Our Reading Curriculum

At Horbling Brown’s, we believe that every child is a reader and actively encourage children to read and enjoy a wide range of texts. We believe that, through twice weekly dedicated class reading sessions and quality first teaching over and above the use of our RWInc Phonics programme for early readers, we can encourage and inspire emergent and developing readers to see the value in texts; whether for pleasure or to garner information.

We aim to build an inclusive reading community which traverses all year groups by encouraging more experienced or enthusiastic readers to lead others by example though reading cafes.

We believe that reading is a key factor in all areas of the curriculum, and as such, follow research to inform teaching techniques.

The school values of ‘courage’ and ‘hope’ can be seen as drivers for the curriculum as we encourage children to have the courage to strive for excellence and continued improvement in reading, and to give children hope that learning these skills will open doors to exciting creative worlds and opportunities within and out of school.

Reading at Brown’s C of E Primary School


The context of our school

Brown’s C of E Primary School is a small school with approximately 94 pupils across 4 mixed age classes. We are an inclusive school and welcoming to children of all abilities and backgrounds. Our school vision, which drives all that we do, ensures that we remain committed to ensuring that all children can and do achieve, in an environment which is supportive of every individual as a unique child of God. It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background.


Reading is at the core of our curriculum at  Brown's Church of England Primary School. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. As a starting point and introduction to reading, we use Read Write Inc (RWI) for our phonics programme. Children are taught at a stage appropriate level and this allows them to understand how the sound of each letter (phoneme) links to the way in which that letter is written (grapheme). In EYFS (Reception) and Key Stage One, all pupils take part in a daily phonics session, building on and extending their knowledge. They are taught to blend words together and read/ spell tricky words, which are the ones we cannot sound out.

In phonics, children are supported in their reading by the use of phonetically decodable reading books created by Read Write Inc called book bag books. Each week children are sent home with a RWI book bag book and the story (ditty) the children are focusing on during their phonics lessons in order to build fluency


Read Write Inc. Phonics

The programme is for:

• Pupils in Year R to Year 2 who are learning to read and write

• Any pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch up rapidly


In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

• Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic

knowledge and skills

• Read common exception words on sight

• Understand what they read

• Read aloud with fluency and expression


We support pupils who have identified special educational needs for however long it takes until they can read. For example, we identify those who are at risk of falling behind their peers immediately – whatever their age. Highly trained staff tutor them for 15 minutes every day, using the Read Write Inc. One-to-one tutoring programme. If a child arrives in Key Stage 2 reading below their chronological age or with English as an additional language they are taught Read Write Inc.Phonics until they too catch up with their peers.



All children at Brown's Church of England Primary School are asked to continue their reading at home and it is expected that they will read at least three times a week as part of their homework. Both children and parents are invited to record reading in the home/school communication books where there is the opportunity for children to write about what they are reading or answer questions based on their book.


At Brown's, we focus on using whole class guided reading, which has many benefits including: higher engagement, wider discussions, increased exposure to challenging texts and increased time for deep exploration of a text. This is supported by research from the Educational Endowment Fund and the Open University.

This begins in Key Stage One, although there may be some supplemental carousel activities where required in the earlier stages of this key stage as our initial focus is on developing decoding skills. Once this has been achieved, children will be supported in progressing their comprehension skills and deeper understanding of a text using VIPERS where reading lessons focus on each of the VIPERS skills of vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequencing (Key Stage 1) or summarising (Key Stage 2).  These guided reading lessons are adapted, supported and scaffolded to allow all children to access the same text. In Key Stage 1, Teachers use VIPERS to focus on one particular skill each week using a specific, planned text. Whereas in key Stage 2, Novel studies are used to support the teaching of a specific VIPERS skill each day, using one or two chapters from the novel at a time. Novels are chosen and planned throughout the academic year to allow children to either explore different moral and cultural issues or build upon knowledge gained from another curriculum area, as well as reading a text above their own reading age to support vocabulary development. 


Although reading is taught discretely in guided reading and English lessons, it is also a key part of foundation subjects too. Reading is used as a hook in non-core lessons to engage, enthuse and encourage children in their understanding of other areas. As in English and guided reading lessons, these texts vary between fiction, non-fiction and poetry to inspire curiosity for all.


Ensuring reading for pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)


We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.


We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Brown’s C of E Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures. We consistently use high quality texts, often linked to the current learning. 



For more information about our Reading curriculum,  please enquire in school. 

Reading Curriculum Map

The 5 Plagues of Reading


In his book ‘Reading Reconsidered’, Doug Lemov points out that there are five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. These are complex and demand more from the reader than other types of books.


The five text types are:


Archaic Language

The vocabulary, usage, syntax and context for cultural reference of texts over 50 or 100 years old are vastly different and typically more complex than texts written today. Children need to be exposed to and develop proficiency with antiquated forms of expression to be able to hope to read more complex texts.


Non-Linear Time Sequences

Stories where time flows back and forth in a complex manner not just flows in one direction.


Narratively Complex

Some books have more than one narrator telling the story or non-human narrators such as the horse who tells the story in Black Beauty.


Complexity of story

Where the plot and symbols used are more complicated for example interwoven plots.


Resistant Texts

This refers to texts which are difficult to understand, texts that deliberately resist comprehension. You have to assemble meaning around nuances, hints, uncertainties and clues.

Our phonics scheme of choice is RWI Phonics. Please follow the link below for more information.

Phonics Progression Documents