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Hurdsfield Primary School

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Welcome to Hurdsfield Primary School

Our School Learning Values are: RESPECT, CHALLENGE, REFLECTION, RESILIENCE, ENCOURAGEMENT and GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP because... we are a BRILLIANTLY HAPPY school where only our BEST will do.


Reading Intent at Hurdsfield

Our Reading curriculum is designed to ensure all children know that reading is an open door to all other learning opportunities. They understand that reading frequently makes them a good reader, and being a good reader expands their world. Our children will embrace their own individual reading journey and will celebrate their reading milestones as they develop new strategies, learn new words, explore different genres, discover unknown authors, experience unfamiliar settings and unpick hidden meanings. By continually reflecting on their own reading journey, our children will not only be able to read, but most importantly, will want to read.


We do this through:

  • Developing children’s competence in both dimensions of reading: word reading and comprehension.
  • Prioritising reading for our early and developing readers; giving them the knowledge and skills to decode, learn and recognise a growing bank of words.
  • Ensuring Quality First Teaching, where every child is treated as an individual, and additional support is put in place to make sure all children can ‘keep up’.
  • Fostering an appreciation and love of reading for all of our children.
  • Developing curious learners who confidently participate in dialogue by questioning, relating to, expressing views and engaging in discussions around a range of quality, engaging texts.
  • Placing books, texts and images at the heart of daily school life.    
  • Ensuring all of our children transition to high school as enthusiastic, fluent and confident readers.
  • CORE LEARNING VALUES: curiosity, reflection, encouragement and challenge


Reading at Hurdsfield - a brief summary:

At Hurdsfield, we teach early reading in the following ways:

  • Playing with the English Language: Our youngest children are encouraged to have fun and 'play' with the English language.  From rhyming words to role play, the emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
  • Teaching our children to read words: Every child in Reception and Year 1 have daily, highly structured phonics sessions followed by guided reading sessions.  Each child is provided with decodable readers for use at home which can be read independently and link with the structured sessions the children enjoy daily in class.
  • Teaching our children to understand the words they read: All children across the school have access to daily 'Word Aware' sessions which are based on developing children's understanding of vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. Word Aware uses spoken language to explicitly teach word meaning. By enriching the language experience of all our children, we are closing the vocabulary gap while widening access to our engaging curriculum.   
  • Reading for understanding: Each phonics session is followed by a guided reading session led by a member of our staff.  For continuity, the children have the same teacher for their phonics and reading session.  We have an early reading coach/teacher who supports all staff in the delivery of each session; ensuring consistency in quality of resources, delivery and high expectations for all children.  Our staff received high quality and ongoing CPD to support them in the delivery of these sessions.
  • Reading for a purpose: Each curriculum enquiry uses a book hook which runs throughout the length of the enquiry.  Wider learning is based on this book which is widely discussed using 'Reading Vipers' to aid their comprehension of the texts they are reading.


V = Vocabulary

Ensuring our children understand the meaning of the words they mean in context supplemented by daily word aware sessions.


I = Inference

Being able to infer actions, thoughts and feelings using their understanding of the text and their wider experiences.


P = Prediction

Using evidence from what they have read and what they understand to predict what will happen next and how this will affect the plot of the narrative.


E = Explain

Use evidence to explain their answers to specific questions


R = Retrieve

Find information from a text quickly to support wider learning.


S = Sequence (KS1) and Summarise (KS2)

Accurately pick out the main events and succinctly summarise these for a wider audience.  


Our Schools Passport to Reading Pleasure - new for 2021-2022

Reading VIPERS Question Stems for Home Use

Reading Skills Progression Grid

Our Reading Spine

At Hurdsfield Primary School, we know that reading is an open door to all other learning opportunities. Our children know that reading frequently makes them a good reader, and being a good reader expands their world. Fundamentally, we want our School to be a place where children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with high quality books.


Our 'Reading Spine' is one element of the approach we take to foster a love for reading in our children. The spine is a core of books that create a living library inside our children's minds.  It is a store of classics and essential reads that help children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story.  We have produced our very own 'Reading Spine' for every year group so that children have access to these high quality texts.


Because we know that children bring their existing knowledge to what they are reading, our Reading Spine books are carefully linked to our Enquiry Questions. Our VIPERS text extracts are also selected to complement our Reading Spine Books. By doing so, we are helping our children to connect their knowledge in a meaningful way. Ultimately, while our children are continuing to enjoy a range of books throughout their school journey, the are also learning to become metacognitive readers.


We plan to use the books in every year group over the School Year.  From your child joining Hurdsfield Primary School in Reception, to leaving in Year 6, they will have been immersed into 45 of the most fantastic books available to children!


