How we teach Reading & Spoken Languages

Our children are taught to read in their small classes. The grouping of children remain fluid throughout the year enabling children to be able to access reading lessons that are appropriate to their ability. Any child who has achieved year group expectations in class is then given the opportunity to work on these objectives in greater depth.

The Forge Trust approach to reading is taught through whole class reading sessions.

National curriculum objectives are covered throughout the year in the teacher’s planning. Content is determined by the National Curriculum, and by our gap analysis, based on half termly summative assessments. Individual curriculum targets can be found in the front of every child’s class exercise book that is used for reading. Targets are signed off when there is sufficient evidence in a child’s work. Evidence is gathered via observation, marking and feedback as well as from formal testing.

Our children benefit from a structured whole class Reading session on a daily basis in Year 2 – Year 6. This session also provides invaluable evidence towards individualised reading targets linked directly to year group objectives for the vast majority of children. However, if children have not understood sufficiently, with the majority meeting year group expectations within that session, then the learning will continue into the following week’s session. In Year 1 children have a whole class reading session Monday to Thursday and on Friday they are heard read individually.

In the Foundation stage children are read to regularly and through their phonics sessions and a daily class story a love of reading is fostered and encouraged.

Speaking & Listening

The Forge Trust has a specific speaking and listening curriculum which is progressive and was developed in association with Bishop Grossesteste University in Lincoln.

The National Curriculum states ‘Spoken Language underpins the development of reading and writing.’

Our children are challenged through the quality of questioning across all subjects. There is strong emphasis on children being able to explain their ideas and reasons. This encourages them to use a rich variety of words and develop their confidence in speaking.

Cross Curricular Reading & Spoken Language

Reading skills are used in other areas of the curriculum at The West Park Academy. Applying in this way encourages learning at greater depth. For example, during science and geography topics, children are required to research key topics and explain their findings. In P.E. we encourage children to discuss the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet, much of our work in D.T. incorporates being able to read and explain. Cross-curricular reading is displayed in school through World Book Day displays, Book Fair adverts, Library promotion and transition work with the child’s next class teacher in addition to the transition to secondary school.

Teaching Methods

Our aims in all of the Reading and Speaking and Listening we teach in school are to: improve fluency (speed and accuracy), encourage reasoning (through elaborating and explaining) and to be confident and competent in spoken language and Reading skills.
We teach by firstly allowing children access to a wealth of quality texts and giving them opportunities to read for pleasure. Resources are provided in each classroom to facilitate a love for books and children are encouraged to read and discuss books at home. Children are rewarded by receiving a reading raffle ticket for reading 20 times. The winner is drawn in the weekly achievement assembly.


Differentiation can be seen in all reading sessions through a process led success criteria invented by Shirley Clarke. These are differentiated to suit the needs of the small group that they are working in.

Flexible interventions aim to ensure progress for any children who have not understood an element of reading being taught that day/ week. The aim is to ensure at least good progress is made. After school reading booster sessions are provided for year six children, to prepare them for their SATs tests in May.

Reading and Spoken Language at The West Park Academy is constantly evolving, as we face the challenges of new assessment procedures, national tests and the new curriculum.