Reading is central to every child’s development

Neasden Primary school believes that reading is central to a child’s understanding of the school curriculum and is of vital importance in life. Fluent readers can access a full range of life experiences and can enjoy an amazing breadth of genres and writers.

At Neasden, we aim to develop a love and appreciation of reading which will stay with children for life. We hope to achieve this through careful planning and teaching using up-to-date strategies. We aim to use good reading materials and resources within Literacy lessons and Guided Reading sessions and to provide a breadth and range of reading material in school.


It is our aim to allow children the opportunity:

  • To experience reading in a variety of situations so that it becomes a pleasurable & productive experience.
  • To access a wide range of print materials, including all genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays & pupils own writing.
  • To progress to becoming selective in their choice of reading materials.
  • To be knowledgeable about the purpose and organisation of books.
  • To nurture a love of reading.
  • To learn to read through a variety of methods.
  • To read to themselves or to others (peers and adults)
  • To read to a variety of audiences and to hear adults and children read to them.
  • To read regularly and to develop a respect for books.
  • To receive reading provision and support appropriate to individual ability.
  • To become aware of the link between reading and writing.
  • To use ICT to further the development and love of reading.

Julia Donaldson’s top reading tips

Julia Donaldson has written some of the most popular and best-loved children’s stories including The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, Room on the Broom, The Highway Rat, Zog and Stick Man.

She is also the author of the popular phonic Songbirds series, part of Oxford Reading Tree published by Oxford University Press.

Watch these videos of Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson talking about some simple and fun ways you can help your child with their reading at home. Guaranteed to make reading fun and help your child develop a love of reading.

The classroom environment

Each classroom has a dedicated reading area which includes a variety of class books (Fiction and non-Fiction) which the children can choose and read for pleasure. These appeal to different genders and also reluctant readers. A selection of banded books are also available in each class for use during independent reading.

The teaching of reading

There are two distinct but related processes involved in teaching children to read: learning to read words and developing language comprehension. Both are essential for learning to read.

Developing word recognition and language comprehension skills

In the Foundation Stage and KS1 the priority is given to securing the development of word recognition skills

Children are taught:

  • grapheme-phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences (the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequence.
  • to apply the highly important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes in order, all through a word to read it.
  • to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell them.
  • that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.
  • To achieve this there is high quality teaching of Phonics.


Progression in phonics skills and knowledge are taught following the recommendations of the Primary National Strategy “Letters and Sounds” programme using the Phonics Bug scheme and Jolly Phonics stories and actions to ensure a multi-sensory teaching approach.

All children in the Foundation Year and KS1, receive a 20 minute discrete phonics session every day. The children are taught in phase groups across each year group. The children’s progress is regularly assessed and they move through the phases at their own pace.


Reading routines in keystage 1 & 2.

Shared Reading.

Shared Reading is where the teacher works with the children to model fluent, expressive reading, the use of effective reading strategies and to encourage response to texts. It can be a vehicle for both teaching children to read (decode) and for teaching children about reading, including comprehension.

Shared Reading enables children to access and enjoy rich, authentic texts which are slightly beyond their independent reading level. Sessions are generally planned in a sequence and involve re-reading for different purposes, with children using their developing skills and understanding as they become more familiar with the text.

Resources used for Shared Reading include fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts. The text is enlarged to enable all children to see as well as to hear the text. This may be through the use of Big Books, ICT texts or interactive white boards (IWB).

  • All documents on our website are available in printed format from the school office