Ditcheat Primary School

Part of the East Somerset Federation which includes Bruton and
Upton Noble C of E VC Primary Schools


One of our key curriculum intents is:

A curriculum that focusses on reading and vocabulary to allow equity for all to enable all children to access a full curriculum.


Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and, across the school, we encourage volunteers from our families to read with the children as well as take our reading books to the monthly Rendezvous to share with the community.


During assembly, at least once a week, the children hear a story read aloud and children are expected to read regularly at home.  We are lucky enough to have a library and on Fridays, children are invited to come into the library to choose a new book for the week. Every world book day we celebrate reading and will often invite authors, ex pupils and children from our local secondary school into school to inspire our children to read and write.



How we do it in Foundation Stage

In foundation stage, we are introducing Unlocking Letters and Sounds which is a systematic programme for teaching children phonics skills with aim of them being fluent readers by the age of seven.  We use rhymes, physical props and flashcards making the learning of the initial sounds fun for the children. We teach this alongside learning to hold a pencil and writing sounds.


The children in foundation stage will also have at least 2 stories a day read to them whilst also having a book corner as part of their continuous provision.  The books are linked to the children’s independent ability as well as their interests.

As the children progress, they start to take books home and a daily guided reading session is introduced into the timetable.


Reading is embedded in displays, role play and learning activities.  In addition, high quality texts are used for teaching inputs often taken from reading lists issued by the Book Trust and Somerset Literacy Network.

New parents are encouraged to come to an information evening in September to help understand how to support their child at home.


How we do it in Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1 we follow Unlocking Letters and Sounds to build on the children’s speaking and listening skills as well as prepare the children for reading by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.

Once the children are secure with their phonic sounds, they move on to answering short comprehension questions which build upon their literal, inference and evaluation skills.  A range of texts are then used from poetry to non-fiction and often linked to the book being read in English.  Discrete teaching of reading happens for about two and a half hours a week but reading is also embedded in all curriculum areas.

The children have a story read to them usually at the end of the day and a book corner as part of their continuous provision.


The books given to read at home are taken from both the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and the Big Cat scheme which are a range of fiction and non-fiction engaging texts.  Children are heard read in class on a 1-1 basis at least once a week.


How we do it in Lower Key Stage 2

In Lower Key Stage 2 we teach whole class guided reading using a range of texts and extracts from texts.  The children read the text independently or with a partner and sometimes the text is read aloud while they follow along.


The questions around the text are often focussed on one skill such as retrieval or inference and the children record the answer independently or with a peer.   Sometimes the children are responsible for generating the questions and the whole class can then respond.  More able children are extended through text choice and differentiated questioning both written and verbal.  Reading is taught for about 2 hours a week and usually Monday to Thursday.


Children who are in need of further support can be selected for precision teaching or reading cards intervention.


The resources used are a range of texts – fiction, non-fiction and poetry as well as film and images.  Texts are often taken from Love Reading as well as recommendations from Somerset Literacy Network.

The children have a class novel which is read to them daily and discussions are had about vocabulary from these texts.  This is also true in extensive cross-curricular reading in science, history and geography.

Children continue on from KS1 in taking home engaging reading books appropriate to their level and may go onto ‘free choice’ once they become fluent and confident readers.


How we do it in Upper Key Stage 2

In Upper Key Stage 2, we teach whole class guided reading with a focus on skills such as retrieval, inference and vocabulary.  Whole class teaching concentrates on these skills twice a week and twice a week we also incorporate other reading skills using VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise or Sequence).


Reading is taught four days a week with a focus on a novel for 2 days and whole class strand for 2 days which equates to about 2 hours discrete teaching.  As well as whole novels, we also use extracts, pictures and  video which will often link, where possible, to curriculum topics.  We also read extensively across the rest of the curriculum. 


Some children who require support can have 1-1 reading and reading cards.

There is a class reading book that we read for pleasure but we do discuss the vocabulary from the books to find definitions and we aim to use exciting vocabulary identified in our own work.


Children continue on from Lower Key Stage 2 in taking home engaging reading books appropriate to their level and may go onto ‘free choice’ once they become fluent and confident readers.

Worl Book Day 2024