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For pupils to succeed in education, reading has got to be a priority. The World Literacy Foundation states that pupils’ reading ability and knowledge acquisition are of great importance, with the associated costs to the lives of individuals and wider society being enormous (2015). A recent review of research (Castles, Rastle and Nation, 2018) looked at over 300 studies to highlight best practice: a phonics-based approach to help young children crack the ‘alphabetic code’; immersion in text to develop word-recognition skills and reading fluency; vocabulary development; and the influence of knowledge, processing and cognition on wider comprehension. We have aimed to embed this practice within our reading approaches and resources.

We aim for all pupils – irrespective of their needs, abilities or background – to learn to read fluently and with understanding. We aim to meet – and where possible exceed – the expectations laid out in the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum. We want to develop secure, confident, independent readers who enjoy and understand the benefits that reading brings.


The direct teaching of reading starts with oracy and phonics. We follow the Read Write Inc phonics programme, with this being complemented by purposeful talk and the use of shared reading experiences that expose pupils to a wider range of vocabulary, syntax and sentence structure. Our children receive a daily phonics lesson in which they participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developmental needs. 

Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure that children are stretched and challenged, and to identify those children who may need additional support. We aim for all pupils to finish the programme by the end of KS1. If their decoding skills are secure before this time, they undertake structured comprehension lessons. If they are not secure by the end of KS1, they will continue to access the RWI programme in Year 3.

By KS2, our aim is for all pupils to be ready for our daily, whole-class reading lessons. The focus here is on the development of vocabulary, fluency, reading stamina, specific reading skills and knowledge through immersion into a wide range of texts. For each year group, these lessons are based on a series of themed texts and class novels, with these acting as a stimulus for skill development and deep thinking. These texts cover a range of fiction and non-fiction genres that aim to develop pupils’ cultural capital, general knowledge and wider understanding. 

In addition, geography and history lessons in KS2 are based on a series of text-based booklets, with these being used as part of an ‘everybody reads’ approach across the curriculum. Furthermore, writing lessons focus on word- and sentence-level understanding, with many of the activities making use of skills that will enhance pupils’ comprehension of written language. 

Reading for pleasure is also a focus throughout schools, with school and class libraries providing books for home reading, and initiatives being undertaken to promote reading as a positive past-time. According to research, this plays a major role in reading development, while also providing pupils with an alternative to the digital distractions that can affect their personal wellbeing.

‘Keep up’ not ‘catch up’ Reading 

For children with SEND or disadvantaged children, we ensure that they have additional guided group reading or 1:1 reading on a regular basis. We also use an online programme called IDL to support reading and some children attend specialist classes run by an Orrets Meadow Teacher. This group of children are monitored closely to ensure that they ‘keep up’ with the standard of their year group.

Reading at Townfield

Have a look below to see what the children of Townfield have been up to this term in their Reading lessons. 



In Nursery children have been learning how to handle books carefully and have spoken about what they can see in the pictures of books.

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Reception have been reading Room on the Broom, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks. 

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Year 1 

So far in English, we have enjoyed sharing our Vehicle text - A River, and studying the Model - Circular Narrative text, which we are gathering ideas from. We have had fun with creating similes and noun phrases, which we are looking forward to using in our own story writing based on a journey. 

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Year 2 

In year 2 they have been been getting in touch with nature and reading  ‘A Hedgehog by Dick King Smith’ during our Woodland Learning sessions, and ‘Fantastic Mr Fox by Julia Donaldson’ in class. 
In class, they have been practicing the reading skills of retrieval and skim reading, whilst exploring texts about ‘Rivers and Seas’. Children have really enjoyed finding out about Sharks and other sea creatures this half term.

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Year 3 

Year 3 have been reading books about forces, magnets and rocks! They have been learning about how to locate information in non-fiction text and retrieve answers. 

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Year 5 

The children in Year 5 love reading and like to read a wide range of different books.  Some of our favourite books are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Michael Morpurgo, Skull Duggary Pleasant by Derek Landy and all the Harry Potter books.  The children have a real passion for reading and especially love Fridays when they take part in #LibraryFridays where they get to read a book for ten minutes at the start of the day.

Both classes have been really enjoying our whole class read “The Infinite Lives of Maise Day” by Christopher Edge which is a story about a young girl who get lost in an infinite world of alternate universes.

In the forest the children have been enjoying Brightstar by Vashti Hardy which is about when twelve-year-old twins Maudie and Arthur's world comes crashing in when their explorer dad is reported dead in his mission to get to South Polaris.    

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Year 6 

Children in Year 6 have been studying World War Two. They have been reading a non-fiction book all about the Second World War and children have also been reading Anne Frank's diary. Year 6 enjoyed practising their retrieval and deduction skills when reading the non-fiction text and have enjoyed summarising some of the main parts of Anne's diary. 

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Year 3 have been enjoying reading a range of texts this term. Their favourite was 'Seen and not Heard.' the characters from the book trashed the classroom but foolishly left portraits of themselves behind! 

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Year Five 

Year 5 have been enjoying our guided reading lessons and have enjoyed learning about a wide variety of topics in lots of different text types. Children are developing vocabulary on a daily basis - learning new words and understanding them in the context of an extract. Topics we've covered over Spring 1 include: The Titanic, Changing Materials, Children's classics and Medieval Monarchs. Children have enjoyed using iPads to follow the text, as well as find out the meanings of different words. 5C have been continuing to enjoy our class novel, 'The Nowhere Emporium'.

Year Six 

Year 6 have really enjoyed reading a wide range of genres this term! We really enjoyed reading a poem called 'The Raven' by Edgar Allen Poe and spending lots of time unpicking and clarifying the difficult language included. We have also enjoyed learning about inference and deduction through various song lyrics. We have particularly ejoyed linking our reading texts to global events and topics such as LGBTQ+ months and Black History Month this term. 


Reading Spine

Subject leaders across the Rainbow Trust have worked collaboratively to produce a 'Reading Spine' of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books that captures the curriculum in each year group.  You can download a copy of the reading spine by clicking here or you can enlarge the information below to full screen by clicking the three dots or pressing CTRL+SHIFT+F4 together (press ESC to exit full screen mode).


The children engage in story time every day. Every Woodland session also includes a dedicated story time around the fire pit!

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Reading Areas

Each class has a reading area where children can select books and read quietly. Areas are stocked with a wide range of books including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and newspapers that are suitable for the age of the children.




Supporting Parents with Reading

In the autumn term, we invite parents to attend a reading workshop. This is to help parents understand how we teach early Reading (phonics).  We also have regular webinars with  ‘Literacy Counts’, our English provider. Gareth Davies, who runs Literacy Counts, leads regular webinar sessions that support parents with Reading and Phonics. All parents are welcome to access these free webinars (see website for more details On our Phonics tab, you will find links to many other Reading resources that will support your child at home.


Our Virtual Library 

There is nothing quite like sitting down with a good book, however sometimes access to a wide variety of books isn't always available.   With this in mind, please see below our Virtual Library which has a good selection of some of the best books available.   Simply click on the book title and this will direct you to a link of that book.  The library is split in to relevant key stages and categories to help you and your child with your book selections.   


World Book Day Fun! 

Children and staff really enjoyed celebrating World Book Day this year at Townfield! 





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Get in Touch

Townfield Primary School

Townfield Lane, Prenton, Wirral, CH43 2LH

T: 0151 652 8498


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