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Reading Intent Statement


At West Leigh Infant School, we believe that all children deserve the right to become confident, fluent readers and want our children to develop a lifelong love of language and literature. Due to this, reading lies at the heart of our curriculum and we take great pride in this. We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities. Our goal is for pupils to develop a love of reading, apply the correct skills when reading texts, and have a good understanding about what they have read. We believe that reading ‘opens the doors’ to learning and enables children to access the wider curriculum. 


Through the delivery of our reading curriculum, we ensure a consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in Reception and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum. The teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics begins in Reception and continues through KS1. Children experience daily, high quality phonics lessons following the Letters & Sounds programme, supported by a range of practical methods. Pupil progress is tracked closely to identity any pupil who is falling behind so that targeted additional support is given.

Once children are blending simple CVC words, they are provided with books that match and support their phonics development and ability. Our reading books are fully decodable and match the progression of sounds from the Letters and Sounds programme. All pupils have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, and are encouraged to read at home with an adult.

In KS1, guided reading takes place on a daily basis where children are exposed to a range of different texts. During these sessions, children have opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and thinking of a text through appropriate discussions with their reading group.

The ‘Power of Reading’ underpins the majority of our literacy lessons encouraging pupils to develop their vocabulary, consider a range of issues and deeper meanings in texts, develops comprehension skills and enjoyment of books. It is important to us that we have a range of quality reading material and that we plan to enable children to engage with the texts on a meaningful level. The books we use lend themselves to being talked about, thought through, returned to and which are engaging for children for a variety of reasons.  They are books that children will want to re-read, to savour and will remember. Texts such as these can take many forms – poetry, picture books (with or without words), information texts, chapter books, modern stories or famous classics.

We develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories, reading WOW days, visits to our school library, and encouraging children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine. Teachers read stories to the children on a daily basis. These could be stories the teacher has chosen as a personal favourite, or child recommendations. Our ‘100 reads challenge’ is a successful school initiative which encourages children to read a selection of high quality, age-appropriate texts throughout their time in Reception and KS1. The initiative encourages children and their families to share a variety of stories together at home and has the added incentive of certificates awarded for every 10 books read. 


By the time children leave West Leigh Infant School, they will have made a strong start to their reading journey. They will; be able to confidently decode words, be developing independence, fluency and enthusiasm when reading, have a good understanding about what they have read and engage in discussions about texts, and will often choose to read for pleasure.