Home Page


The Teaching of Reading at Northdown


Early Reading (EYFS)


At Northdown children are taught to read through an immersive approach.  In Nursery we start by introducing children to print within the environment and begin by giving this meaning.  Children start by recognising their names, logos and are orally introduced to different sounds (phase 1 phonics).  In Year R children are taught phase 2 phonics within their first term and the knowledge and skills that they are introduced to is underpinned across the curriculum.  Teachers introduce key words to children alongside the teaching of phonics and carefully select these to build sentence stems.  These sentence stems alongside the skills to decode phonetic words form the curriculum for the teaching of reading.  Within every phonic lesson children are taught how to read simple words and sentences. Outside of the phonic lesson the expectations and exposure remain the same.  Children are encouraged to read words and sentences during every teaching input.


During our DEAR sessions (drop, everything and read) children develop a love of reading as the teacher reads a book that the children have democratically voted for.  In addition to the reading of a book linked to the 'Topic and Author of the Term' the children actively engage in the reading of a 'Key Word' ppt.  This builds the children's common exception word knowledge.  These words are saturated within the environment.


To support the teaching of reading children take home a home reader which is linked to their phase of phonics.  An adult monitors the books going home with the children and each child is heard read weekly to ensure the book is appropriate to their reading level. Children begin on Pink level and move through the colour bands.   Attached below is a document that outlines the colour bands with helpful reading tips for parents at each level.


In addition to home readers children are able to take home a book to share with parents.  Alongside their home reader the children are given a phonics pack which contains the sounds that they have been exposed to and on a weekly basis they are given a reading task linked to the sounds taught that week.  This is specific to each phonics group.


Daily Supported Reading (KS1)


DSR accelerates reading levels for all children in Y1 and children who are below age expected in Y2

The Daily Supported Reading is a classroom programme that helps to move all children on in their reading. It is delivered initially to Year 1, then introduced into Reception and then for lowest attaining children in Year 2 for maximum impact across the school.


DSR helps children make accelerated progress by working with trained adults in small groups matched to their independent reading levels. This method has a proven track record of success in raising school reading standards as KS1.


Children are benchmarked prior to the project to level according to reading fluency and understanding. DSR uses primarily PM reading books to support, however after level 12 a range of books are included. DSR uses scripts to support and ensure consistency and high quality questioning. Children should read over 70 books per year using this scheme.  It is thought that the majority of children will move up a level approximately every 2-3 weeks.



  • Establishes strong systems for organising reading support
  • Ensures that all children make maximum progress in reading
  • Provides professional development for staff to improve their provision of reading support


DSR Organisation

Our Year 1 pupils are split into groups of 6 children.  Each group is assigned a trained reading leader. 


Adults meet weekly to discuss groupings, levels and key learning points.  Further training is provided through these meetings as well.  Each child is discussed within the groups and assessments reviewed.  Groupings are fluid and changes can be made at any time.


The reading lead selects the new texts for the following week for the DSR adults ensuring consistency and progression. 


Destination Reader (Late Y2/KS2)

Developing children's understanding of texts in Y2-6 through the use of strategies and language stems

Destination Reader is a new approach to teaching reading in KS2. The approach involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling, prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems.


Destination Reader is not a scheme or reliant on specific texts, but aims to improve teachers' understanding of pedagogy in reading.


Feedback from schools currently using the Destination Reader programme has shown improved confidence for both teachers and children in their approach to reading. Children read with greater understanding, independence and, above all, enjoy reading more.



  • Provides a systematic approach to the teaching of reading across KS2
  • Enables children to develop key strategies which deepen their understanding of texts
  • Develops children’s motivation to read broadly for pleasure and purpose
  • Increases children’s ability to lead their learning through the acquisition of key learning behaviours
  • Places children at the centre of a formative approach to assessment in reading
  • This approach can be applied to schools’ existing texts and broader curriculum


Destination Reader Organisation

At Northdown we use DR from Years 2 to 6.    Teachers introduce the scheme by teaching classes about different learning behaviours – Discuss and explain, support and listen and taking responsibility. They then move towards the introduction of 7 learning stems – predicting, questioning, clarifying, summarising, evaluating, inferring and making links.   Each stem has a week’s focus before moving to the next.  Each week children complete 2 ‘Selfies’ – short assessment tasks and 1 ‘Big Picture’ – a longer comprehension assessment task.


In Year 2 we have altered the number of stems and made them a little more accessible to the younger child to enable Year 2 to be part of this project.



Reading Skill Progression EYFS - KS3

Example of Weekly Phonics Task

Example of Key Word teaching ppt

Reading Colour Bands Explained