Reading at Alexander McLeod


At Alexander McLeod Primary School, one of our key priorities is to establish and nurture a lifelong love of reading in our children and staff.

At Alexander McLeod we use Big Cat Collins reading books to support our children in developing their early reading skills. We chose these early reading books because they link directly with the Letters and Sounds sequence that we use to deliver phonics.

In our school, all EYFS and KS1 children will read with their teacher on a 1:1 basis at least once a week. KS2 children will take part in class reading sessions where teachers will support reading skills collectively and ensure needs are also met individually. Story time is an essential part of every single day in school. It is during this time that we can nurture a love of reading and create meaningful experiences and discussions together.

Children should:

  • read for pleasure as well as study
  • read a wide range, including media and online texts and texts from a variety of cultures and traditions
  • develop the ability to understand layers of meaning
  • learn to respond critically to what they read
  • explore meanings of text through drama

Adults should:

  • promote a love of reading by modelling engagement with a variety of texts
  • equip children with the skills they need to read with literal and inferential understanding
  • introduce children to texts that capture their imagination and encourage critical thinking (having a good knowledge of children’s literature)
  • provide a range of meaningful opportunities for children to engage with texts
  • aim to provide children with a bedtime story to allow time to enjoy a book together.

 Reception and Key Stage One:

Children should read with a parent or carer every day at home. This should be recorded in their Reading Diary, which should be checked weekly by an adult in school. The books that children take home are chosen to support their level of development and to support their love of reading.

Key Stage Two:

Children should read independently every day at home, and with a parent or carer at least twice a week. This should be recorded in their Reading Diary, which should be checked weekly by an adult in school. Children are taught how to select appropriate texts for their level of understanding, and this is monitored by adults in school.

Our Reading Initiatives

When a child leaves our school, we want them to be equipped with the skills to access all forms of literature and a longing to find themselves lost in the pages of a book. In order to nurture their love of reading we:

  • Recommend books weekly in class
  • Share what we are reading with the children
  • Discuss books at length

Have dedicated reading time with no rules and restrictions during our weekly reading picnics. Children may choose to read in a group, with the teacher or alone and upside down if they choose, if they are enjoying their time reading.

Have weekly reading assemblies. In KS2, our resident author and teacher Mr Dickinson creates stories that are led by the children. Each week a new chapter is shared, and the children can see how small, simple ideas can form deep, engaging stories. You can find some of his previous stories on Amazon by following the link below:

Rosetta's Tail and other stories