Home Page




How do we teach reading at Norfolk Community Primary School?


We love reading at Norfolk! Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and book study to develop inference. We understand that reading is the key skill that unlocks all other learning and life opportunities.


Children are taught the very basics of reading at a very early age – you are never too young to enjoy a good story, and even our two year olds have books, toys, teddies. puppets and puzzles that will help them to love stories and language. Our nursery children are also taught to recognise sounds in words and around them through games, songs and rhymes.


Alongside the phonics teaching we encourage children to love stories, books, authors, poetry and plays. We have lots of ways that parents and children can borrow books and story sacks to share at home. We have a beautiful library which children can visit, as well as lovely books in the classroom for them to read. We have had plenty of writers visiting our school, people such as “The Two Steves,” David Harmer, Paul Cookson and Berlie Doherty have talked to the children about their work, and have inspired children to have a go at writing themselves. We have strong links with our local library and we take children to the library as well as promoting their events, in particular the annual Summer Reading campaign.


Each half term, classes have a focus novel that they study through drama, role-play, text analysis and writing in role. This is often linked to the topic that the class are learning about. Alongside this, the class will have daily story sessions, as well as opportunities to explore related fiction, non-fiction and poetry that further supports the whole class text. We have a dedicated library space within school and teachers also use the Sheffield School Library Service to ensure that their classroom libraries are reflecting their class's interests.


Children are encouraged to read at home through our “Five a Week” campaign. We want children to read at home at least five times a week to help them become good readers who enjoy a wide range of books. 


Opportunities for reading

Pupils read regularly in all areas of the curriculum and in every part of the school day through:


  • Whole Class Text Study - English lessons are taught through a quality text which is chosen carefully by the Class Teacher; across the year the texts will include a literary classic as well as texts which have been chosen due to the many opportunities of vocabulary development they offer. Children will engage in many reading activities which will promote a deeper comprehension of the text before pausing the book study to embark on a sequence of work which results in a written outcome, all linked to the text.


  • Guided Reading - Teachers work with small groups of pupils to teach specific and targeted reading skills in a book that is sufficiently challenging.


  • Reading Across the Curriculum - Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning. there is very much a focus on 'reading to learn' across foundation curriculum areas, with children engaging in wider research, both online and through fiction and non-fiction texts.


  • Story Time - Throughout the whole school, books are read to pupils for them to hear good examples of reading aloud and to develop an enthusiasm for reading books themselves.  Class books are shared with pupils, where they read along with the teacher.

Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and interventions. 

Our school has benefited from working with many external partnerships and through the many connections such as CLPE (Power of Reading) it allows us to improve and enhance our resources and inspire our pupils to love reading. We work alongside providers who have developed schemes and teaching methods based upon proven research-led initiatives (such as Read Write Inc.).

We are supported by a team of volunteers who enhance our reading provision every week hearing our vulnerable readers. We recognise the importance of providing regular opportunities for all children to read aloud to an adult, and any children who are not read with at home regularly are prioritised for 1:1 and small group reading in school.

One to one reading occurs in Reception and vulnerable readers are identified in each class to ensure reading progression and a love of reading. Throughout KS1, reading is taught through a carousel of activities. These activities include reading with a teacher or teaching assistant and written comprehensions. KS2 are taught through whole class reading. During the reading sessions, there is an emphasis on vocabulary, the retrieval of facts and inference. Novels are used to teach reading as well as a range of non-fiction texts. These texts are carefully chosen to ensure that there is progression and challenge across the school. At Norfolk, we aim to develop a love of reading, so children are encouraged to read for pleasure at home and school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the children on a regular basis.

We currently use a range of different reading schemes to meet the interests and individual need of each and every child, these are organised into Reading Recovery levels which the children progress through up to Level 25 when the children are encouraged to make full use of the school library to support their reading interests.

Reading in KS1


At the start of Year 1, teachers and/or teaching assistants listen to children read individually once per week.

These reading sessions focus on each child’s reading target (word reading and/or comprehension).  Teachers make notes on individual running records, including children’s next steps. During these sessions, staff ensure that the children are reading the correct level books and identify and work on their next step targets. Over the course of the year, children build up to starting guided reading groups.

