At Stephen Freeman, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to experience high quality texts that help them to become engaged in reading and to develop an intrinsic love of reading.

With this in mind, we have created a reading spine, ensuring that a range of text types and themes are experienced. These carefully chosen texts are at the heart of our English curriculum.

Early reading is taught though the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme; you can find more information about this on our RWI page.

Guided Reading

Once children have successfully completed the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme they will begin whole class guided reading. Guided reading lessons will focus on an enjoyment of reading, as well as teaching the main reading domains and exploring the meaning and impact of different vocabulary. At Stephen Freeman, it is important to us that children learn the skills to become an active reader and are able to think deeply about the text and ask further questions to broaden their understanding.

Reading spine

Our reading spine was developed with the following text types in mind: Archaic/ traditional texts, non-linear texts, complexity of the narrator, complexity of the plot, resistant texts and diverse texts. By the end of Year 6, children will have been exposed to a variety of genres and authors through these core texts. Books from each of these categories have been selected for each year group to experience. In our long-term English overview, you will see how these text are used to support learning across Key Stage 1 and 2.

In Nursery and Reception, the reading spine texts are used throughout the day during story and snack times, children also have the opportunity to access these books during their independent learning time. All the reading spine texts are labelled with a special gold star. The children know them so well; they are able to tell the story alongside their teacher.

Reading for pleasure

Our library is at the heart of our school, and thanks to the wonderful donations from our school community, we have a wide variety of incredibly interesting and much loved books.

As a school, we highly value reading and in every class we dedicate time for reading for pleasure; this is seen in our school library, the outside areas or relaxing in our own rooms, encouraging the children to use the cosy book corners and our regular visits to Didcot Library.