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Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at Maltese Road. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success. At Maltese Road we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. Reading is taught not only in specific reading lessons but across the wider curriculum too. We provide language-rich classroom environments and a curriculum where children are exposed to, and actively engage with, high quality language in varying forms in a meaningful, deliberate and engaging way. Our hope is that children leave our school as competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a wide range of high-quality texts across the genres, participate in discussions about books and have an established love of reading for life.



The curriculum is designed to ensure coverage and develop reading skills progressively. We teach phonics and reading skills as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. From Year 1 – 6, in addition to daily English/phonics lessons, the children have up to three whole class reading sessions a week. These lessons involve activities to improve fluency, comprehension and spoken language skills. The children are introduced to reading symbols from the end of reception and these symbols are used throughout the school to support with key reading skills: clarifying, retrieval, predicting, inference, linking, sequencing, writers’ use of language and imagining. Reading objectives are taught and embedded, not only in Literacy lessons, but also across the wider curriculum, through purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.  We use a wide and varied selection of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire pupils and we celebrate successes regularly in class, as a school and with parents.



We have developed a strong reading culture in which children and adults enjoy, share and celebrate a range of reading materials. A partnership of support has been developed through shared feedback between teachers and parents, plus celebrating reading in class and assemblies mean that children are motivated to read regularly at home with an adult.  As a result, we have a community of enthusiastic readers who are confident to tackle challenges.



We aim to develop literate children who:

  • love reading and get excited about books;
  • have the opportunity to listen to stories that are beyond their own reading ability, for enjoyment;
  • are given the chance to participate in class reading sessions where literature is explored, discussed and linked to real life;
  • enjoy reading at home;
  • understand the sound and spelling system and use these to read accurately;
  • read with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;
  • have an interest in a wide range of texts, reading for enjoyment and information;
  • have an interest in words and their meanings and develop a wide vocabulary;
  • understand a range of text types and genres;
  • can evaluate and justify their preferences;
  • have developed their imaginations, inventiveness and critical awareness.



In order to develop fluent, confident readers, teachers at Maltese Road Primary School:

  • follow a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics via the Letters and Sounds programme;
  • discretely teach comprehension strategies through quality whole class direct teaching, guided group work and individual reading as appropriate;
  • actively promote and foster a love of reading by reading to their own class;
  • further develop children’s vocabulary by “magpie-ing” during English lessons, other subjects and class reader sessions;
  • make the link explicit between reading and writing.

Teaching Approaches

The 2014 Curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions:

  • Word reading/ decoding
  • Comprehension

We recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We acknowledge that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary. We also understand that reading is a developmental process and part of life-long learning and we encourage and praise children at every stage of it.

Reading in School

Children at Maltese Road Primary School first learn to decode, segment and blend words through rigorous, daily phonics teaching, following the Letters and Sounds programme. Staff engage pupils through fun lessons and through this approach, the majority of pupils learn to read print easily and fluently.

The phonics screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding. As a matter of priority, children who didn’t pass the phonics in Year 1 or Year 2 will receive further intervention to ensure that they can then go on to read fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. Further up the school, children who still find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia will receive further intervention (for example, Toe by Toe).

During all reading opportunities across the school, from YR to Y6, particular attention is paid towards vocabulary extension and comprehension strategies. From Year 1, pupils participate in daily English lessons where reading teaching continues through shared and whole class reading. Teachers actively model comprehension strategies and make use of talking partners to discuss vocabulary and further develop children’s inferential skills and knowledge of authorial intent.

At Maltese Road School, reading is taught in its own right, as well as a tool which permeates the entire curriculum. Children read outside the daily English lessons for information gathering, research and for pleasure (whole class reading, O.T.T.E.R time, paired reading). All classes have regular opportunities to listen to and enjoy texts that are beyond their own reading ability. 

Children have access to Fiction Express e-books and matched comprehension questions online. These may be used as a teaching tool for a whole class lesson or group or for children to practise their reading comprehension skills.

Throughout their time at Maltese Road, pupils are involved in many extracurricular activities where reading plays a vital role. Some of these include: World book day, author visits, school productions, bed time story events, poetry workshops and visits to the book bus.

Reading at Home

When children first join the school in Reception, they take home reading books that are non-worded so that they can develop storytelling skills with support from their families. The next books are phonetically decodable. This is a deliberate methodology which allows pupils to celebrate their growing reading competency with their parents, ensuring that the first home reading experiences are positive, motivating experiences. As children move through the book band colours, they experience a broader range of vocabulary and different types of fiction, traditional tales, and nonfiction and poetry texts. In EYFS and Year 1 the children take home books which match their phonics ability. 

Teachers monitor pupils’ progression through the book band colours and respond to individuals’ needs. Children’s progression through the reading stages is celebrated and rewarded with colour certificates in KS1 and KS2 pupils are rewarded for regular reading at home.