In Year 2, guided reading takes place five times per week. Teachers record these sessions on the Record sheets which are kept in the class reading folder. Each session focuses on a word reading or a comprehension objective from the National Curriculum. At the end of the session, teachers record whether each child has met the objective or is working toward the objective as well as any specific comments.

In Year 2 class teachers and teaching assistants regularly listen to children read individually.

Records of individual reading are kept in the class reading folder. During these sessions, staff ensure that the children are reading the correct level books and identify and work on their next step targets.


Supporting reading at school

  • Parent reading mentors come in to school to listen to children read who need extra support.


Home reading

In KS1 children follow the reading scheme. They are given books from the scheme to take home to read. Children are also able to choose a book that interests them to read at home. Class teachers monitor how often children read at home and support any children who are not regularly reading.

Reading in KS2


In KS2, reading has a whole class approach and is taught discretely for half an hour five times per week. Each week, a text is chosen and focused on in every lesson. This text is revisited each day to develop children's fluency and competency with the text. Then across the week, different objectives are taught: vocabulary, prediction, inference, summarising and comprehension questions. At the end of the week, the children apply their reading skills to a new text. The majority of reading sessions are taught through the Power of Reading text currently being used in English. Where appropriate, teachers use other texts to ensure that children are exposed to a wide variety of topics and genres, including non-fiction and poetry.


Supporting reading at school

  • Some children who are identified as needing extra support in reading in KS2 use the Lexia program. This can then be used in school and at home.
  • Parent reading mentors come in to school to listen to children read who need extra support. 


Home reading

Children complete their reading records / homework diaries when they have read at home. We encourage all of the children to read at home for 20 minutes, five times a week.

Reading for pleasure

At Norfolk Community Primary School we are continuing our drive to encourage more children to read for pleasure.  Research shows a positive link between reading frequency and enjoyment and educational attainment.  Furthermore, reading for pleasure has positive emotional and social benefits, improves text comprehension and grammar skills and increases general knowledge.  We have many initiatives that will be taking place in school over this academic year to encourage reading for pleasure.

  • Drop Everything and Read - Daily reading aloud in class from a range of texts.
  • ‘I am reading’- teachers will share with their class the books they are reading and why they are enjoying them
  • Book Week
  • Author visits
  • Weekly reading rewards – in KS2 reading records children who read 5 times in a week get entered into a class raffle, with the winner choosing a new book from an exciting selection in school.


Our key principles for developing reading for pleasure are:

  1. Developing an ethos and an environment that excites, enthuses, inspires and values

  2. High quality texts with depth and interest in story, character, illustration, vocabulary, structure and subject matter

  3. A read aloud programme

  4. Teachers who are knowledgeable about children’s literature

  5. Creating a community of readers with opportunities to share responses and opinions

  6. Planning for talking about books and stories, providing structures within which to do this

  7. Understanding the importance of illustration in reading both in terms of creating a text and responding to a text

  8. Using drama and role play to help children to understand and access texts

  9. Working with authors and author/illustrators to understand the process of creating books

  10. Using literature beyond the literacy lesson – cross-curricular planning with quality literature as the starting point


Things you can do at home:

  • Ensure your child reads at least 5 times per week and record their reading in their Reading Record or Homework Diary.
  • Talk about what books they are currently reading.
  • Ask questions when listening to your child read aloud (please see our school website for two very helpful resources on questions to ask your child when reading).
  • Read books to your child / read books together.
  • Visit local libraries and bookshops.


Stuck for what to read?

If your child is finding it difficult to know what they want to read, here are some ideas:

  • Register on the CLPE’s Core Books website for freeto view regularly updated booklists sorted by age-range, genre, author or publisher (
  • Visit which is an easy to use, free online tool which allows you or your child to search for books by interest-level and topic.  You can also find collections lists of the most popular books that children are reading at the moment.


We greatly appreciate all the support you give in supporting and encouraging your children to read at home and we are looking forward to an exciting year full of reading ahead!





Key questions you can ask your child about what they are reading

Sheffield libraries offer a wide range of books, ebooks, music, film, access to computers and other resources for members.


Manor Library 

Opening hours

  • Monday: 10am to 5.30pm
  • Tuesday: 10am to 2pm
  • Wednesday: 10am to 5.30pm
  • Thursday: closed
  • Friday: 12.30am to 6.30pm
  • Saturday: 10am to 4pm 
  • Sunday: closed

Membership form to join Sheffield Libraries