Some of our Northlands pupils celebrating the new books we were able to purchase for school after the Scholastic Book Fair!

Subject leader: Mrs Hunt



At Northlands, reading is at the heart of our curriculum, both as a subject in its own right, and as the medium by which we teach. We are fully aware of how important it is for children to leave primary school with a strong capacity for reading and we are also aware of the disadvantage that pupils are at if they fail to gain the necessary skills. We have chosen our Book-Led Curriculum to ensure that books and the enjoyment of reading are woven into everything that we do, and that our pupils are exposed to the best texts, which will inspire a life-long love of reading. We are also aware that a higher than average number of Northlands children have English as an Additional Language and we seek to support them through participation in our EAL Flash Academy Intervention Course. 



Reading is taught throughout the curriculum and staff look for opportunities to apply reading skills across all subjects. Reading is taught more formally during dedicated lessons which follow a two-week Reading Cycle.  The first week concentrates on getting to know a text well, developing pupils' fluency in reading, and exploring the concepts and themes within the writing. The second week seeks to challenge children to answer questions based upon the text they have been reading, and each day focuses on different reading skills. Throughout the Reading Cycle, we  build vocabulary and unpick language, in order to help pupils to enrich their knowledge of words, and develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of reading.  This is particularly supportive of our EAL and SEND children, ensuring that they have the same opportunities to access quality, age-related texts. To support children who may not yet have embedded phonics, or who are new to English, from Year 4 and above, we use Fresh Start materials.  This supports pupils in gaining the confidence to decode and blend sounds, and follows the same systematic approach as in Key Stage 1.  Our Flash Academy Programme  also seeks to support pupils with their immersion into the English language. Pupils are heard reading regularly in Key Stage 1 and as required in Key stage 2.


We put a great deal of effort into World Book Day (in fact we have a World Book Week) and use this as a further opportunity not only to excite pupils about reading, but also to see it as a potential career choice, by inviting authors such as Dreadlock Alien into the school.  All children are encouraged to see reading as a pleasure and an aspiration; we have a Book Swap station where all children can choose books, read them and recommend to a friend or return to the shelves.  We have introduced our own bespoke Reading Heroes and Reading Superheroes system, to help children to understand the value of reading and to celebrate it in all of our classes.



Our pupils are enthusiastic (particularly when visiting the Library) about reading and can recommend books to others. 'Pupil across the school are developing a love of reading and enjoy sharing books,' Ofsted November 2019. The majority of our children are able to demonstrate the required skills to be able to read fluently and comprehend a range of texts.  They can comment meaningfully on the author's use of language, and the impact this can have on the reader. Where pupils cannot read with fluency, they are quickly identified and given interventions to close the gap, including gaps in language acquisition. 'The development of children's language skills is a whole-school priority.' Ofsted November 2019. Internal data suggests that the overwhelming majority of pupils make good progress from their starting points in reading and -when benchmarked against entry at Year R - the majority of our Early Years pupils make outstanding progress.  



Parent workshops:

We all know how confusing it can be when helping your child at home: 'Am I teaching the right method? Is it different to what is taught at school?'

This is why we have held a range of support workshops including a Reading Workshop designed to support parents with early reading and particularly the-sometimes-confusing world of Phonics. Our workshops were well-attended and feedback from parents was great!   We have also created a video for parents, carers and school volunteers to support them with reading to younger children, to help them make the most of the RWI books and resources used at Northlands.  Please see the link below. 






Support for Reading at Home


In this video, Mrs Smith demonstrates how to share books with children in Reception, Key Stage One or who maybe in the early stages of learning to read. It is a really useful guide on how to share books with your child, support them with challenges and feedback about their home reading to their class teacher. Please click the link to access our Early Reading Video.

News Article - Dreadlock Alien visits Northlands for World Book Day

Northlands children reflecting on the books they enjoy, and the reasons why...

Talkabout Books - Year 5

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Talkabout Books - Year 6

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Talkabout Books - Year 2

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Welcome to our New Book Swap!

Welcome to the Northlands Book Swap!

We all have favourite books and stories, and the Book Swap offers Northlands pupils to share their love of reading!  Children are encouraged to take a book and read it - if they enjoy it, they can pass it to a friend to read and enjoy as well, or simply return it to the shelves!   


With parent or carer permission, children can donate books which they have outgrown, or no longer want, so that other children in school can enjoy them.  We would like to express our thanks to the families who have already donated books for Northlands pupils to enjoy, and who are helping us to spread the love of reading!