At Mercenfeld we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. With these texts, children develop their comprehension skills and have access to a richer vocabulary. We want pupils to develop a love of reading and a good knowledge of a range of authors. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence in any subject. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership, which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.


Mastery in phonics is fundamental to children being able to access a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts, across the curriculum. Phonics is taught daily, with a drive to address the needs of all learners. During the academic year, parents are invited to workshops and practical sessions to demonstrate letter to sound correspondence and promote consistent use of the school’s scheme – ‘Letters and sounds’.  Those children struggling in phonics are not left behind because the school employs a range of strategies to close the gap, including precision teaching, direct phonics and follow-up sessions.

Children are expected to read at home and the school reading scheme is carefully matched, in the first instance, to children’s phonic phases.  As children become more fluent, we help them make book choices, related to their interest and ensure that questioning is carefully scaffolded.  For EYFS and KS1, phonic support packs are sent home regularly to consolidate in-class learning and to inform the parents of gaps identified from recent assessments.

Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Test continue to have intervention to support the acquisition of these key skills.

Individual reading takes place for all children in EYFS and KS1 regularly and guided reading groups are used alongside whole class reading to model and assess skills and ability. In order to develop reading for meaning, we teach all the reading strands from the National Curriculum as follows:

  • Decoding
  • Retrieving/recording/identifying  information
  • Summarising and predicting
  • Inference
  • Meaning and its enhancements
  • Comparisons within and across texts

In years 2 to 6, children take part in daily whole class reading sessions. The first and last session of the week uses the class text and focuses on prediction, summary and retrieval skills. The first session of the week features a class quiz and ends with a philosophy for children question. These sessions allow children to gain a clear understanding of the reading process and interpret meaning in a scaffolded, supported and independent way. Teachers are able to hear individual children read aloud during these sessions and within cross-curricular subjects. Whole class reading incorporates poetry, drama, music, fiction, non-fiction and debating opportunities in order to engage children and develop empathy. During the sessions, support is offered to the less confident readers and challenge given to those who are greater depth. Wherever possible, children’s vocabulary is acquired and enhanced as part of shared, guided and individual reading.

All children in all classes have 15 minutes have a daily reading for pleasure session where the Teacher reads aloud to the class without interruption for the simple pleasure- to enjoy reading.

The reading environment in each class and school library engages and promotes a range of books with a strong emphasis on parental partnerships and volunteers. Mercenfeld pupils also have regular opportunities to visit the Markfield community library to borrow and enjoy books.

Any feedback and marking is given within the session where possible and teachers use AFL to identify those children who need help with particular skills, ensuring they are scaffolded/supported as appropriate. Assessments and tracking is carried out using PIXL tests and data sheets. These help to plan targeted intervention and close gaps as quickly as possible.

Intended Impact

  • Pupils will enjoy reading across a range of genres
  • Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all reading lessons
  • Pupils will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors
  • Pupils will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading and home, and contribute regularly to home-school records
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national average
  • The will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils