Reading at Charter


At Charter, reading is a priority. Our commitment lies in nurturing confident, accurate and fluent readers who actively engage with texts, appreciate the diverse world around them and cultivate empathy by stepping into others’ shoes.

Key Aims and Objectives:

Promoting a Love of Reading: Throughout their school journey, children will be immersed in a reading-rich culture, not just through their English lessons but also through wider and extra curricula opportunities. We aim to ignite a passion for reading by exposing children to a rich variety of texts, genres and authors. Our curriculum not only encourages reading for pleasure but also celebrates the joy of discovering new worlds through books.

Language Development: At Charter, our curriculum fosters the acquisition of an extensive and diverse vocabulary, empowering children to express themselves with precision and nuance. Reading lessons provide continuous exposure to key words, reinforcing retention and enabling children to apply new vocabulary in both written and oral contexts.

Fluency: Our explicit focus on teaching reading fluency at Charter enhances accuracy, automaticity and prosody in our readers. We acknowledge that automaticity reduces cognitive load, allowing children to concentrate on using appropriate expression, intonation and phrasing to enhance comprehension and engagement with the text.

Comprehension: We cultivate the behaviours required for children to become discerning readers with the ability to understand and extract meaning from a text. Through coverage of all of the reading domains as well as a focus on questioning the text – both whilst reading and after – children are able to critically analyse a text.

Inclusivity: Our curriculum is designed to meet the diverse needs of all learners, including those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged children. Many of the strategies our curriculum is designed around – including an explicit focus on vocabulary and reading fluency are valuable for all learners and vital for some. Where appropriate, we provide adapted instruction and targeted support to ensure every child makes progress.

Assessment and Progress Monitoring: At Charter, a range of assessment tools are used to gain a holistic understanding of the child as a reader. As well as ongoing teacher assessment, frequent low-stakes assessments are used to evaluate comprehension skills, fluency and vocabulary retention. PIRA reading tests and statutory assessments are employed as standardised measures to further gauge each child’s progress and performance.

Continuous Curriculum Development: As part of our commitment to excellence, our curriculum evolves based on the latest research, case studies, educational advancements or changing context of the school. This ensures that our reading provision remains current, effective and aligned with the evolving needs of our children.

By addressing these objectives comprehensively, our reading curriculum equips children with the skills and enthusiasm needed to become lifelong readers who engage meaningfully with the world through the power of literature.



The teaching of phonics is delivered with fidelity through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Read Write Inc (RWI). All children in Reception, KS1 and, where necessary, KS2 have daily phonics sessions in ability groups that are matched to their current needs.

Language development through RWI:

  • Phonics instruction: Teachers use systematic phonics instruction to teach children the relationship between sounds and letters. This empowers them to decode words accurately and build their vocabulary.
  • Word contextualisation: New vocabulary is introduced in the context of meaningful sentences and passages so that children understand how words are used in real-world situations.
  • Word exploration activities: Interactive activities, such as word games and word sorts, are integrated into lessons to engage children in actively exploring and practising new words.
  • Storybook engagement: Through reading specially selected storybooks, children encounter a wide range of words and phrases to further contribute to their vocabulary growth.

Fluency focus through RWI:

  • Daily Practice: Children engage in daily reading practice to build fluency. This consistent exposure to texts at their instructional level helps them develop the ability to read smoothly and with confidence. This is supported by strategies such as ‘jump in’ and ‘echo’ reading.
  • Modelling fluent reading: Teachers model fluent reading during guided reading sessions to allow children to observe and internalise correct pacing, intonation and expression.
  • Repeated reading: Children engage in repeated readings of texts to reinforce fluency. This practice helps increase automaticity in word recognition and contributes to smoother, more confident reading.

The teaching of comprehension through RWI:

  • Questioning the text: Teachers guide children in asking questions before, during and after reading to stimulate deeper thinking including asking about main ideas, details and the author’s purpose.
  • Making inferences: Children are taught to make inferences based on evidence in the text or images. They learn to draw conclusions and make predictions about the content.
  • Analysing story elements: Teachers help children analyse elements such as characters, plot, setting and theme to help deepen their understanding of the text’s structure and meaning.

As part of the programme, all children on RWI are assessed every six weeks and are grouped according to their phonic ability.

Inclusive Practice:

  • Daily targeted flashcards
  • Flexible groupings
  • Adult support

Guided Reading:

Once children have completed the Read Write Inc phonics programme, reading is developed during whole class guided reading lessons where children engage with a selection of diverse, high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts designed to stimulate enriching discussions, while also offering a richness in language.

Language development through reading lessons:

  • Key vocabulary: Each guided reading unit includes the explicit teaching of key vocabulary carefully selected to enhance comprehension and enrich language. Throughout the year, these words are revisited to reinforce memory and understanding.
  • Word contextualisation: Vocabulary is presented in context, allowing children to grasp how words function within the text. We emphasise not only the definition in context but also explore alternative contexts where appropriate, providing a comprehensive understanding of word meanings.
  • Key strategies: We equip our children with strategies for independently deciphering the meaning of new words. Our approach involves the “3 Rs” – read around the word, use the root word and replace with a synonym.

Focus on fluency through reading lessons:

  • Daily fluency practice: Within the guided reading structure, fluency is woven into every reading lesson to ensure that children are consistently hearing fluent reading being modelled and have frequent opportunity to practice and develop their own reading fluency skills, ultimately fostering their ability to read accurately, with automaticity and prosody.
  • Core strategies for fluency: Guided reading incorporates a repertoire of core strategies designed to enhance fluency: pre-teaching vocabulary, jump in, echo reading, choral reading and text marking.-
  • Repeated reading for various purposes: In guided reading, repeated readings are employed for different purposes based on the learning objectives. Children may engage in repeated readings to skim and scan for vocabulary, retrieve information, summarise the text or with a focus on one of the reading skills.

The teaching of comprehension through reading lessons:

  • Teacher questioning: Planned questions are thoughtfully adapted to meet the needs of each individual child to probe children’s understanding and encourage them to think critically and deeply about the text.
  • Explicit teaching of reading skills: These skills encompass a range of cognitive processes, including inference, sequencing, retrieval, analysing the author’s use of language and more. The explicit teaching of these skills equips children with the tools to navigate and comprehend texts with increasing independence.
  • Exposure to a variety of question types: Reading lessons expose children to a variety of question formats to deepen their overall understanding of a text as well as prepare them for future assessment.

Each week, children will have the opportunity to independently apply their reading skills.

Inclusive practice:

Dependent on the level of need, children may receive extra support through:

  • Adaptedtask design and questioning
  • Adult support
  • Alternative or additional resources
  • Pre-teaching


Reading is assessed through continuous formative assessment in lessons as well as termly summative assessment. NFER tests are used to support judgements, alongside the online FFT reading assessment for decoding, fluency and comprehension.

Research-informed interventions have been carefully selected to support the teaching of reading at Charter. All interventions are short, delivered in small group or one-to-one and are focused on the need of the child: speaking and listening, decoding, fluency or comprehension.

Speaking and ListeningDecodingFluencyComprehension
WellComm   Speech and language specialistFast Track Phonics Targeted pinny timeLightning squad Flash Academy Precision reading

Promoting a love of reading:

Home Reading

Reading at home is essential to making progress and developing a love of reading. Pupils are encouraged to read at home at least three times a week and record this in their online reading  record through Boom Read. Rewards are in place for pupils who actively read at home.

Reading for Pleasure and Enrichment

At least four times a week, classes enjoy Reading for Pleasure using texts that have been handpicked for each year group. This is a great opportunity for all children, regardless of their reading ability to develop a love of stories and hear reading being modelled to them. Each year group reading spine includes books that are diverse and promote different genres and text types.

Reading is also celebrated through regular visits to the school library, Coventry library quizzes, World Book Day, school reading ambassadors and providing each child with a book as a Christmas present.

Once a term, Charter Academy hosts a whole school book week, in which all learning is focused around a spotlight text.

Other enrichment activities include:

  • Talk Through Stories (Rec and Y1)
  • Parent Workshops
  • Library visits/book shop trip
  • Virtual authors
  • Duck race
  • Reading events (World book day etc)