English: Reading

Reading is at the heart of what we do at Southdale. We aim to create a culture where children love reading and learn through stories.

Reading is prioritised at Southdale from the moment pupils enter in year 3. Our aim is to teach children to be readers (not just to read); we strive to ensure that pupils develop a love of reading. Our reading curriculum is planned so that children encounter a variety of texts which elicit a strong sense of response – curiosity, anger, excitement.

Our aim is that children at Southdale develop a real love of reading; are fluent and have the knowledge to access a diverse range of texts. Pupil success is defined by their ability to read fluently and skilfully. 

Reading at home is one of the best ways your child will become a better reader and writer.  Reading for just 20 minutes a day has a massive impact on the amount of vocabulary a child knows. Please read see our Reading at Home guide for more information.

How We Teach Reading

Reading lessons at Southdale are timetabled into five structured sessions a week. These sessions incorporate fluency practice, extended reading, knowledge building reading, analysis of texts and explicit vocabulary teaching.

In addition to reading lessons, each class have a daily story time.


The books, texts and poetry that we have chosen for our reading lessons and story time:

  • have a strong narrative that will sustain multiple readings
  • extend children’s vocabulary
  • reflect children from all backgrounds and cultures
  • help children connect with who they are
  • help children to understand the lives of people whose experiences and perspectives may be different from their own
  • Are sequenced through lexical complexity and complexity of themes

In addition to our reading spine, we have a breadth of fiction, non fiction and poetry books that are promoted throughout school.

Reading curriculum