‘Creating the conditions for children to develop confidence in themselves as learners, discoverers and critical thinkers is vital in a rapidly changing world.’

Smarden Primary School is dedicated to make reading a stimulating, engaging and creative experience that allows a culture of enthusiasm, appreciation and confidence across all areas of the curriculum. By reading in school we aim to create a generation of young readers that are independent, have a varied and diverse vocabulary and that celebrate our unique literacy heritage. We hope to unlock the potential in all children, encouraging lively and enquiring minds that expand both their own horizons and the world in which the live. This is alongside the pleasure of creativity, imagination and discovery that is inherent in all reading.

We have very carefully selected texts to study in each year group which not only expose the children to a variety of text types but also challenge them with higher order thinking through Talk for reading sessions. 

At Smarden we model reading right from the very beginning of a child’s pre-school journey. We enjoy stories in different ways and celebrate a variety of authors through our Year 6 led “Author of the Month” which opens children’s eyes to new authors. Children are encouraged to ask questions about the authors and make predictions about stories. 

In addition to levelled books, this year we are introducing library visits for each class where children can browse and select a book purely for pleasure which can be read and/or shared at home. 

Phonics is first introduced in Nursery following the Read, Write Inc synthetic phonics programme which has been a great success at Smarden. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, children are grouped according to sounds that they know. These groups are reviewed and re-arranged on a half termly basis. We dedicate 45 minutes daily to the Read, Write Inc sessions, led by trained staff and enjoyed by all. 

Through regular assessment, we can quickly identify children who may need a little more support. These children are given 1:1 tutoring to enable them to catch up with their peers.

This has worked incredibly well this year: June 2023, 95% of children passed the screen.

Children following the RWI scheme are given two books each week which are linked to the sounds they have learnt. Children are encouraged to read these books multiple times at home throughout the week, in addition to 1:1 reading for targeted children in school.

Once off the RWI programme, children join the Accelerated Reader programme. In this programme, children take a Star Reader test which assesses their level and gives a level of book most suited to them. Children change these books as soon as they have taken and passed a quiz. 

National Curriculum Links


Supporting your child with Reading

How Can I Support My Child's Reading


Texts for reading aloud for pleasure

Suggested Texts for Reading Aloud

The Reading Framework - A Summary

Accelerated Reader web address
Use this like to access AR at home