Alexander McLeod Primary School

Reading at Alexander McLeod

At Alexander McLeod Primary School, we recognise that reading is the key to unlocking the curriculum. 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.  It is an area of learning that our leaders and teachers are passionate about and ensure that a pleasure for reading is nurtured throughout each pupils’ time with us.  


We promote a love of reading by:

  • Providing access to high-quality, diverse books in a range of genres that can be found in various places such as book corners, corridor libraries, our Ivy Room suite and outdoor reading sheds;
  • Adults modelling a love of reading;
  • Teachers reading to their class often;
  • Encouraging children to borrow books to read at home;
  • Engaing in lots of book talk;
  • Sharing teacher reading recommendations that are displayed on all classroom World doors;
  • Hosting Book Day celebrations;
  • Providing opportunities for Author visits;
  • Having reading picnics

Reading Scheme

In EYFS and KS1, we use the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Big Cat Collins decodable reading books to support our children in developing their early reading skills.




We follow the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds scheme. Pop over to our Phonics page to find out more

Learning to read

  • EYFS and Year 1 children practise reading individually matched phonic books with an adult three times weekly as a minimum.

These sessions focus heavily on decoding and blending, development of reading voices and styles as well as reading comprehension.

  • Additionally, the children take part in a whole class Story Session where they are read to as a class and orally develop comprehension skills. Children collaboratively develop specific comprehension skills such as retrieval, prediction and inference during these sessions.
  • In Years 2 – 6, children take part in whole class reading sessions where teachers support the development of comprehension skills and ensure that any decoding or understanding needs are individually supported through intervention and differentiation. For children not yet at the expected standard of decoding for their age, they will receive targeted phonic interventions in addition to whole class reading.

Story time

Story time is an essential part of school life. It is during this time that we can nurture a love of reading and create meaningful experiences and discussions together. We aim to deliver these sessions daily for a minimum of 15 minutes. Teachers choose the story time text based on class enjoyment; we have a school ‘reading spine’ where teachers can gather inspiration for tried and tested books that are certain to deliver high-quality, age-appropriate texts.

Reading Expectations

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.


Children should read with a parent or carer every day at home. This should be recorded in their Home-School Diary, which will be checked twice weekly by an adult in school. Your child will receive set books in the online library via







Key Stage One:

Children should read with a parent or carer every day at home. This should be recorded in their Home-School Diary, which will be checked twice weekly by an adult in school. The books that children take home are chosen to support their level of development and to support their development at a level that they can access without their teacher present. Children in Year 1 usually range from a yellow / blue banded book at the beginning of the year to a turquoise / purple banded reading book by the end.







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 Home-School Diary, which will be checked regularly by adult in school. Children are taught how to select appropriate texts for their level of understanding, and this is monitored by adults in school.








Meet the English Leader

I am Mrs Tilley and I have been the English leader at our school since December 2019. I have taught in both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two throughout my career.

From a young age, I always loved reading and writing; I have a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and now enjoy passing my delight for creativity and imagination onto the next generation. Like many people and researchers before me, I recognise that reading for pleasure is the single greatest indicator of a child’s future success and strive to support every child in our school to access, understand and enjoy reading and writing.

If you have any queries, questions or concerns about reading, writing, phonics or handwriting you can find me at home time on the KS2 playgrou nd daily!