Our approach to Reading

At Chesterton, we value reading as a key life skill. By the time children leave Chesterton, they should be confident selecting and reading a wide range of material and enjoy regularly reading for pleasure.

Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary and material. They are able to recommend books to their peers and enjoy reading a wide range of genres, including non-fiction. Children enjoy participating in book talk, including evaluating an author’s use of language and how this can affect the reader. We encourage our pupils to see themselves as discerning readers and to be confident in discussing not only whether they enjoy a text but also the extent to which they agree with it. We ensure the books we read as part of our reading curriculum and in our books corners are representative of our wider school community and reflect the diversity of our childrens’ lived experiences. 

How we teach Reading

We teach reading comprehension through daily reading lessons. Each half term, children will read and analyse a fiction, a non-fiction or a poetry text. Reading lessons include:

  • An element of prosody (reading with feeling)
  • A close look at key vocabulary that children may be unfamiliar with
  • Unpicking the key skill focus for that lesson (retrieval, inference, prediction, summarising, vocabulary, making links)
  • Modelled answering of questions
  • Opportunities to apply the day's reading skills independently
  • A weekly reading for pleasure session

In addition to our reading lessons in Year 1-6, we also provide children with:

  • Opportunities to read for pleasure
  • Phonics in small groups or interventions 
  • Storytime timetabled for fifteen minutes a day, at least three times a week.
  • Regular, open ended discussions about stories and books.
  • 15 minute weekly assembly focused on stories chosen by the children
  • Opportunities to read and discuss a wide read of genres including poetry and non-fiction (including weekly newspapers to ensure children are aware of local, national and global issues).

We also have a number of reading enrichment activities, including:

  • Half termly visits to Battersea Park Library where children choose books to borrow and are read to by the Children’s Librarian.
  • Regular visits from authors and poets throughout the school year.
  • Celebrations for World Book Week including reading breakfasts, competitions and lots of amazing costumes!

In addition, 1:1 reading is put in place for children that need extra practise. Books that the children take home are carefully chosen to match the children’s interests and their level of fluency.  

Reading for pleasure at Chesterton

Every child at Chesterton will have...

Reading communities:

·         Visits to the local library every half term.

·         Participation in local reading competitions including the summer reading challenge.

·         Visits to the school library every half term.

·         Topical workshops held in the local library.

·         Book fairs every term- children are timetabled in for browsing sessions.

·         Access to their teachers reading stories on the school website.

·         A reading breakfast every year with family participation.

·         Participation in World Book Week dress up and enrichment events based on the national theme.

·         Reading treat half termly for children that have been reading regularly at home.

·         Reading buddies- teaming up older and younger classes to share favourite books together.

Reading environments and choice:

·         An engaging, clearly labelled, tidy book corner with a range of classic and new, high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts.

·         Book Huts available in the KS1 and KS2 playgrounds so that children can access books throughout their playtimes.

·         Newspapers made available and regularly changed so that children can keep up to date with current affairs.

·         Advice on how to choose a book that they will like and exposure to new authors and genres.  

·         Time every week to choose a book and read for pleasure.

·         Dedicated time each day where an adult will read to them.

·         Time each week to read to an adult and other children in the classroom.

·         Daily opportunities to engage in quality book talk.

·         Some children even have sessions with our highly trained team of reading volunteers- or our “reading dog”, Dolce!

Author visits/ Workshops:

·         Barnes Book Fest for at least 1 KS1/ EYFS class and 1 KS2 class.

·         Regular author/ storyteller visits- every child will access at least one author event per year.

Teacher Commitment:

·         Teachers who have regular training sessions and are kept up to date with pedagogical developments.

·         Enthusiastic teachers with good knowledge of children’s books and enjoy participating in book talk.

·         Teachers who are motivated and participate wholeheartedly in reading enrichment activities such as World Book Day.

·         Teachers who model the love of reading!


Useful links 

Free access to stories to read out loud

Support in helping children access reading at home 

Book recommendations and excerpts to help children choose what to read next!

Chesterton Virtual Library

Chesterton Bedtime Stories

reading picture

Reading picture