Reading is at the heart of all we do at Thurgoland School because it opens the door to learning. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material will learn. The more a child learns, the more they will want to find out. We want your child to love to listen to stories, love reading and want to read themselves. This is why we work hard throughout school from Class R to Class 6, to make sure our children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


Oracy is a precedence for children at Thurgoland Primary School. Talk underpins the EYFS statutory framework and the national curriculum states that spoken language fortifies the development of reading.

Oral skills – both speaking and active listening – are at the very foundation of literacy. Classroom talk helps students to learn, to reflect on what they are learning, and to communicate their knowledge and understanding. We provide discussion opportunities in every lesson, not just reading, in all year groups.

With the EYFS Statutory framework and National Curriculum at its core, reading is a priority at our school and is delivered through a well- mapped out knowledge document that maximises learning for all children at Thurgoland across all subject areas. We know that in order to access a broad curriculum a child must be able to read and speak clearly and fluently.

We strive for all our children to develop into articulate and imaginative communicators who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to become life-long learners. Communication skills are foundational to reading so are integral to our curriculum. Well-structured oral and collaborative activities maintain children’s time on task more consistently.

Through an inspiring text-based curriculum, we aim to ensure that all our children develop a genuine love of language and literature by immersing them in a diverse range of high-quality books. Strong links between oracy and reading ensures that pupils hear high level vocabulary read to them daily therefore pupils speak with broad vocabulary. Vocabulary plays a fundamental role in the reading process, both in terms of word recognition and language comprehension.

We aim for all pupils to become enthusiastic and motivated readers who have the confidence to read a wide variety of genres and text types and take ownership of their reading for pleasure. We plan for our children to become fluent readers; read with purpose for an audience as well as seeing reading as an interesting and enjoyable process that they use to learn across different subject areas. Above all, we plan for our pupils to be able to speak about what they have read or had read to them; express their opinions and ask probing questions.

It is our intention that all our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We are committed to supporting our pupils on their oracy and reading journeys. Through talk and listening, our pupils explore and come to understand ideas and concepts; identify and solve problems; organise their experience and knowledge and express and clarify their thoughts, feelings and opinions. Oracy skills are pivotal, equipping children to thrive in life beyond Thurgoland School.

By providing a well-rounded learning experience that inspires and engages pupils, we give opportunities for everyone to have their voice heard and articulate their thoughts, ideas and opinions with confidence.

Reading and oracy are at the heart of Thurgoland School and we meet the needs of all children regardless of their ability or background, always setting high expectations, celebrating strengths and supporting them to be a reader, communicator and have a life-long love of books.  

To meet the expectations set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework and the national curriculum that align with Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework; our teaching units use high quality, age-appropriate texts so that children have exposure to high level vocabulary and phrases that they can use when speaking and writing.

Talk underpins the EYFS statutory framework and the national curriculum states that spoken language fortifies the development of reading and writing so oracy has a high priority for children at Thurgoland Primary School. We provide discussion opportunities in every lesson in all year groups.

EYFS and KS1 develop their oracy through Talk through Stories. This extends and deepens children’s comprehension and vocabulary through carefully selected texts.

In KS2, pupils’ oracy learning journey continues through high-quality texts which are shared and discussed in daily comprehension lessons.

Reading at Thurgoland is planned carefully and taught explicitly in daily literacy lessons. Skills learnt are regularly reinforced across the curriculum so pupils become confident readers. Reading lessons support our pupils to construct a mental model of a specific text so they understand its meaning. Full novels are read aloud.

What can parents/carers do to help?

Every child is provided with a reading book which they will be able to decode using their current level of phonic knowledge. We encourage this to read and re-read at home to develop their reading fluency. Fluency is vital. Below is a link to a video clip which shows the programme in action and explains everything, including ‘Fred talk’!

We ask that the children regularly share their reading books with a grown up at home. Our expectation is four times per week at least. This regular practise is invaluable and enables children to progress more quickly and confidently. 

Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading to your child. They will then come across far more adventurous words than in their own first reading books and you will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding of different stories. Most of all, it will encourage them to love books and want to read more. If a child sees and hears an adult reading, they are inspired by them!

At Thurgoland, we promote and celebrate reading

We are a reading school!

At Thurgoland, the love of reading is promoted and celebrated widely through exciting activities including World Book Day; visiting authors and poets; book fairs; monthly ‘Big Book Swap’ and reading to members of our community.

Every teacher is an advocate for reading and recommend their own favourite books to children. Reading and books are at the centre of the curriculum. We plan time in for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day. We have a group of reading volunteers who come in and hear our children read regularly.

Our drive to make every child a reader, starts with talking and vocabulary. We are a ‘talk a lot’ setting and focus on developing the ability to articulate ideas, engage with others through spoken language every day. We teach children to become effective speakers and listeners to empower them to have a better understanding of themselves, others and the world around them.

All children are encouraged to read at home from the day they start until the day they leave Thurgoland School. Although your child will bring home appropriate books from school, we encourage reading any of their favourite texts from home or share books with their family members. These can include comics, magazines, newspapers or websites. 

We know how important reading is, and really value the enjoyment reading brings which is why reading takes place everywhere! A large story telling chair outside is very popular along with a book nook shed for enjoying reading outside. Learning to read opens doors for children and offers them opportunities to learn more and know more. They truly can read to learn!  As well as a vital life skill, reading can broaden all our horizons and bring endless pleasure; that is why reading is at the heart of Thurgoland Primary School. 

If you have any further queries about how we teach reading, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your child’s class teacher.

Useful Documents

Values that are at the heart of Thurgoland


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Thurgoland C of E Primary School
Halifax Road
S35 7AL

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