At The Willows we know that reading is an essential life skill and supporting our children to master this skill allows us to ensure that they will be given the same opportunities as their peers nationally. We do this by;

  • Encouraging our children to foster a love of reading by providing them with a literacy rich environment, making sure that they have access to engaging and inspiring texts and that they can ‘See themselves’ in texts.
  • Providing children with the skills to decode words, supporting them in becoming fluent and confident readers.
  • Teaching the children comprehension skills, so that they are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wider range of texts providing further opportunities to foster the children’s ‘Reading for Pleasure’.

We follow the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum to teach reading and these are incorporated into our ‘Progression documents’.

Progression document 1  Progression Document 2

The teaching of reading focusses on three main concepts which are:

  • Word Reading
  • Comprehension
  • Reading for Pleasure




In Nursery the children are given a book bag when they start in Nursery. The children take home a reading record, a lilac reading book and a story book, to support reading for pleasure - the children share these books with their adult at home. In reception children take home a reaading record, a decodable book linked to their twinkl level and a 'reading for pleasure book' which could be a book banded book/non fiction book or a picture book.  Children read with an adult at least once a week.

In KS1 the children take home a ‘decodable’ book linked to their phonic level. Alongside this book the children also take home a reading for pleasure book which they can share with an adult. Two reading TAs work with Year one and Year two where they target specific children.

In KS2 children at The Willows use Accelerated Reader.

Each half term the children complete an online Star Reader assessment, which gives the children a reading range. From this, the children choose a book within their range and read it at their own pace. When they have finished, they take a short quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that they have understood what has been read. Accelerated Reader gives children and teachers, feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child to direct ongoing reading practice.

As the KS2 children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them it makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them supporting the children to ‘Read for Pleasure’.


In Reception children have a weekly group guided reading session with the teacher this is based on a decodable reading book linked to their phonics level.


In KS1 children have a daily guided reading session which takes place directly after their phonics lesson. This helps to develop the skills of reading through a carousel of reading and phonics activities.

Which may include:

Reading for pleasure: The children may read books/comics/newspapers/stories/non-fiction texts.

Teacher and Teaching Assistant led session: The Teacher/TA guides the children through a book that is appropriate for the child’s level.

Comprehension: Reading a section of the text independently and answering questions about it.

Phonics Activity: Children complete a phonics activity linked to the phonics level they are working at.


Children in KS2 take part in daily whole class reading lessons. On a Monday and Friday the lessons are based on the class novel. On a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday texts are chosen from ‘The Literacy Shed’ resource. The lessons are taught with a focus on the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summary).


  • In order to promote a love of Reading, teachers work hard to ensure that our learning environments promote reading for pleasure. We have worked hard to update our reading areas from Nursery through to Year 6 to ensure they are inviting spaces for our children to enjoy a wide variety of books.
  • We have aimed to ensure that the books on offer are age-appropriate and engaging, with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction.
  • We have reduced the number of books on offer and they will be rotated on a half-termly basis.

 All children have access to our school library which offers an exciting space fot he children to lose themselves in the wide range of books on offer!


At the Willows we promote a ‘love of reading’ through;


  • Reading is a priority throughout the school and this is reflected in our classroom reward award systems which we use to promote and reward reading outside of school e.g. raffle tickets, prizes, certificates, Seesaw messages home, dojos etc.



Year 5 had a visit to the Forum Library during ‘Disability Awareness Week’ where they met an author called Brian Abram. He shared one of his series of stories which are called ‘The Adventures of Grandads Wheels’.

  • The Adventures of Grandad Wheels!' is a unique series of children's books about the crazy adventures of a disabled Grandad in a wheelchair and his Grandson Charlie. Each story tells the reader a little bit about what it is like to use a wheelchair… but more importantly, the stories will make you laugh out loud at the silly things Grandad Wheels and Charlie get up to! Above all else, these books aim to show that anyone in a wheelchair, whatever their age, can still have fun and be fun to be with. 



  • Year 4 are participating in the ‘25 year anniversary of Harry Potter’ event, in conjunction with NLT, Manchester Libraries and Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • We are one of only 25 schools chosen to take part and The Willows kick-started the book relay which is a 6 month tour! So far, the children have received a magical chest filled with Harry Potter goodies which will be up for grabs.
  • They have begun reading, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and have decorated the book relay version.
reading pic 8.png


This initiative is working with different schools, including The Willows, focusing on ethnic diversity. It is important that children from ethnic minority backgrounds see themselves in books, but it’s also important for all children to see people from different communities represented in books and writing or illustrating them too. All of KS2 have participated in a multilingual storytelling workshop with author, Richard O’Neill and a workshop with poet, Joseph Coelho for Years 2 – 6. A Superhero virtual event for Year 3 took place with debut author, Alex Falase-Koya who has also teamed up with Marcus Rashford after seeing a lack of black superheroes in children’s fiction. This year, we have invested in new books for classrooms and our school library which represent people from different backgrounds.



Our Year 5 and 6 classes were lucky enough to receive 60 free copies of ‘You are a Champion: How to be the best you can be’ by Marcus Rashford. The book is an inspiring guide to life for young people and a great read too. It offers advice on topics such as being yourself, using your voice and getting through adversity. The children have enjoyed borrowing the book to read, and sharing in Marcus' experience of growing up in Wythenshawe!


The children celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 4th March 2022. Children across the school enjoyed dressing up as some of their favourite book characters. The children looked fantastic! Thank you to all our families who donated £1 to put towards buying new books for our school. A total of £128.56 was raised. Thank you everyone!




Our children take a leadership role in supporting the younger children with their reading. The children in Year 6 and Year 3 applied to be a ‘Reading Buddy’ and after completing their training they began supporting the Year 4 and Year 1 children with their reading. The children are excellent role models and have had a big impact on the younger children’s confidence and helping them to foster their love of reading.


We use the Pie Corbett Reading Spine which is central to our school’s book stock. This is also supplemented by many other books. In the Foundation Stage and Year 1, the spine suggests 12 great picture books with which children should build a strong acquaintance. Year 2 is a transition year, with both great picture books and ‘chapter stories’ included. The daily read-aloud programme is supplemented by guided, shared and independent reading. In the Reading Spine at Key Stage 2, six novels are selected in each year with a focus on one core picture book. This leaves enough space for teachers to add their own enthusiasms and new finds.

Reading Spine Document


The Willows Primary School

Tayfield Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 1BQ