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Chesswood Junior School

Chesswood Junior School


National Curriculum Expectations for Reading

By the beginning of year 3, pupils should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. They should be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. They should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, teaching should be directed more towards developing their vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. They should be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently. They should also be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects. They should be learning to justify their views about what they have read: with support at the start of year 3 and increasingly independently by the end of year 4.

By the beginning of year 5, pupils should be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with accuracy and at a reasonable speaking pace. They should be able to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity. If the pronunciation sounds unfamiliar, they should ask for help in determining both the meaning of the word and how to pronounce it correctly.

They should be able to prepare readings, with appropriate intonation to show their understanding, and should be able to summarise and present a familiar story in their own words. They should be reading widely and frequently, outside as well as in school, for pleasure and information. They should be able to read silently, with good understanding, inferring the meanings of unfamiliar words, and then discuss what they have read.

By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject specific vocabulary. 

Reading at Chesswood

Children are taught the skills to be confident readers through Guided Reading sessions. During the course of a week, they will undertake sessions on reading comprehension, genre immersion, reading for pleasure and opportunities to make links between reading and writing. In lower school, teachers will read to their classes for an hour a week to ensure all children are exposed to an exciting range of literature with an aim to develop a life-long love of reading. 

In the 'Reading for Pleasure' sessions they read their appropriately challenging books to increase their understanding and enjoyment. This enables the class teacher to listen to children and develop an understanding of their reading ability, habits and interests . It is essential that all children are supported to read regularly at home and  bring their reading books between home and school daily. The expectation for children in Years 3 and 4 is to read for at least 20 minutes a day outside of school, with years 5 and 6 reading for at least half an hour a day. Please see below for a useful leaflet to support parents in helping their children to read. 

Year 5 pupils sharing their legend writing to year 3 pupils in a story telling session:

At Chesswood, we use the Accelerated Reader Programme to support children's progress in reading. Children take termly tests on Star Reader to determine their reading level. This is in the form of a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) - the level children should be reading at to maximise progress. For example, a ZPD of 3.4 to 4.1 ; children would be expected to be selecting books to read within that range (All Accelerated Reader books in school have a level code e.g. 3.9), quickly moving towards the upper end of that range and seeking to exceed their level. For each Accelerated Reader book completed, children undertake a quiz to indicate the level of comprehension the child has. All children have a bespoke, equitable reading target to achieve by the end of each half term. Teachers regularly feedback to children their progress against this target.