Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary School

Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary School

Part of White Woods Primary Academy Trust

Rookery Road, Mexborough, South Yorkshire, S64 8HP


01709 874418

Reading at Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary School



We believe reading is the foundation of all learning. We immerse the children daily in an engaging reading environment and provide them with many opportunities to learn to read, read to learn and foster their love of books and reading: in phonics and guided reading (FS - Y1), in whole-class reading (Y2 - Y6) , in the form of story time, when reading across the curriculum and when reading books selected from class libraries. Our reading curriculum is carefully structured to enable our pupils to develop as independent readers who will:

  • In the earlier years, use the phonic strategies taught to decode new words and develop into fluent readers.
  • Be able to navigate the texts they read, understand what they have read, make inferences, summarise and predict, form opinions about themes, character and plot, and, overtime, become more aware of author intent.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information, and use reading as a vehicle for expanding their understanding of wider curriculum subjects.
  • Benefit from a wide reading diet of ambitious, high-quality texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and songs which expand their vocabulary and help them develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
  • Confidently discuss what they have read and listen to others to expand their own knowledge and understanding.
  • Use role-play and other drama techniques to identify with and explore characters and language and listen to and perform poetry and plays.
  • Understand the interconnectedness of reading and writing.

How we teach reading

Please find more information below regarding how we teach reading here at Swinton Fitzwilliam.

Please find more information on our dedicated 'Phonics and Early Reading' page.

Whole-class reading sessions are taught to children in years 2 to 6 and allow the children to continue their development into fluent, confident readers who meet the aims outlined in our vision.

Each half term, children explore a carefully chosen text with a focus on specific ‘Key Concepts’. Often the texts are accompanied by subsidiary texts, allowing the children to make comparisons and deepen and widen their understanding of what they have read and, the chosen texts often feed into our writing lessons.
Lessons follow Swinton Fitzwilliam’s ‘Teaching and Learning Model’ and include the following: retrieval questions, to aid text navigation; a focus on a ‘Key Concept’; teacher modelling of reading and comprehending; opportunities to improve fluency and prosody through choral, echo, paired and independent reading; carefully-structured questions which support and challenge pupils; oracy opportunities; and a mixture of guided, paired and independent tasks which allow the children to retrieve, build on their vocabulary, infer, summarise and make predictions.


Our curriculum aims to equip pupils with the substantive and disciplinary knowledge they need to be able to interpret a range of texts and foster a love of reading.

In reading, substantive knowledge is the ability to decode and sight read words. Through deliberate, repeated practice, this substantive knowledge becomes automatic and fluency is achieved. This allows children opportunities to read to learn, read for pleasure and develop their vocabulary. Children are then able to apply their knowledge of reading strategies to comprehend a range of texts. 

Disciplinary knowledge in reading is the interpretation and comparison of themes and conventions, using text to support arguments and discussions and evaluating the intentions of the author. 

Key Concepts

At Swinton Fitzwilliam, pupils will develop a deep understanding of our key concepts which have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in all aspects of reading. The key concepts are revisited and developed, through studying different texts, as the pupils move through school to ensure the knowledge and skills are firmly embedded within the long term memory. Our progression map illustrates our expectation that, by the end of primary school, children will know and understand these key concepts and have the reading skills to enter KS3 confidently.

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