided Reading sessions, pupils work in small, adult led groups to explore texts, building particularly on comprehension and inference skills.

At Tansley Primary School, our books are banded into colours. This provides children with a pathway of progression in reading.

In order to foster a love of books and an interest in reading, we begin the children on a journey of reading with the books and characters from the Oxford Reading Tree Range. Details can be found at From the early days this scheme is supplemented by numerous other books to increase vocabulary, genre range and exposure to different authors. Pupils read regularly to ensure both accuracy and understanding.

Each year in March we celebrate World Book Day, by enjoying different themed reading activities. We are continuously developing new and exciting ways to encourage reading for pleasure across the school, placing a high focus on our wonderful library, such ways include the Buddy Reading Scheme that is currently running across school.



A love of reading is encouraged by an ever increasing range of provision such as:

  • Weekly library slots for classes and all children able to take a library book home
  • Author visits
  • Whole-school events and celebrations
  • Reading buddy schemes
  • Competitions and class-based rewards
  • Reading of a class story for pleasure every Tuesday afternoon across the whole school


Children are exposed to a wide range of high-quality texts throughout the school.  In the Early Years and KS1 this is supported by a core book which links with the termly planning.  These books are read to the children regularly so that they become familiar and the language and vocabulary begins to be embedded in the children’s own language patterns.  The core texts also form the basis of play-based activities in early years to allow children to use the language patterns in their play. In addition, the core books may also include a range of nursery rhymes and poems to ensure that children experience a range of these in their time here. 


In KS2 the texts children are exposed to are based on the topic specially selected for a particular class.  This forms the basis of their writing by providing hooks into writing using the language from the high-quality texts to improve their writing.  Children are immersed into texts through activities such as role play, real life experiences and art, encouraging a greater depth of understanding and engagement in the texts.  


These are some quotes from parents about reading at Tansley Primary School:


'My child loves being able to choose a range of books from the library to bring home, books that they wouldn't usually get chance to read otherwise' .


The Drop Everything and Read event was lovely- it was great to hear that the school takes reading for pleasure so seriously as letting children enjoy their books is so important'.



Reading Expectations

Regularly reading aloud to an adult remains a vital part of children’s learning throughout KS2 as it develops fluency, expression, accuracy and comprehension. Children in KS2 are expected to read at least 4 times per week at home; reading diaries need to be signed and dated by an adult. Reading logs will be checked regularly in class; if your child has read 4 times or more they will earn a raffle ticket which will enter them into the half-termly reading raffle!


Reading Schemes:

It is important for children to access texts that are appropriate for their ability in reading to enable them to apply the skills taught in phonics as well as other reading skills. Books for individual and guided reading are banded according to class and children’s abilities.  Phonically decodable books are also used and these are carefully banded by phonic step.  It is vital that early reading is done through the use of phonically decodable texts and therefore we ensure that the first books children receive to read at home are matched to the phonic step they are on and contain graphemes that they will be familiar with at any point in their learning.  A variety of reading schemes are used in school including: Oxford Reading Tree (which is the main scheme used), Big Cat, explore, PM Library, Read Write Inc and song bird phonics.

Children are regularly assessed to ensure that their reading level is correct for them and this is done using running records and reading assessment benchmarking, which are done termly.



The important skill of decoding is taught using the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme.  Children in Reception and KS1 receive daily interactive phonics lessons to embed the skills of recognising graphemes and blending to read unknown words. There are also additional groups to repeat parts of the programme as needed up to Year 3 during a phonics intervention group known as Fresh Start. 



Reading for meaning is embedded in our teaching of reading across the school.  This is reinforced during all reading sessions where children are given time to discuss their thoughts about books and guided reading sessions happen daily for year 1-6.  Starting from the initial understanding that all children bring to text, teachers facilitate discussion, provide modelling and use book talk to deepen understanding of what is read. 

In EYFS and KS1 this discussion is verbal with some recording beginning in Year 2.  KS2 use Guided Reading books to give children the opportunity to write their ideas about what they have read.  They also provide a progression in the type of questions that children will answer in line with the National Curriculum requirements for comprehension. 



As a school we recognise that it is essential for all children to learn to read and we provide a range of interventions to ensure that no children are left behind.  These include the phonics interventions, phonics workshops, additional guided reading pre-reads, Inference Training, ability book groups for guided reading and comprehension sessions and 1:1 reading. 



Julia Donaldson’s top reading tips

Julia Donaldson has written some of the most popular and best-loved children’s stories including The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, Room on the Broom, The Highway Rat, Zog and Stick Man. At Tansley primary school, these are books that we have available for children to enjoy in school when reading for pleasure and to support learning during lessons.

Julia Donaldson is also the author of the popular phonic Songbirds series, part of Oxford Reading Tree published by Oxford University Press.

Watch these videos (link attached) of Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson talking about some simple and fun ways you can help your child with their reading at home. Guaranteed to make reading fun and help your child develop a love of reading.



Julia Donaldson’s top reading tips | Oxford Owl - Bing video

Helping your child to enjoy reading

Pie Corbertt's Reading Spines

End of Year Reading and Writing Expectations Y1-6