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Hexham First School


Reading Aims

  • To build on the children’s language experiences and early reading skills that they have already acquired.
  • For pupils to emerge from inexperienced readers to independent readers who read a variety of texts for different purposes.
  • To look for higher standards because we have high expectations of our children.
  • For children to develop as readers and to be able to enjoy reading for pleasure, alone or as a shared experience with an adult or their peers. We want children to be able to read independently and be able to follow personal interests, use their research skills to extend their knowledge and understanding.
  • To recognize that reading plays an important part of education and life.


  • We encourage a love of books and of reading by providing a rich reading environment in our classrooms and in our school library.
  • Throughout the school, teachers read aloud to children on a regular basis. We read a wide range of good quality fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
  • We teach the word recognition skills needed to decode text and the language comprehension skills needed to understand what they read.
  • Word recognition skills are developed systematically in the early years through the teaching of synthetic phonics. We teach phonics daily in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1, using the Read, Write Inc material.
  • Language comprehension skills are developed and deepened through regular shared and guided reading in discrete English lessons and across the curriculum.
  • We assess children’s reading levels using end of term reading comprehension tests from Pearsons’ Bug Club and teachers keep on-going weekly guided reading records of children’s progress in reading.


At Hexham First we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme, from nursery through to year 1 to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. T

  • he more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

Here is a link to the Parents Information Page of the Read Write Inc website.


In Key stage 1, pupils take part in guided reading session once a week and individual reading once a week. All pupils are provided with a reading diary which they are expected to bring to school every day along with their rea

  • ding book. This diary allows on-going communication between home and school on your child’s reading progress.

In Key stage 2, pupils take part in a weekly whole class text approach to guided reading and pupils read independently.

There are a number of reading interventions in school which support those who are finding reading difficult. RWI one-to-one tuition is used in Key Stage 1 and Reading Buddies are available for children in Key Stages 1. Staff are allocated individual children who have been hi-lighted as underachieving in reading.

Reading schemes

Throughout the school children read a range of reading books from different readin

  • g schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Story World, Rigby Star and Heinemann. The books are levelled according to the Book band bands.

Bug Club

Bug Club combines beautiful print books and eBooks that children want to read.

Teachers have access to a range of levelled sets of books to use during Guided Reading activities in class. Children also change their free choice library books regularly and take home to read.

Teachers allocate reading material aimed at the reading level of individual pupils. The reading materials then encourage deeper thought

The reading packages come with materials that will help you to encourage children’s reading and comprehension skills.

The range of ebooks move your children’s comprehension on and develop their vocabulary.

World Book day

On World Book day we celebrate our love of books and spend a whole day celebrating our favourite books. Parents are invited in to help share the day and children are encouraged to dress up.

Library Visits

Each class is encouraged to visit the local library at least once a year.

Book shop visits

Each class visits Cogito in Hexham to look at books and to listen to stories.

The Book People Book fair

The book fair is booked to visit Hexham First twice a year. Parents and pupils love to buy low priced books by famous authors. Money raised goes towards buying new books for the school library.

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