Normanton Altofts Junior School

Reading at Altofts Junior School


Reading Statement 2022-23



At Altofts Junior School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.

At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a lifelong love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought provoking texts. Our text-driven English curriculum and our dedicated time given to reading for pleasure (DEAL) immerse the children in quality texts that reflect our rich and varied literary heritage. 

Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.




In order to achieve our Intent, we ensure that Altofts Junior School has a culture of reading at its heart:

  • We have daily Guided Reading sessions, which focus on one quality text per week. The texts are increasingly challenging throughout each year group. During the course of the academic year, we ensure that there is a balance between fiction, non-fiction, classic texts, poetry and Shakespeare; the texts are mapped out half termly using a colour coded system to ensure this balance.
  • In Guided Reading sessions, we begin the week with an oral lesson, which ensures children have the opportunity to discuss the text as a whole and begin to create links within the text content to support their comprehension. We then focus the learning on The Reading Vipers, which are taught consistently across school (Vocabulary, Retrieval, Inference and then one other).
  • We assess reading as part of our assessment calendar and complete QLAs for each year group in order to identify the reading domains in which further teaching is required. These are then used to inform planning.
  • We focus on reading for pleasure through a timetabled daily reading session called DEAL (Drop Everything and Listen). This is around 15-20 minutes a day whereby the children listen to and discuss a quality text read by the class teacher.  This ensures that children have prosody modelled to them.
  • Our writing curriculum is heavily text driven. A quality text is used, which also may link to other curriculum areas such as Science or History, as the basis for the writing the children produce.
  • Some other curriculum areas, such as PHSE, have a text that serves as a driver for the lessons and texts are also shared during PHSE- focussed assemblies led by SLT.
  • We ensure that we listen to children read on a regular basis. We use The Suffolk Reading test at the beginning of each academic year to establish the children’s reading ages and use this along with other factors to identify the lowest 20% of readers in each year group. We aim for adults in school to listen to all children read individually on a regular basis (at least once every 6 weeks) and aim to listen to the lowest 20% of readers three times a week. Upon entry in Year 3, we complete assessments to identify children who need support with phonics.  We use targeted interventions using Read, Write, Inc to address gaps in phonological knowledge.
  • We aim to promote reading through numerous displays around school, some of which have inviting books to support them for children to access. We also promote reading through our school community especially our Reading Ambassadors.  
  • We encourage children to read at home and for parents, other family members and carers to listen and discuss books with them. The classes are given a set percentage, for the number of children in each class reading three times a week (or more) at home, to achieve. The classes that meet the targets are invited, during celebration assembly, to ‘purchase’ a book from the school vending machine.
  • We involve parents in our reading journey by encouraging them to read with their children at home and sending home regular information about what sounds the children who attend phonics sessions are learning. We also asking for support in reading events such as a sponsored read to raise funds to enable us to purchase quality books for the children.




Children at Altofts Junior School will leave at the end of Year Six having made good progress from their starting points at the beginning of Year Three. Children will read with increased confidence, fluency and understanding as well as being able to comprehend a diverse range of texts. They will leave us with a developing interest in books and a growing love of literature across a range of genres and cultures. 



Below are a list of key documents which outline the teaching of Reading at Altofts Junior. 

 AJS approach to guided reading .pdfDownload
 AjS approach to reading .pdfDownload
 Deal Texts 2022.2023.pdfDownload
 Intent, Implentation and Impact statement .pdfDownload
 reading policy 2022-23 .pdfDownload
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Boomreader our online reading journal

This year we have moved to an online version of our reading journals. Please find the details to log on to the system. Your child will come home with their individual log in code for you to link with them once you have set your account up.

 Parent help for Boomreader.pdfDownload
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Ten top tips for reading stories to your child

1 Make reading to your child feel like a treat.
Introduce each new book with excitement.

2 Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so both of you can
see the book.

3 Show curiosity in what you’re going to read:
Oh no! I think Arthur is going to get even angrier now.

4 Read the whole story the first time through without stopping
too much. If you think your child might not understand
something, model an explanation:
Oh I think what’s happening here is that…

5 Chat about the story:
I wonder why he did that?
Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…
I wouldn’t have done that, would you?

6 Avoid asking questions to test what your child remembers.

7 Link stories to your own experiences (e.g. This reminds me of…)

8 Read favourite stories over and over again.
Get your child to join in with the bits they know.

9 Read with enthusiasm. Don’t be embarrassed to try out
different voices. Your child will love it.

10 Read with enjoyment.
If you’re not enjoying it, your child won’t.

Reading Vipers

We use the Literacy Shed’s “Reading Vipers” in our whole class and small group teaching. The
reading Viper approach helps to develop key comprehension skills and enables the children to become
more successful readers. Each of the letters stand for one of the key areas of key learning.
V- Vocabulary
I – Infer
P- Predict
E- Explain
R – Retrieve
S - Summarise text

Phonics at Altofts Junior


At Altofts, we use Read Write Inc. to support our phonics teaching.  

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme with a wholeschool approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child, in every primary school. It has proven success in all types of schools, including those with high numbers of children with SEND and those in the least privileged areas.

Children learn to read sounds and blend them into words. They apply this phonic knowledge to read
and comprehend Storybooks that are carefully matched to the sounds they know. Children learn to read these books with a storyteller’s voice. The aim of Read Write Inc. Phonics is for children to learn to read early.

Everything knits together: The phonics supports the reading and writing; The reading supports the
writing, the writing supports the reading. That’s why Ruth called it Read Write Inc

Why read to your child?


At Altofts Junior, we aim to ensure that all of our children become fluent, confident and engaged readers starting from the first day they arrive in school. Your role as parents and carers is of paramount importance in this process and reading to your child regularly will develop their love of books and also support them to understand the conventions of effective reading.


10 things to think about when you read to your child


Top 10 Tips for effective story reading at home.


How to say the sounds - pure sounds


We teach our children the pure sounds every letter and group of letters make in the English language as soon as they enter school. By teaching these sounds in a systematic and comprehensive way enable our children to recognise sounds, read words and become fluent and confident readers. Below is a video that explains the importance of teaching 'pure sounds'. Please watch the video below.