Reading at Penketh South


At Penketh South, 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. A love of literature contributes not just to language and literacy development, it is also of immense personal and social value.

We intend to encourage all pupils to read a varied range of texts from both fiction, non-fiction and poetry, 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 instil into our pupils a real sense of enjoyment for reading to ensure that they go on to be lifelong readers.

Reading is a vital form of communication for everyone. In developing the skill of reading, children gain access to and derive pleasure from rich and varied sources of literature and a wide variety of facts and figures contained within non-fiction. The ability to read and interpret the written language is a fundamental skill for accessing all other areas of the curriculum and is an essential life-long skill. Key to improving outcomes in all subjects is fostering a love of reading. There is substantial evidence to show how reading impacts on a wide range of issues, including attainment, mental health, economic wellbeing and relationships.

At Penketh South Primary School we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key stage 1.  We believe this is achievable through a combination of high quality, discrete phonics teaching, combined with a whole languge approach that promotes a 'Reading for Pleasure' culture, encouraging children to develop a love of books and literature across the curriculum to support their learning and enrich their lives.  


We believe that developing strong links between home and school reading is vital to ensuring children become lifelong readers. The 
school supports parent/carer engagement by: 

  •  Ensuring appropriate texts are sent home regularly for both independent reading and for reading aloud
  •  Requiring all children to read to an adult at home at least 3 times per week and record this in planners
  •  Regular communication in planners where parents/carers and staff communicate about reading and where children 
     are recognised in classes for completing regular reading at home.
  • Providing the opportunity to take library books home to share and read together with their parents/carers.
  • Providing Reading and Phonics workshops to engage parents, share expectations and to help them at home
  • Invite parents/cares into school to read with children in their classes and to listen to children read (Reading Cafe)
  • Reporting on reading progress and sharing a reading target at Parents’ Evening.
  • Promoting key reading events, the importance of reading and celebrating individual and group successes
  • Sending Newsletters about recently published books and authors to parents

Reading for pleasure is of high importance at Penketh South and we aim to ensure a rich and varied reading diet is provided. Teachers place a high value on books and reading by ensuring their classrooms and departmental areas celebrate books and encourage a love of reading. Children read independently, teachers and assistants read aloud and model good practice, promote the use of accessing books that are challenging, provide opportunities to read individually to and select high quality texts to engage children in their discussions, reading and writing. 

Storytime is another way of engaging, supporting and challening our children at Penketh South. 

Teachers and teaching assistants have a clear understanding of how children learn to read throughout our school and are provided with regular training.


Regular summative and formative assessment (including NFER, Phonics Assessment, RM benchmarking toolkit and screening/spelling assessments) allows teachers to plan accordingly to meet the needs of all pupils and where necessary, plan for early support and intervention. 
Impact is also measured across school through learning walks, pupil observations, discussions around work within school books, data analysis, conversation with parents, reading with children and through progress meetings. 
End of Key Stage statutory assessments are an indicator of how well we as a school ensures that Reading is a priority for our children.

Early Reading

At Penketh South we provide the children with regular opportuntiies to apply their phonics knowledge when reading a carefully selected book for the school's banded book scheme. Staff will listen to each child in Reception and KS1 read every week.  In EYFS early comprehension skills are taught during story time sessions and when the children are in provision through the use of high quality texts.  In KS1 reading is taught primarily through whole-class reading and one to one reading time.  

Reading in KS2

We believe that Reading should be enjoyable, progressive and challenging and it is a key component to our curriculum at Penketh South. We consistently use high quality texts that enable our children to experience advanced vocabulary, grammatical structure and cross curricular themes which can be utilised in speaking, listening and writing. We aim to ensure that children have the stamina, skills and experiences in order for them to achieve their potential in Reading.

Reading is primarily taught through whole-class reading in KS2 although it is integrated into all of our curriculum. We believe that teaching the whole class allows the teacher to develop a shared love for reading, raise expectations and experiences for all children and better prepare children to meet age related expectations. Some children receive additional intervention outside of the whole class reading sessions to enable them to make accelerated progress. Children are explosed to high quality literature texts encompassing fiction, non-fiction and poetry. 


The direct teaching of reading starts with oracy and phonics. We follow the Supersonic Phonic Friends programme, with this being complimented by purposeful talk and the use of shared reading experiences that expose pupils to a wider range of vocabulary, syntax and sentence structure. In Year 1 and 2 children experience whole class reading and 1:1 reading in alternate weeks. Lessons might have one focus e.g. to develop vocabulary or retrieval skills; or the teacher might combine various learning  

Once pupils’ decoding skills are secure, they undertake structured comprehension lessons, while there is also a comprehension activity for all pupils within each writing cycle. Pupils will continue to access the Supersonic Phonic Friends programme in Year 3 if their decoding skills are not secure at the end of KS1.

By KS2, we expect all pupils to be ready for the whole-class reading sessions that are undertaken daily. The focus here is on vocabulary development, the development of specific reading skills and immersion in a wide range of texts. These lessons use class novels as a stimulus for deeper thinking and link a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to these in order to further develop contextual knowledge and understanding. 

Furthermore, KS2 writing lessons are based on an approach that focuses on the development of word- and sentence-level understanding, with many of the activities making use of skills that will enhance pupils’ comprehension of written language. We also aim to promote reading for pleasure as this itself plays a major role within reading development. We are aware that promoting reading in this way can also provide our pupils with a creative outlet and an alternative to the digital distractions that can affect their personal wellbeing.



By the time children leave Penketh South, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.  They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience. We measure impact through learning walks, book scrutiny, formative and summative data, and pupil/parent/teacher voice. Subject Leaders meet termly to evaluate impact and assess pupils’ learning.

Useful Reading Websites

BBC Nursery Songs - A collection of nursery songs from the Early Learning series Listen and Play and Playtime, both of which are currently available on iplayer and as podcasts.

Book Trust - Suggested books for children, advice on how to read with your child, book lists, fun games, competitions to win free books, Children's Book Club etc.

Love Reading - Expert recommendations and opening extracts of books 

Oxford Owl - Phonics advice and access to free E-Books. Free to register.

Pearson - Publisher’s website designed to give parents help and advice for reading with children.

Files to Download

Let's Connect

Penketh South CP School
Finlay Ave, Penketh, Warrington WA5 2PN
Headteacher | Miss Lorraine Browne [email protected]
Chair of Governors | Carolyn Williams [email protected]
SENCO | Mrs Roper [email protected]