Reading - ‘We are Readers!’

At Richmond, we lay strong emphasis on the teaching of reading. The ability to read well is a vital skill. We use a structured reading scheme and alongside this we encourage the children to take books home to read for pleasure with their parents. Children may also choose additional reading books from the well-resourced academy library.

reading 1.jpg  reading 2.jpg reading 3.jpg

Every classroom has a reading area set up so that children have the opportunity to choose books that they can read for pleasure. We believe that this is a vital part of children learning to read so that they naturally develop a love for reading themselves. Each reading area is set up differently and the books are selected carefully for the children according to their ZPD. The variety of books focus on the ZPD range of the class so that ALL children can access a book that is of the right level for them.

reading 4.jpg reading 5.jpg reading 6.jpg

In addition to this, children are encouraged to read at home with their parents too. We expect that they will read 3 times a week with someone at home to further develop their reading skills. If they read three times at home each week, then they become a reading champion! Each child that collects a reading champion sticker every week throughout a term is then celebrated at a special Reading Champions event within school and receives a reading champion certificate.

Within our academy, the teaching of reading is progressive. Children begin by taking part in shared reading sessions where they share a story as a class and continuously discuss the language used, ask questions, sequence the story, answer questions, role play the story themselves etc. This is further supported by well-planned activities within provision that build on core skills in reading and writing with the focus class book always at the centre.

As children move further through school, they build their reading skills further through reading comprehension lessons. These are introduced in Year 2 during the second part of the spring term.

Reading comprehension sessions are taught three times a week and they follow the same structure from Year 2 to Year 6. During the first session, the children get to know the gist of the text through a variety of activities. In the second session, there is a focus on the vocabulary used and in the third session children build on the comprehension skills. Where possible the reading lessons link to the class novel, the genre of writing they are focusing on in English that week or the class topic at the time.

In addition to this we also offer reading support for those children who find reading challenging. Some children may participate in intervention groups to enable them to catch up or they may receive some pre/post teaching before/after the reading sessions so that they can access the lesson with the rest of the class.

We also welcome reading volunteers into school to read with target children so that they have the opportunity to build their reading skills further and develop confidence reading aloud to others.


  • Children from Nursery to Year 2 follow the ‘Harmony Phonics Framework’ scheme of work and have daily discrete phonics sessions.
  • All phonic lessons have four parts which are interactive, well-paced and structured so that the children are revisiting, learning, practicing and applying their skills.
  • We follow a clear progressive synthetic phonics scheme for planning
  • Children in KS2 also continue to learn phonics if necessary and all children receive spelling lists to learn weekly.
  • All children who complete phonics sessions receive a reading book that is matched to the phase and sound that they are learning within their phonics lesson. In EYFS & KS1, the books follow a rigid structure and is mapped out within their reading booklets. The books are fully decodable and enable children to further practice their phonics skills out of school so that they become confident before moving on. Children in LKS2 who still need support with phonics are also given a phonics book alongside their ORT to develop their decoding skills.


  • Phonic knowledge is assessed termly through the appropriate phonic assessment package based on the Harmony Trust Phonics Framework assessment criteria.
  • Phonic knowledge is assessed during Year 1 through the statutory phonics screening check. It also be repeated during Year 2 to monitor progress and identify those children in need of intervention.

Accelerated Reader and myON   

ar.jpg     myon.jpg

All the pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 have a log in for Accelerated Reader.  This is an online platform which we use so the children can take a quiz once they have finished reading their reading book or their Book for Pleasure.  You will see that most of the children’s reading books have coloured stickers on the side, which help us match their book to the most appropriate level for them to read.

Once they have finished reading a book, they can then take a quiz to check they have understood what they have read. The quizzes need to be taken within 24 hours of finishing reading the book, although they can use the book to check for the answers when doing the quiz.  Children can take quizzes at home during the week, as well as at school.

Every time the children pass a quiz, they earn points and add to their own total number of words read.  Each week, certificates are awarded to celebrate improvements in the number of words read and to celebrate the class that has added the highest number of words each week.

Accelerated Reader is also linked to which is an online reading platform and uses the same log in details.  Pupils can use their ipads to logon to, which has thousands of books that they can select to read from both at home and at school. They can select books that are matched to their current reading level and they can click on the ‘take a quiz’ button, to take the Accelerated Reader quiz for this book too, which helps to earn even more points.

reading 7.jpg reading 8.jpg

Read, Achieve, Succeed

‘Read, Achieve, Succeed’ is a trust-wide initiative which runs across both the Oldham and Derby academies.  Our CEO, Antony Hughes, has a strong commitment and passion for reading and wanted all Harmony Children to share in this with him.  The initiative was launched in September 2016 as a commitment to develop Reading for Pleasure and to ensure that all children have a book of their own for each year that they attend a Harmony Trust academy.  

Research by The National Literacy Trust has found that children who own their own books are more likely to achieve higher educational outcomes that those without.  They also found that children who regularly enjoy reading, are three times more likely to have higher levels of mental well-being than those who do not.  

The initiative is now led by Ms Jessica Hainsworth with a R.A.S. lead in each academy.  They are responsible for implementing a range of events across the academic year which inspire children to engage with, and become active readers.

‘Read, Achieve, Succeed’ at Richmond

Recent ‘Read, Achieve, Succeed’ activities at Richmond include:

  • Read, Achieve, Succeed — Book for Every Child’ assemblies followed by our very own pop-up bookshop. 

reading 9.jpg reading 10.jpg reading 11.jpg

  • As part of our ‘Read, Achieve, Succeed’ event children were also challenged to create a book in a box! Take a look at some of their wonderful creations:

reading 12.jpg  reading 13.jpg  reading 14.jpg

  • World Book Day.  For the recent World Book Day, children celebrated their love of books by dressing up as their favourite characters from stories. They also received their World Book Day reading book and spent some time in their classroom having a booknic so that they could enjoy their new stories.

reading 15.jpg  reading 16.jpg

Read, Achieve, Success is kindly supported by our partners Madeleine Lindley.  Follow them on @teacher_books

To find out more about Read, Achieve, Succeed events in all our academies, search the hashtag #ReadAchieveSucceed on Twitter.  


Student Login