Great Sankey Primary School


Welcome to the Reading Page

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At Great Sankey Primary, we believe that reading is the key to academic success and it is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, our pupils all move onto their next stage of education being able to read fluently, confidently and with understanding.

We intend to encourage all pupils to read a varied range of texts from both fiction and non-fiction, to develop not only their reading ability, but also their knowledge of the wider world they live in and to develop comprehension skills. It is also our aim to instill into our pupils a real sense of enjoyment for reading to ensure that they go on to be lifelong readers.


Engaging Parents

Learning to read begins on the laps of parents when they share stories with their child, we ensure that this important message around the engagement of parents in their child’s reading journey is clear from the very moment they choose our school as the place where they wish their child to be educated. Clarification around parental engagement in their child’s reading development is given through:

  • information relayed during open evenings
  • invitations to Stay and Read workshops in school
  • phonics workshops
  • clear expectations on listening to their child read at home and recording this in the reading planner
  • information around supporting children with reading at home on the school website


Attainment in phonics is measured at the end of Year 1 through the Phonics Screening Test, reading attainment is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of the EYFS, Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of pupils locally and nationally. Our attainment in all areas is above that of local and national data. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum and children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles. As a result, we have a community of enthusiastic readers who enjoy showcasing their developing knowledge and skills.

Early Reading and Phonics

The systematic teaching of phonics using the Read, Write Inc scheme has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1. Phonics is delivered in small, fluid groups and pupils participate in speaking, listening, reading and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure pupils are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Pupils work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.

Pupils have regular opportunities to apply their phonics knowledge when reading a carefully selected book from the Raintree Engage banded book scheme alongside a RWI book. Trained staff will listen to each child in Reception and KS1 read every week.

Alongside this, pupils are taught to read and spell common exception words through our ‘3 of the week’ approach, they are then encouraged to apply this learning to their independent reading as well as to their writing.

Guided Reading

All pupils from Reception (after Autumn 1) to Year 6 take part in daily guided reading sessions where they are exposed to a range of different texts and are given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and thinking. These sessions also enable teachers to model reading fluency and intonation and to support pupils further with word recognition. 

Independent Reading

We are very lucky to be able to offer our pupils a variety of different reading schemes which provide a wide range of appropriate quality texts for children to read covering all genres. The schemes incorporated into our reading provision include: Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Raintree, Rigby Stars and Ginn Lighthouse. All books are banded in order to ensure progression and challenge for all children. Pupils in KS1 who are still on the phonics phases are given books from the Raintree Engage scheme as this supports their phonics learning. Once it is felt that a pupil has reached a level where they are confident, fluent readers, they are able to access a variety of ‘free-read’ texts from class libraries or from the shared library.

Pupils are given opportunities to read to an adult in school each week; this allows teaching staff to assess that there is appropriate pitch and adequate challenge in the book selected.

As pupils progress and become more competent readers, they are encouraged to take more responsibility for their independent reading.

Pupils in Reception and KS1 have access to an online reading programme called Reading Eggs. This resource supportes their reading and phonics ability at home and in school through a series of fun games and activities as well as appropriately pitched texts and questions to develop comprehension. In KS2, pupils have access to an online programme called Giglets. Again, this supports pupils reading ability, comprehsnion and heps to develp their fluency in an engaging and interactive way. This can also be accessed at home and in school.

Reading across the Curriculum

Another of our priorities lies in ensuring that the children study a broad curriculum and have access to quality texts to support their learning of this. This includes linking English lessons and age-appropriate texts to the themes studied in other curriculum subjects, where possible, as it enables children to develop and to reinforce their knowledge of the subject.

Reading across other subjects also increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.

As the pupils progress through the school, reading for research is undertaken as part of a strategy for active learning.

Reading for pleasure

Aside from the sheer joy of exercising the imagination, research shows reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills and learning outcomes. It gives people access to culture and heritage and empowers them to become active citizens, who can contribute to their wider community. At GSP, great importance is placed on reading for pleasure and is implemented through the following:

  • Encouraging staff to be teachers who read, as well as teachers who teach reading, and actively promoting this around school
  • Encouraging all pupils to be readers through actively promoting it around school and recommending books to peers
  • Purchasing current, popular children’s literature and recommending to pupils
  • Ensuring there are a variety of quality texts which allow pupils to build on their knowledge of the wider curriculum
  • Staff reading regularly to pupils, the book can be one that the teacher recommends or that the pupils recommend
  • Sharing quality texts in English to engage pupils in reading and writing
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to be immersed in silent, sustained reading which allows not only for reading pleasure, but also for developing reading stamina
  • The development of a Reading Buddy scheme where pupils from UKS2 pair up with younger pupils and share a book
  • Author of the term focus
  • Year 6 Librarian Prefects who actively promote reading through recommendations and through running the lunchtime ‘Library Shed’ enrichment
  • Actively promoting reading for pleasure in the EYFS and KS1 outdoor provision areas
  • Engaging in reading events such as World Book Day, school book fairs and author visits
  • Creating a stimulating and inviting reading area in every classroom which contains texts suitable for their reading age
  • Encouraging pupils to use the 3 shared libraries around school.

Supporting parents

Please click the image below to access a presentation aimed at parents which gives top tips and handy hints on how best to support their child's reading. 

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Great Sankey Primary School
Liverpool Road, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 1SB
Mrs Lisa Wilding | Headteacher 01925728176
Mr Phil McEwan | Chair of Governors
Mrs Nia Williams | SENDCo
Great Sankey Primary School

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The Challenge Academy Trust