Reading at Woodhouse West

At Woodhouse West Primary School we use a structured reading scheme. The children follow the structured colour banded system from EYFS until they are fluent, confident readers. This is when they select books to read at their level with guidance from their teacher. Reading lessons take place daily, where the children focus on comprehension skills and discussing the texts. We have the following recommended reading lists for Years 3 to 6,       

Year 3: 

Year 4: 

Year 5: 

Year 6: 

Individual children’s reading progress and attainment are rigorously monitored through half-termly assessment tests and teachers continuous assessments.   Attainment levels are reported to parents at our termly parent’s consultations where progress is discussed. Children are encouraged to read at home as often as possible and our Reading Challenge enables children in KS1 to gain recognition for their effort. We work closely with our parents, using the children’s reading diaries as a two-way communication to record reading success throughout school. 

Reading at home

KS1 (Year 1 & Year 2) - Animal Reading Challenge - read at home and earn certificates.

Lower KS2 (Year 3 & Year 4) - Home Reading Record - A place to record when your child has read at home and how well they have done. The reading record also has space for other reading activities and spelling lists for the year group.

Upper KS2 (Year 5 & Year 6) - Reading Journal - An independent record of what has been read as well as space for you and your child to make comments and build up a record of reading progress over the year.


Reading areas in school

Staff and children have been working really hard to create fabulous areas within their classrooms for children to read.  We think that they are looking great and the children are thoroughly enjoying using the new reading areas. 

What / how will your child read in school?

Your child will experience a variety of reading activities in school:

  • They may be given opportunities to read individually from reading scheme books
  •  They will read with the class during the reading lessons and English lessons
  •  They will read with the teacher or teaching assistant during individual reading time
  • They may read during quiet reading sessions, where they may be encouraged to read silently or share a book with a partner
  • They will also be given the opportunity to read during other curriculum areas

At every occasion when your child reads in school there will be an emphasis on their understanding of what they have read, as well as fluency. It is also important that this is encouraged at home.  When hearing your child read it is necessary to ask them questions about the texts they are reading. Encourage them to look back at the pages of the book to find information and to give reasons for their responses.

Hints on helping with reading at home

As a parent, you can play an important role in helping your child learn to read.  Research shows that children who are helped at home make better progression in school.  Reading with your child can be fun and very rewarding.  It also shows that you value his/her efforts.  If children enjoy reading, it will benefit their whole education.  They are also more likely to carry on reading as adults.

Choosing what to read

Choose any texts that appeal to your child, for example, stories or information books on hobbies/interests such as football or animals. Vary your reading together. It doesn’t have to be school books. Newspapers, magazines, recipes, games instructions can be read together and still be part of the process of learning to read with enjoyment.  We hope that you will also borrow books from the school library and from the local library to read together.  Your children may keep choosing the same book because it is a favourite. This is all part of learning to read.  Children still enjoy being read to even when they are fluent readers.

How can I help?

  • Find a quiet, relaxing place away from distractions such as TV
  • Sit comfortably in good light and talk to your child about their book
  • Read for about 10 minutes; a regular short time of quality reading is better than a long session which happens only occasionally
  • Ask why they have chosen the book
  • Talk about the cover and title and what the story might be about
  • Ask them to tell you who wrote the book or point to the author
  • Look at the pictures and ask them to tell you where the story takes place
  • Ask who they can see in the pictures (especially in simple caption books)
  • Try to be supportive and positive during the reading time
  • Encourage your children to look closely at the print
  • Read the first page or two together until your child is ready to continue alone
  • Encourage your child to point to each word as they read aloud
  • Where possible wait for your child to decode words
  • Encourage the use of clues such as the look/sound of the letters, what would make sense and the illustrations
  • If they get stuck on a word, you could:                                                                                                Let them read on so they can work out the word themselves from the context, point to a picture if it will help them guess the meaning or give them the first or last sounds to help them, read along with them then pause, prompt, praise if they get it right, read the word for them (especially if it is a proper noun /name), when they are confident with sounds, let them sound out unknown words – break longer words down in to syllables (do not sound out words which are not phonetic e.g. “because”)
  • When a mistake is self-corrected or a previously unknown word is recognised, praise highly
  • Encourage expressive reading by drawing attention to punctuation
  • Help understanding by talking about the story or text – the setting, the plot, the characters
  • Discuss the kind of people the characters are and the way they behave
  • Talk about the kind of story it is (adventure, fantasy, science fiction, myth…)
  • Encourage your child to refer to words and passages in the text to justify opinions
  • If your child is finding a book difficult, help out by reading it together.

Remember – Practice, with praise, makes perfect.

Please remember that the purpose of the Reading Record book is to give your child’s class teacher feedback on how well your child is reading at home. If you have any concerns about your child’s reading please contact the class teacher. A bank of helpful phrases to use can be found below when reading with your child;

Useful Questions

Reception & Key Stage One

  • Who is in the story?
  • Where is the story set?
  • Can you use the pictures to tell part of the story?
  • How do you think the story will end?
  • What will happen next?
  • Do you like the characters? Why?
  • What happens in the story?
  • What did the characters say? Why?
  • How did a character scare, upset or help another character?
  • Has this ever happened to you? How did you feel?
  • Did the story make you think of something that has happened to you or someone you know?
  • Can you put the main events in order?
  • How would you feel at this point in the story?
  • What would you do?
  • How do you think a character feels?
  • Why did a character do/say something in the text?
  • How did a character in the book help/upset another in the story? Why?
  • What advice would you give the characters?

Lower Key Stage Two

  • Can you explain why you think a character did that in the story?
  • What does this word/phrase tell you about the character or setting?
  • What does the word ‘X’ tell us about ‘Y’?
  • Fine two ways in which the writer tells you about an event/setting/character/theme?
  • Which words did you like the most? Why?
  • In the story ‘X’ is mentioned a lot. Why?
  • What other words/phrases could the writer have used?
  • What do you think the writer meant by writing ‘X’?
  • Which words do you think are the most important in this sentence/paragraph/page? Why?

Upper Key Stage 2

  • What did that character mean when they said ‘X’?
  • Are the character’s actions a surprise or what you expected?
  • Why is that character surprised/scared/excited/angry?
  • Explain the character’s actions or reactions to events in the story?
  • What clues are there in the story to show that that character is happy/angry/sad/excited etc?
  • What do you think this character thinks or another character? Why?
  • How did the writer make you think this?
  • Has the writer been successful in creating a setting/mood/character/theme? What else could they have done?
  • Choose a passage from the text describing a particular event and question the children on the atmosphere before and after the event.
  • Describe different character’s reactions to the same event?
  • Who is the ‘voice’ in the text?
  • Which character does the writer want you to like or dislike? How have they done this?
  • What do you think will happen because of a character’s actions/dialogue/thoughts?

Woodhouse West Primary School Library

Year 6 Librarians are now fully trained up and are available to help children choose library books during breakfast club and lunchtimes.  Children can check books out to read at home or can share stories within the library during these times.  Staff also run story telling sessions during some lunchtimes and are on hand to support our fabulous librarians with their jobs.