We pride ourselves in celebrating a love of reading throughout the Academy from the moment the pupils arrive until the moment they leave. We encourage pupils to develop a love of reading so that they become life-long readers. We understand the importance of reading for practice, purpose, and pleasure. It is our aim to ensure that pupils become fluent readers as early as possible. We recognise how crucial this is for pupils to be able to access all areas of the curriculum to thrive and reach their potential!

Our Academy Library

Reading Strategy

Developing Language Comprehension

The Reading Strategy is a trust-wide approach to develop reading comprehension skills, it takes place twice a week in Year 1 and every day for at least 30 minutes in year groups 2 to 6. The Reading strategy incorporates age-appropriate, challenging texts which are vocabulary rich therefore pupils are exposed to text which enables them to respond using a greater range of vocabulary.

All Delta schools teach the same text in each year group which allows for purposeful collaboration, continuous development, and shared planning as well as CPD for all staff. There is a clear focus on core reading comprehension skills which are age appropriate and the strategy develops ‘depth’ in pupil’s reading. The use of a clear structure supports staff and develops confidence in their delivery of reading. All pupils are exposed to high quality texts and discussions despite potential barriers to word reading and comprehension.

Developing Fluency

All children from Year 1- Year 6 take part in a daily fluency session either during the class strategy session during independent response time or at an alternative point across the day. In Key Stage 1 the daily fluency session forms part of the ELS phonics sessions. Children that are working on phonics will use ELS phonics response books that are aligned to the current class teaching. Children in Year 2 who are phonics fluent will be working on a range of objectives to improve reading fluency and stamina across a wide range of texts.

Children in Key Stage 2 who are phonics fluent will use whole class reads or Reading Plus as part of their fluency session to ensure that children are working on texts which are pitched at the correct reading level. Teachers work with guided groups to further develop reading skills such as the use of punctuation and expression. Children who are not phonics fluent will continue to have a phonics intervention in line with the academies ELS SSP. In addition to this, children will have a ‘bridging book’ to support them further in phonics development.

We listen to the pupils read regularly and they are then encouraged to read aloud to an adult at home at least four times a week. This is to help reinforce their word recognition; improve their fluency and confidence; and share their love of reading with siblings and parents. We reward pupils who read at home with ‘regular reading’ prizes. They are recognised weekly and half-termly in assembly with special prizes and everywhere around school, you will see encouragement for reading. We acknowledge that not all pupils will have the opportunity to read at home. Therefore, we ensure these pupils are listened to as often as possible within school.


At Estcourt Primary Academy we are a language rich school and explicitly teach vocabulary across all subjects. Children are taught Tier 2 language progressively across the whole academy. At the start of every reading strategy session children are taught words from the class text using strategies from Reading Reconsidered and Teach Like a Champion. The children are also given background knowledge needed to understand the text they are reading.

Reading For Pleasure

Each class has an allocated library time and are able to access the library every lunchtime and at an afterschool club to further immerse themselves in quality texts. There are inviting reading areas situated throughout the academy where children may sit and read for pleasure in their own time. Furthermore, books are strategically placed in classrooms and in corridors that allow children to further their knowledge on subjects that may interest them.

Top 30 Reads and Our Favourite Five

At Estcourt with the support of our accelerator reading programme we have our top 30 age related texts in every classroom. Teachers rotate these books to keep the children enthused and engaged in their library corners. Teachers also work with the children in their class to pick their ‘favourite five’ top ARE reads each term. We want the pupils to develop a love of reading. This is encouraged through the use of reading challenges, our school library and class texts. We ensure all of our pupils read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. Furthermore, we arrange engaging experiences such as author visits, library visits and book fayres to expose the pupils to the joy that reading can bring. This aims to involve and inspire the community with developing a love of reading.

Home Reading

At Estcourt Primary Academy we encourage children to read every night at home, with use of a text that is age and ability appropriate to supplement the development of reading fluency or/and comprehension within school. Children will have the choice in EYFS and Year 1 to take home their decodable book they can read with fluency or access an appropriate decodable text on our Academy Oxford Owl online platform. They are also offered a top 30 age related book to share with parents to develop reading for pleasure. In Year 2 children are provided with decodable books when necessary to continue to embed phonics and fluency and age related books. When In KS2 children decide whether to use reading plus, take home their current decodable or bridging book or a hard copy of an age appropriate text for pleasure. The Children have free choice over which ARE book to pick, this encourages the enjoyment and love of reading we promote every day at Estcourt Primary Academy.

The children have the choice of a wide range of books which are situated in our whole school library. Some of our children have key roles at the Academy as Librarians and are responsible for the running of this much-loved area at the heart of the school. Children are able to visit the library and borrow a book of their choice.

Story Telling Time

Story telling is an important time in school. This is a set time across the whole academy every single day. With low lighting, the ‘fire’ is turned on and the children gather round, and our adults bring stories to life. Children love the time to simply listen to books come alive!