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Developing a love of reading at Amberley

We believe that all children should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to understand a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts. We want them 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. We achieve this through a consistent approach of phonics and reading teaching throughout the school. We encourage a home school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to support the skills taught in school.

For our intent, implementation and impact, please refer to our Reading Policy

Reading for Pleasure at School

Evidence (Clark and DeZoya, 2011) suggests that there is a direct link correlation between reading for pleasure and increased attainment. Simply put, children who read well do better. 

Children and staff in our school have the opportunity to read for pleasure throughout the school week. Teachers prioritise reading to children daily and plan in opportunities for the children to read for pleasure, either in the classroom or in our school library.

Children have access to high quality texts from the classrooms and also our school library.

Reading for pleasure at home

For guidance on how to support children with reading for pleasure at home, have a look at this leaflet which has ideas about how to promote enjoyment in reading for all ages.


You can also use these resources from the Education Endowment Fund



Reading Roads and Tube Map are two excellent resources.

The Tube map provides a map for each key stage. KS1, Lower KS2 & Upper KS2. The map offers suggestions of other books to read that are similar to favourite authors and even offer jumps between lines to expand their reading range.


Reading Roads gives a road for each genre of books. At the top of the road are the easier books that are suitable for KS1 children to hear or for those more confident readers to read independently. The middle of the road is great for LKS2 readers and onwards but the last book is more for 11+ readers (due to content rather than reading ability). It is fine for children to go up and down a road, they should not be discouraged if they want to try an earlier book.

Click on the image below for the complete series of roads for different book genres. 

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Teaching Early Reading


At Amberley School, we use a bespoke Systematic Synthetics Phonics programme. Our teaching plan identifies a clearly defined incremental sequence of sounds to be taught.  Supporting this teaching sequence is a set of resources, including flashcards and word cards which have been created to ensure our programme offers the most comprehensive learning opportunities and is ambitious in our teaching beyond the requirements of the statutory Phonic Screen Check.  Each phonic teaching phase has its own ‘sound mat’ which shows the progression of sounds. This enables children to know where their learning is heading and gives them opportunities to predict future lessons.  Classes display simple or complex sounds charts to support children’s learning.  All children in the school use the same package of resources to support their phonic knowledge regardless of their class/year group, and lessons follow the same format with a repetitive and predictable structure. We have devised our own phonic non-negotiable checklist to ensure that we have fidelity to our SSP and that children, no matter the group, receive the same phonic diet.

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Reading Books


Reading books at Amberley have been overhauled to ensure that children can fully decode a book in accordance with the phonemes/graphemes that they have been taught.  Our books have been sourced from our existing stock of readers which have been reorganised to match our teaching sequences.  Additional books have been purchased to expand the scheme and ensure a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, together with a variety of interests.  We continue to monitor publications for additional newly published readers to supplement our scheme further.  Children are encouraged to read each book multiple times to ensure that they can decode accurately, understand the text and read fluently.  For this to happen, the sounds contained within the children’s books will typically be slightly behind their current phonics learning.  However, opportunities to apply reading skills for their latest phoneme/grapheme learning is included in each phonics session and each reading lesson.  We retain a small stock of books which are almost entirely decodable but perhaps contain one or two words for which they have not received any teaching.  These books are called our ‘challenge’ books and are designed for a child to share with their parent rather than as an individual reader.

How do we teach reading at Amberley?


In addition to time spent reading for pleasure, children across the school have 3-4 taught reading sessions a week. These are whole class reading sessions which are a balance between practising reading fluency, discussion and written comprehension. Across the school, adults also listen to children read individually on a regular basis and provide additional one to one reading time with those in need of extra support. 



Ensuring a wide spectrum of reading material


At Amberley we encourage children to access a range of book genres and authors in order to develop an appreciation of different styles and a broadened exposure to new ideas, cultures and people, thus developing to their understanding of the world and improving levels of insight into human nature and decision-making skills. 

Through Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils, Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine recommendations and our own selection of diverse books, children are given access to a wide variety of texts for both individual enjoyment and as part of whole class reading. 


Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils (RTRP)
ignites a love of reading in teachers and children

RTRP is a Cheltenham Festivals programme delivered in partnership with like-minded literary organisations. Set up in 2016, the national network of teachers reading groups aims to inspire reading for pleasure because research shows that children who read for pleasure experience high levels of well-being, engage in learning and are successful in life. Our upper KS2 teacher is involved in RTRP and is able to bring back a range of ideas and texts. We are hopeful that we will be able to join the upcoming LKS2 RTRP in the near future.

Pie Corbett's Reading Spine Books

Pie Corbett is an educationalist, literacy expert and author, well known for his books on teaching creative writing, as well as many other books, schemes and anthologies.

He created Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine to help schools build a core selection of the very best books to read aloud with children. The Reading Spine is a core of books that create a living library inside a child’s mind. It is a store of classics and essential reads that help children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story.

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"Great books build the imagination. The more we read aloud expressively, and the more children are able to savour, discuss and reinterpret literature through the arts, the more memorable the characters, places and events become, building an inner world. A child who is read to will have an inner kingdom of unicorns, talking spiders and a knife that cuts into other worlds. The mind is like a ‘tardis’; it may seem small but inside there are many mansions. Each great book develops the imagination and equips the reader with language. Great stories speak to us as individuals and some children will return to certain books again and again. Great stories also build our language because around 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading. Reading develops the ability to think in the abstract; to follow lines of thought. Schools that have a reading spine, build a common bank of stories that bind the community together. These are shared and deeply imagined common experiences." Pie Corbett

Reading at home


Learning to read is a vital life skill that children need to acquire at a young age. Children progress through different reading stages and all children will progress at different rates. Reading is not just about the phonics, segmenting and blending but also about understanding what has been read. Often we send books home for re-reading. This is to develop children's fluency and aid comprehension. Asking your children questions whilst reading together will help them to gain a better understanding of the text and develop a wider range of vocabulary.

Below are some questions which could support these when reading at home, which you may find useful. 

They are in the form of digital flashcards. 

Read and listen at home

If you have a library card, you can borrow audiobooks for free from Borrow Box.

Oxford Owl have many books available to read online. 

Read along and audio books from The Books Trust

Recommended Reads

recommended by Hereford

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recommended by Dexter

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recommended by Hereford

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