How we teach Reading & Spoken Languages

Our children are taught reading and comprehension in ability sets. 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 placed on our long term planning curriculum maps, to ensure there is adequate coverage throughout the year. Content is determined by the National Curriculum and by our gap analysis, based on termly summative assessments. We incorporate daily ‘Assessment for Learning’ teaching (based on formative assessments).

Our children benefit from a structured reading session on a daily basis.

Stage 1 – Children focus on new vocabulary.

Stage 2 – Children focus on a specific question type eg. inference.

Stage 3 –  Children focus on applying skills to new piece of text.

Stage 4 – Children review the text and check their understanding.

Children are selected by their teacher for a ‘superstar reading session’ to improve fluency and word recall. During this time, other children are given the opportunity to read independently to develop reading for pleasure.

Children also enjoy a class story giving the children the opportunity to listen and to discuss a range of books taken from ‘The Forge Book Spine’. This includes: 3 novels, traditional tales, picture books and poetry in each year group.

At The Forest View Academy reading is at the heart of everything we do.  As part of our reading for pleasure ethos we provide children with a rich variety of books both fiction and non-fiction.  Children are invited to attend our VIP reading room or the mini library within their classrooms. 

Spoken Language

As the National Curriculum states, ‘Spoken Language underpins the development of reading and writing’, therefore it is deeply embedded in how we teach at The Forest View Academy. Children are challenged through the quality of questioning across all subject areas. There is a strong emphasis on children being able to ‘elaborate and explain’, ‘reason and convince’ so that they use a rich variety of words.

Cross Curricular Reading & Spoken Language

Reading skills are used in other areas of the curriculum at The Forest View 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. During theme weeks such as, ‘Enterprise Week’ children speak with local businesses, negotiating deals and making sales pitches. Our annual productions and assemblies also provide the children with lots of opportunities to use spoken language.

Teaching Methods

Our aim in all of the reading and spoken language we teach in the academy 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 if they read at home with a reading raffle and there is a trophy for the class which read the most at home for pleasure. Classrooms now all contain a mini library where the children can choose their books.


Differentiation can be seen in all reading sessions, through our ‘Steps to Success’. Children are not moved on to new content until they are secure in what they are learning. The ‘Steps to Success’ are a means to achieving age related expectations, with a starred step which allows for children to apply in a different way.

Our children are taught in reading sets matched to their ability.  Interventions are provided for children during school time delivered by our Reading Champion. daily 1:1 phonics intervention is used to support identified children who need additional phonics support. 

In the classroom, teachers will target specific groups identified in termly pupil progress meetings. The aim is to ensure at least good progress is made by all children. Additional intervention is provided in year 6 in their lead up to their End of Key Stage 2 assessments. All staff provide 1:2 reading sessions for identified pupils in year 6.

Marking & Feedback

The expectation is that marking and feedback moves learning on. This will provide next steps for the children, or provide consolidation/questioning asking them to address misconceptions based on the day’s work. Children also receive ongoing verbal feedback during guided group work.

Maintaining Standards

Our academy monitoring schedule is designed to ensure standards are maintained across academies. Formal and informal monitoring (lesson visits/TMVs) incorporate book and planning scrutinises, pupil voice and quality assurance visits.

English subject leaders from all academies meet half-termly to share good practice, develop new initiatives and shape future developments across The Trust. Books are standardised across academies. Children’s achievements against national curriculum objectives are tracked across all academies on, Age Related Expectation Grids.

Reading and spoken language at The Forest View Academy is constantly evolving, as we face the challenges of new assessment procedures, national tests and the new curriculum. We will continue to work as part of the Forge Trust.

Reading at Home

Tips & Hints

Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. (You can’t compete with a TV or computer games.)

When your children are at the very beginning of the learning process encourage them to match the word with their finger as they read. Encourage them to read left to right with a return sweep at the end to the next line. It takes a while for them to understand the difference between letters and words and 1:1 matching helps them.

Children will bring home reading books from class and these are really important, but don’t forget to read the books you have at home for them to read too as this will give them a great variety and instil reading as a pleasurable activity. Choose books that children will enjoy and don’t put pressure on them to read harder books. To find out if a book is too tricky for them, let them read the first page – if they get stuck on more than five words – choose another book.

“Little and often” is best. 10 to 15 minutes a day including weekends and holidays. At the early stages of reading children need to read a thousand words a week to embed all the new information they need.

When they are reading words they find difficult try not to say the word for them: give them time to process what it might be using their phonic knowledge before giving them a clue or telling them. Encourage them to think about what it could be.

Give praise for what they did right, even the smallest achievement and point out in the text where they may have corrected themselves or tried to work out a word.

Allow at least five minutes after you have read the book to chat about likes, dislikes, character and plot and any interesting words the author has used. This helps the children to understand what they have read and identify key elements of the story. In the early stages you can retell the story together using the pictures.

Don’t forget we are reading all the time in everyday life. For instance, over breakfast you can easily look at the packaging together and if your child can spot any words or phrases. On car journeys children love to spot words and print in the environment. Your child is more likely to read if you and your family read all read too. Keep reading to your child, they need their bookish, enjoyable time with you to keep them motivated.