Pupils are encouraged to read widely and for pleasure through the use of the school library and class collections. Communication in children’s reading logs allow parents to communicate the kind of texts that children are reading at home. Fiction Express and Oxford Owl can also be accessed at home, through the school’s website, so parents can support their child with fluency and answering reading comprehension questions. 

Reading forms part of the essential homework: all children are expected to read at home at least three times a week. Reading targets (taken from Target Tracker) are discussed at parent consultations so that parents can see the skills that their child is working on and further support the acquisition of these at home. 

Reading colour scheme










GD EYFS / Beginning of Year 1



Year 1




GD Year 1 / Beginning of Year 2





Year 2



Gold Plus


White Plus



GD Year 2 / Beginning of Year 3

Lime Plus



Year 3

Brown Plus



GD Year 3/ Year 4

Grey Plus

Dark Blue


Year 4 / Year 5

Dark Blue Plus

Dark Red


Year 5 / Year 6

Dark Red Plus


Year 6



Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and is used to:

     provide the children with clear and regular feedback;

     assist the children and teachers in planning their next steps;

     evaluate the effectiveness of teaching.

From YR to Y6, achievements and areas of concern are recorded on tracking sheet which follow the key performance indicators from Target Tracker. These sheets identify different strands of comprehension and are used to inform future planning and pupils needs. Teachers use daily formative assessment strategies to ensure that all teaching is accurately pitched and challenging. Teachers use whole class reading sessions to assess pupil’s fluency and comprehension skills. 

Colour banded reading assessments are used half termly to support with assessing a child’s comprehension skills. When a child has a good level of fluency and a secure understanding of what they are reading, they are moved onto the next colour band. 

Summative assessment for reading takes place termly when children throughout school undertake formal reading tests (NFER or End of key Stage Assessments). Any pupils who are deemed to be underperforming are swiftly identified and participate in booster/intervention sessions which are designed to close the gap between themselves and their peers. The progress of these pupils is discussed with the SLT and SENCo during pupil progress meetings.

Inclusion and Equal Opportunities

The ability to read is fundamental to children’s development as independent learners. We believe that all children are entitled to high quality teaching and learning and we embrace the philosophy of inclusion. All children at Maltese Road Primary have the opportunity to develop reading skills at an appropriate level through the provision of carefully planned, targeted work in their English lessons and within the wider curriculum. Intervention groups are in place to further support children with additional needs or those who have any difficulties in a particular area. As mentioned above, children who struggle to read continue to follow a phonics programme for reading until they possess the skills to move on. The needs of children on the SEND register are planned for as necessary and detailed on their Individual Provision Maps and a variety of teaching methods, based around those which are Dyslexia-friendly, are used to support the learning styles of different children. In this way, no child will be excluded from participating in reading activities.

We celebrate diversity through recognising our children’s skills and knowledge and by the study of material from a variety of cultures. Texts used represent all cultures in a positive light and show both genders in a range of roles.

Role of the Subject Leader


The key duties that the reading subject leader should undertake over the course of the year may include:


· Monitoring of the teaching of reading through book looks, reading record books, climate walks, pupil perception surveys and other lesson observations where necessary

· Helping to identify and facilitate the professional development needs of staff

· To ensure a full range of relevant and effective resources are available to enhance and support learning.

· Keeping abreast of new initiatives in literacy teaching.

· Liaising with SLT to help implement school improvement priorities.

· Liaising with the school SENDCo to offer the best support for children with literacy difficulties.

· Planning and organising literacy enrichment opportunities.



Developing a love of reading:

The following strategies are used to encourage reading and to develop the love of reading in our academy:  

− Story Time:  Story time takes place regularly in KS1 and books are selected based on topics and interests of the children in the class.

− School Library: The children use the library regularly and are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non‐fiction during topic sessions.

− Reading Corners are evident around the school.  Sometimes these are within classes and sometimes within break out areas.  The children are encouraged to change the theme of books within the book corners and to use these environments throughout the week.

 − The Reading Environment has been developed to include interactive displays for the children to learn and enjoy.  There are book recommendations for the children to consider choosing which also supports in the extension and breadth of books read.

Monitoring and Review

The English subject leader, in consultation with the SLT, monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of the teaching and learning of reading. In discussion with the governors, areas for development and resource needs are identified. Reading standards are reviewed through:

  • EYFS/ KS1/ external moderation;
  • KS2 SATs results
  • learning walks and observations;
  • staff and pupil perception surveys. 


At Maltese Road Primary School we actively encourage the involvement of families and the wider community to help support the teaching of reading. Parents support children’s learning in reading in the following ways:

· Sharing books and reading together with their children;

· Communicating through Reading Record Books;

· Supporting children with English homework e.g. spelling, phonics, knowledge organisers

· Attending school-led workshops and events (KS1 bedtime stories)  


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