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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy



Learning to read is one of the most important things that your child will learn to do at Orchard. As a school, we are striving to develop a culture for reading. We want our children to develop a love for reading a range of books, including fiction and non-fiction, but also have the knowledge of a range of amazing authors and their writing style. We are continuously updating the books within school to ensure children are reading books by up and coming authors, but also traditional books that still entice children, such as Charlotte’s Web.


 At Orchard Primary Academy we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.


 At Orchard Primary Academy, we teach reading in both direct and indirect ways, developing a reading culture throughout school. Children are expected to read on various occasions, in a range of lessons to ensure that they are consistently applying the skills of fluency, inference and comprehension.

 Within Key Stage One, reading is promoted through the daily teaching of phonics. Children are placed into groups to suit their phonics and reading ability. Children are then provided with phonetic decodable books which suit their phonetic ability. The schemes used within school include, Songbirds, Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s Phonics but also, non-fiction and fairy tales. Children begin with environmental and single sound books before progressing through the colour banding system. Selected levels, such as Pink and Red are then filtered in to specific sounds to match phonetic ability. Children also take part in daily guided reading lessons. Within these lessons, children read in groups with adults, concentrating on phonetic ability, comprehension and vocabulary. When children are not reading, they are completing tasks which relate again to their phonics or comprehension based on the text they are reading.

 In Key Stage Two, reading is planned into English lessons. Reading is the main focus of three lessons, looking in depth into the reading domains. Children within Key Stage Two progress through the books bands within school, until becoming ‘free readers’.

 Children also;

  • Take part in 1:1 reading with an adult at least once a week. Those who are targeted readers, working specifically on a targeted skill, will read frequently.
  • Complete daily interventions with ETAs based on their educational need.
  • Are provided with cross-curricular opportunities to read. At Orchard, we want our children to apply their reading skills throughout the curriculum. By having opportunities to read in various lesson and in different contexts, ensures that they are constantly and consistently applying their reading and phonetic knowledge as well as developing their understanding.
  • Develop their vocabulary to be able to decipher what they are reading. Each class has tiered vocabulary displays to add vocabulary and their meaning to it, applying these in both reading and writing lessons.
  • Take part in daily FRED time. During this time, children read a choice of book enhancing the reading culture we are creating.
  • Reading Buddies – Our Year 6 children are trained to read with the children in KS1. They are able to support them with their phonics, as well as questions them and provide positive feedback. This happens every Tuesday.
  • Have enticing reading areas within each classroom to promote reading for pleasure, providing the opportunity to share them with their peers or read independently.
  • Are exposed to teachers modelling reading on a daily basis. Each class has an author or text focus which, they will read books from. Particularly in EYFS and Key Stage One, children will be exposed to a range of text read at any opportunity throughout the day by the teacher or teaching assistant.
  • Able to visit our renovated library on a weekly basis. Children are able to take a book home weekly from the vast amount of books within our library. We have recently invested in Reading Cloud to support this.
  • Visit the reading sheds which are located in our school grounds during playtime, lunchtime and weather permitting conditions. The reading sheds included a range of fiction and non-fiction books which support our long term curriculum plan.

 As mentioned, we have recently refurbished our library. Children visit our new library every week and choose a book to take home.

Our Reading Scheme

We have made a significant investment in a variety of reading schemes to encourage your child to access a range of texts suited to their own personal interests while also extending their reading ability and confidence. These include, Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy Phonics, Songbirds, Alien Adventures and Project X. As a school, we use a colour banding system for the children to progress through from Reception to Year 6. Click on the link below to direct you to the colour banding system and the expectation by the end of each year group.

Colour Banding System

Here at Orchard, reading is progressive. This is so that our children develop their reading skills to become fluent readers with a good understanding of the text and are able to infer and take into account a range of punctuation.

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 At Orchard, we want our children to become fluent readers who can read with clear understanding, intonation and expression. We want them to clearly understand the vocabulary, the context it is used within and the author’s intention of impact on the reader. However, we also want them to develop a love for reading; one that excites and entices them into reading a range of fiction and non-fiction books by authors that will become known to them throughout their primary experience. Children will enter Key Stage Two from Key Stage One being able to use a range of strategies for decoding, relying on phonetic knowledge and other strategies. They will also be able to read for knowledge to extend their understanding of all subjects within the curriculum and communicate their research on a wider scale.

What can our parents do to help at home?

Within the first couple of weeks of starting Reception, you will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading at Orchard Primary Academy and show you the resources and books that we use. During the meeting, there will be lots of suggestions on how you can help your child to read. Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress!

You can help your child sound out the letters in words and then to 'blend' the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. To be able to do this, you can watch our children demonstrate how to say the sounds on our 'Phonics' page.

Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading with your child. It's great to share a book! They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their earl reading books and you will be helping them grow a vast vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding od different stories. It will also encourage then to develop a love for reading and want to read more; if a child sees or hears an adult reading, they are inspired by them.

Here are some useful links to websites and documents to support reading at home:

Develop Your Child's Comprehension - Questions

Oxford Owl - Free online ebooks

Cbeebies - How To Help Your Child Read At Home

BBC - Storytime App

Nursery Rhymes

Reading Fun!