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Sunnyside Primary Academy


Reading – Intent, Implementation, and Impact


At Sunnyside Primary Academy we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences, and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading.  We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, whole class taught lessons using Talk for Reading principles, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. Intervention is offered for children who require additional support to reach their age-related expectations. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers. 

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for not only reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers.

Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in reading lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.


Striving for Excellence:

Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we believe in putting as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want our children to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

Developing Vocabulary:

Children are offered a wide range of texts which include picture books, classic and modern novels; including extracts and entire novels to ignite discussion and develop vocabulary. Considerable time is spent unpicking vocabulary within texts support comprehension and build the vocabulary that children use in their everyday communication and across the whole curriculum. Teachers select focus vocabulary to be taught and these words are displayed in classrooms to support the children in applying new words across their learning.   


Building Community:

We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home. We offer support and guidance to equip parents in supporting their child/ren to become a reader. Reading at home is monitored carefully.

Expanding Cultural Experiences:

We instil diversity through our reading curriculum by reading books where children can see themselves and their own cultures within them. We encourage lots of exploration of texts around different cultures and beliefs, so children feel valued and included. In addition, children are offered the opportunity to discuss culture and respect others through the variety of texts, characters and settings they will encounter throughout their time at Sunnyside Primary Academy.  


We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow Twinkl Phonics to provide the children with the skills to decode (See Phonics – Intent, Implementation and Impact). Phonics is taught in whole class lessons to Year 2. Children are given books which are matched to their phonics ability. Alongside phonics teaching in Reception and KS1, picture books and short novels are carefully selected, and children hear a range of text types through whole-class teaching and daily story time. Such texts are used to inspire learning across the curriculum and offer a rich reading diet.

Accelerated Reader

In KS2 (and fluent readers in Year 2 in the Summer Term), children access the Accelerated Reader program to support their reading development and to foster a love of literature. Children complete a Star Reader test at a minimum of 4 times throughout the year. The Star Reader test is a diagnostic tool which identifies a reading range (ZPD). Children are then supported to select a reading book from the well-organised library which is within their reading range. Children are expected to read regularly at home and when they have completed a book, the next morning in school, they access a ‘Quiz’ online to check their comprehension. Staff regularly monitor the results of quizzes to ensure that timely intervention or support can be offered where needed.

Talk for Reading

At Sunnyside Primary Academy, we use the Talk for Reading approach in whole class reading lessons, where children learn how to develop children into efficient, effective, thoughtful and strategic readers who can learn about life, discover information and deepen their thinking through considering other people’s views and experiences with a critical mind. Texts used throughout the school have been carefully selected to promote such thinking and discussion.

Whole-class reading lessons are planned in three phases:

  1. Introduction phase


By the end of the introduction phase, the children have a basic understanding of the text and can read it. It has been reread several times, initial responses logged, and core vocabulary considered. The teacher models fluent reading. Understanding may be at a basic level, though deeper thinking may have begun.

  1. Investigation phase


The investigation phase is where the class begin to ‘dig deep’ into the core focus for the unit, exploring the text’s core purpose. They may well have to use a strategic approach to clarify meaning.

Response activities such as drama or writing in role as a character may be used to build a close relationship between the reader and the text.

The unit ends with summarising the main ideas, information, viewpoints, events or themes and evaluation. By the end of this phase, the children can all read the text confidently and fluently with understanding.

  1. Independent understanding phase


In this final phase, the children demonstrate understanding independently. This may be through writing about the text, in a discursive essay style, writing something similar (drawing on the same style and structure) or by answering in depth questions and/or completing a comprehension activity.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter even when they have come to the end of the Twinkl Phonics programme.

Children will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school, accessing a range of texts independently. Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments such as the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of phonics half termly and screening assessments, PiXL reading papers and individual reading plus ongoing teacher assessment.

More importantly, we believe that reading is the key to unlock all learning and so the impact of our reading goes beyond the statutory assessments. We give all the children the opportunity to enter the amazing new worlds that a book opens up to them and share texts from a range of cultures or genres to inspire them to question or seek out more for themselves. We want reading to be the golden thread running through a child’s journey at Sunnyside. When they leave us, we want pupils to possess the reading skills and love of literature which will help them to enjoy and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future.