Glade Hill Primary and Nursery School

We are Golden and we SPARKLE

English at Glade Hill

Reading at Glade Hill


Reading at Glade Hill Primary and Nursery School aims to invite children on an exciting journey of developing their love for reading; their fluency, and their acquisition and application of the skills that good readers use to engage with texts.

Our whole school reading spine (see English long-term plans) has been carefully crafted to ensure that each year group experiences high-quality texts, that not only stretch their imagination; introduce them to new authors; inspire their writing but, help them to make connections beyond our locality, by exploring topics that have impacted our world.

As a pivotal driver for many of our curriculum areas, we ensure that children are given a rich diet of texts, exposing them to non-fiction, fiction and poetry, and sometimes where possible, we aim to make connections through the exploration of themes.

At Glade Hill we recognise the importance of teaching children to read like thinkers and think like readers when approaching a text. Reading is an active journey where children are invited to question, wonder, visualise and think like detectives. We achieve this, by explicitly modelling the skills of good readers and guiding the children to do so, particularly as they progress through the school. Our immersion reading sessions, which take place when approaching a new text, is a wonderful way to support our children’s language and communication skills as they generate rich dialogue, questioning, understanding of the construction of texts, and most importantly, creating an excitement and eagerness to read on.

Whether sitting around a crackling fire, enjoying our newly-developed library, or finding a cosy spot to read, we want the children of Glade Hill to read because they love to learn new things; to read because they like to escape and visit new worlds, and this is achieved through our whole class daily reading for pleasure sessions.


How do we teach reading?

Shared Reading is a whole class interactive reading experience that occurs when students join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by a teacher. The teacher explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression.

Sessions are generally planned in a sequence and involve re-reading the same text for different purposes, with children using their developing skills and understanding as they become more familiar with the text. This is also done to allow children to recap prior learning.

Through shared reading the teacher guides the children in developing their reading skills through exploring the following Reading Keys:

Reading in KS1

Reception and Year 1

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions follow this format:

  • are taught to small groups of approximately six- eight children
  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge
  • are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.


Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.


In Reception these sessions start as soon as the children are able to blend. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.

In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.

Year 2

Children are split into groups based on their book bands and are based on 3 key reading skills

  • Prosody – guided by a teacher
  • Fluency – children read independently

Comprehension – children answer comprehension style questions guided by a teacher


How do we support our readers?

Our reading curriculum is ambitious, and we hope to enable all children within our school to develop their confidence and competence with reading. We do however recognise, that some children find particular areas of reading challenging, and therefore use regular assessment to ensure that we are able to support them on their reading journey. TA’s and/or class teachers undertake the following to do this:

  • Reading fluency project
  • Precision teaching
  • Daily phonics in LKS2 to support pupils who have not yet caught up.
  • 1:1 reader for targeted children
  • Guided reading groups

Writing at Glade Hill


At Glade Hill, we strive to ensure our pupils are able to competently and effectively communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing.

We teach writing through a book-themed curriculum, where high-quality core-texts have been carefully chosen to form our Glade Hill Reading Spine. Each half-term, writing units are planned based on a core-text, with additional supportive texts used as further high-quality models and stimuli for writing.

Glade Hill’s writing curriculum centres on writing for four main purposes: writing to entertain; writing to inform; writing to persuade and writing to discuss. These writing purposes are progressive across the school, with KS1 focusing on writing to entertain and inform, all the way to Upper KS2, who write for all four purposes. Different genres, within writing for these purposes, have been mapped out over the year groups, to ensure the types of writing children are studying are progressive. Not all genres within a year group will be studied in a year, and some may be repeated more than once due to the writing needs of our pupils, and as a response to our writing catch-up plan following the pandemic’s disruptions to education. Some one-off additional genres may be explored as part of the writing curriculum if there are key themes teachers wish to explore based upon their core-text.

Each writing unit will consist of: text immersion; the learning of new skills; and application through the planning, writing and editing of an independent piece. Before planning each unit, teachers will assess the pupils’ last piece of independent writing against our year group ‘Writing Stage Assessment Grids’. They will then use this information to inform their planning and set pupils’ targets.

At Glade Hill, we know that it is vital for our children to develop their speech, language and communication skills. Through our ambitious writing curriculum, we aim to do this in the following ways:

  • Use of high-quality texts
  • High-quality modelling of writing
  • High expectations and modelling of accurate grammar in both speech and writing
  • Paired and group discussion embedded into all lessons

Handwriting is taught through the Penpals for Handwriting scheme, which shows clear progression from Nursery to Year 6 through five developmental stages: physical preparation for handwriting; securing correct letter formation; beginning to join along, securing the joins and practicing speed, fluency and developing a personal style. Pen licenses are awarded in KS2 when children are able to join their writing legibly and fluently.

Spelling is taught through discrete lessons. In EYFS and Year 1, it is taught though daily phonics lessons, following the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds- Revised’ teaching programme. In Year 2, pupils move from daily phonics to daily spelling lessons, by the Summer term. In KS2, spelling is taught in three 30 minutes lessons per week.

The curriculum in EYFS combines daily phonics lessons with guided English activities each week. Phonics teaching takes place initially in age-related groups, with children accessing ‘keep-up’ or ‘catch-up’ intervention as needed based on their developmental stage. 

In our enhanced provisions, for pupils with SEND who have more complex and severe needs, we follow guidance in DfE guidance ‘The Reading Framework – Teaching the Foundations of Literacy - July 2021’. The children have access to appropriate phonics instruction for children with complex needs which is based on the Little Wandle scheme in use across our school, and teaches children to read and write words. The writing provision builds on this provision and children receive daily, well-paced, well-planned English lessons that are engaging and motivating using resources adapted to meet their individual needs. This is in addition to the children learning to read and write ‘sight words’ as part of a ‘whole-word’ approach to reading and writing.

The following interventions can be used to help any pupil catch up in their writing:

  • 1:1 writing conferencing
  • Small group modelled/shared writing
  • Additional spelling groups
  • Additional grammar groups
  • Phonics – keep up and catch up sessions (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds SoW)
  • Precision teaching