At Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School, English, and our teaching of it, is at the heart of our curriculum.  Our curriculum is designed with the intent that all children, regardless of backgrounds, will become fluent readers with a love of reading and technically skilled, creative writers. The bespoke, culturally rich, spiral curriculum that we have developed will instil in all children a love of reading and writing that will hopefully last them a lifetime. Through our use of high quality, cross curricular texts and vocabulary rich environments, our children are exposed to a language heavy, creative English curriculum. The National Curriculum forms the foundation of our curriculum here at Gainsborough, but we ensure that our children gain additional skills, knowledge and understanding by enhancing our curriculum, when necessary, to ensure that they know more, remember more and understand more. We encourage all children, through the curriculum we have developed, to be motivated, reflective and resilient learners.

As a result of school closures due ti the recent pandemic, for the academic year 2021/22, we will be prioritising the teaching of missed content to ensure that our pupils make sense of work that comes later on in the curriculum, including key knowledge, skills, vocabulary and links between concepts. This forms part of the school's Recovery Curriculum. 

Frequent reading will continue to take place, not only in English lessons, but across the curriculum so that pupils learn from what they read.  Children will continue to have time to read for pleasure through our ERIC and DEAR times.    Our daily whole class story time will continue so that all pupils experience what it is like to enjoy and become immersed in a book.  

Reading Intent

At Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School we value reading as a life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers; we are committed to fostering a love of reading. We strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly, using the Letters and Sounds programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words. We believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is essential. These fundamental skills not only underpin the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.

At Gainsborough we:

  • teach children to read with fluency and expression.  Through our curriculum, children will develop their ability to comprehend and critique a variety of different texts
  • give pupils the opportunity to apply their reading skills across the curriculum
  • have a wide range of quality texts available in our library for the children to read at home and school

Reading Implementation

At Gainsborough we teach daily systematic phonics lessons in every class from Nursery through to Year 2.  Teachers use continuous assessment for learning to ensure the children are stretched and challenged and those children that require additional support are identified so they ‘keep up, not catch up’. Phonics is clearly linked with early reading with children receiving daily morning reads in small groups with an adult in year 1. Across Reception and Key stage one, pupils’ reading books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so that they experience early reading success as well as consolidating the learning that takes place within the phonics lessons.

In Key Stage 2, pupils are taught reading through daily Guided Reading sessions where they are experience a variety of different genres and authors, learn comprehension skills and are exposed to a rich and varied vocabulary.

Reading skills are also taught through lesson starters in other subjects, giving children the opportunity to develop and apply their reading skills across the curriculum. 

Pupils who are experiencing difficulties in learning to read are supported through the FFT and ECAR interventions which are delivered 1 to 1 by trained staff each day.


At Gainsborough, we promote the importance of reading and foster a love of reading in a variety of ways:

  • Reading reward schemes are in place with a class of the week for reading and children who have read regularly. This is celebrated in assembly with weekly raffle prizes awarded and the opportunity to walk the school dog, Oscar.
  • Children are read to by an adult every day
  • Reading is celebrated in every classroom with designated areas for reading and quality reading material that is easily accessible
  • The importance of reading is enhanced through the delivery of parent workshops for reading and phonics and regular parent stay and read sessions.
  • Subject specific texts which link with other areas of the curriculum and texts that can be read for pleasure books are available in each classroom.
  • We make full use of the Education Library Service to further support the reading resources in school

Reading Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for all children to become fluent and competent readers by the end of key stage one.  Pupils can then focus on developing further their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.

Although it is our aim for the % of pupils working at age related expectations at the end of each key stage to be at least in line with national averages and for there to be no significant gaps in the progress or attainment of different groups of pupils, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and the impact of our reading curriculum goes far beyond assessment results. We want children to leave Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School as life-long readers who will read for pleasure and who are able to reference a wide range of different authors, from both different literary traditions and genres. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their passion for reading travels with them and continues to grow and develop as they do.   

The Reading Raffle

Each week, we hold a reading raffle here at Gainsborough. To win a ticket for the reading raffle is simple!  Read at least four times at home, have your diary signed by a grown up and bring it in.  Then, on Friday, you will have a ticket given to you to put into the raffle.  If your name is drawn from the raffle, you get to choose a book from the prize box.  Already we've had lots of winners!

Class of the Week for Reading

The reading ambassadors count how many tickets each class has handed in.  From this, they award an EYFS/Key Stage 1 class and a Key Stage 2 class, the class of the week trophy for reading.  

Visit the English area in the Kidz online zone to find links to lots of fun reading activities!

Reading is great fun!  You can visit new places and meet new people without ever leaving the comfort of your cosy chair.   


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