How It Works

Each year group has a set of (approximately) 6 texts that make up our reading spine.  The composition of the books/texts chosen for the spine underpins (where possible) the themes within our enquiry topics.


The text extracts used for VIPERS sessions link with the whole class reading spine book and subjects within the enquiry and will cover the following genres:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry


Our 'Reading Spine' is one element of the approach we take to foster a love for reading in our children. The spine is a core of books that create a living library inside our children's minds.  It is a store of classics and essential reads that help children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story.  We have produced our very own 'Reading Spine' for every year group so that children have access to these high quality texts.


Our weekly ‘Chatterbooks’ reading club has been set up to encourage our children to enjoy reading for its own sake, and have a good time listening to stories and chatting about them with their peers. The lunchtime club is made available to all children from Years 1 to Year 6, with each Year group having a dedicated half-termly slot. The aim of the sessions is to inspire our children to read different kinds of books, develop confidence in talking in a group and to grow their enthusiasm with fun and creative activities.


Participation in the group also increases the children’s book and author knowledge, as well as their use of the school library. Each Year group has an engaging theme to link the stories in their ‘Chatterbooks’ sessions, including, ‘Amazing Animals’ and ‘Chocolates, Sweets and other Treats’.


By making recommendations to each other, children start to read more widely and begin to discover stories that interest them, make them laugh, or make them think – and soon become curious to want to read more.

Early Reading and Phonics at Hurdsfield

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school.  Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.  We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves.  This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


At Hurdsfield Primary School, we use two main schemes within our EYFS:  Read Write Inc. phonics alongside Word Aware and Concept Cat.


Children are grouped according to their ability across Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 to ensure that teaching is suited to their level. Phonics in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 takes place on a daily basis and in Key Stage 2 where applicable.


How will my child be taught to read?

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the (phonemes) sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down (graphemes). This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well.


Read, Write Inc. has 5 underlying principles – the five Ps:

  • PACE – no time is wasted during teaching sessions! Children are active and involved in a fun and creative way. The aim is for the children to complete the programme as quickly as possible.
  • PRAISE – teachers praise the children constantly throughout the teaching sessions. Children learn more quickly when they are praised for what they do well, rather than nagged for what they do wrong. The children are encouraged to praise each other and as a school we have developed several ‘Praise Phrases’ and ‘Praise actions’. Ask your child to demonstrate!
  • PURPOSE – each activity has a very clear purpose. The teacher will set this purpose at the beginning of the lesson so that the children know exactly what they will be learning.
  • PARTICIPATION – all children take part in all parts of the lesson. Full participation is gained through partner work and choral response.
  • PASSION – as a staff we are passionate about our teaching and the benefits of the Read, Write Inc. program! We love teaching the sessions and this enthusiasm rubs off onto the children.


READING SCHEME: We use a selection of materials within our reading scheme.

  • Read Write Inc. Book Bag Books
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Floppy Phonics
  • Big Cat Phonics


In Reception and Year 1, every child is assessed every 6 weeks to ensure that they are both making progress as well as ensuring that the groups they are working in and the books they are taking home closely match with their reading ability.


Useful Links 
Oxford Owl is a free website built to support you with your child’s learning.  You’ll find age-specific reading and maths tips and activities, eBooks, and lots of fun ideas to really bring your child’s learning to life.  You will also find support and advice on a range of questions you may have – including helping your child with their phonics, motivating boys to read and ensuring your child is doing their best in maths.
This website provides information about the national Bookstart scheme and the Bookstart packs that your child will receive as a baby, a toddler and at age three to four. It also gives information about sharing books with your child. You can find out about Bookstart events in your area, which you can attend with your child.


Read, Write Inc. (RWI) at Hurdsfield School - Parental Information (October 2020)

Read, Write Inc. Home Learning Pack Information (October 2020)

Reading at Home (Year 1 and 2) Letter and Guide (September 2020)

To help our children to recognise and say the sounds within words, they will be introduced to Fred and the concept of 'Fred talk'. Below are some games you can play with your child so children can 'tune in' to sounds in words.

Early Reading Workshop at Hurdsfield - Parent/Carer Presentation

Early Reading Focus: How to say the sounds

We teach our children the pure sounds every letter and group of letters make in the English language as soon as they enter school. By teaching these sounds in a systematic and comprehensive way enable our children to recognise sounds, read words and become fluent and confident readers. Below is a video that explains the importance of teaching 'pure sounds'. Please watch the video below.

A Brilliantly Happy School Where Only Our Best Will Do!