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Our approach to teaching Reading at Darton Primary School is through two main strands: ‘word reading and fluency’ and ‘comprehension’. We use a clear, progressive structure throughout school which builds upon prior learning as well as developing appropriate new skills. As pupils develop their ‘word reading and fluency’ and ‘comprehension’ skills over time, the balance and focus of these strands changes for age related priorities.

To take a closer look at our reading journey please open the PDF version here:


Word reading and fluency

Throughout Foundation Stage and KS1, there is a high emphasis on developing word reading and fluency skills.  Staff use a range of strategies including echo reading and paired reading . This builds confidence and familiarity with texts as well as helping develop pupils’ fluency skills such as pace, expression, pausing and intonation.

Across school, staff use the Darton word progression document to ensure that all pupils are able to fluently and automatically read their age-related key words.  These words are taught during reading sessions and are repeatedly covered over the course of the year. Each class has timetabled word reading time with age and stage appropriate vocabulary that develops over the course of the year. 

Whole School Word Reading Lists


Comprehension skills are split into eight separate types which link to the end of key stage content domains and national curriculum objectives. The eight comprehension skills are:



Each comprehension skill is represented by an owl. These focus on the key comprehension skills the children learn across school. In KS1 there is a heavier emphasis on Vocabulary, Retrieval, Prediction and Inference skills, and in KS2 the children develop their understanding and abilities to use ALL of the comprehension skills.  


Reading is taught daily across school. EYFS and Year 1 teach through Read Write Inc sessions and whole class stories. Year 2 and KS2 use a whole class reading approach. 



Reading Spines

Each class has a defined set of core texts. This reading spine is intended to offer our children a core bank of texts that ensures they experience a range of high quality texts and authors during their time at school. Teachers use these in a range of ways, as whole class texts to share, during reading sessions, as part of their literacy schemes and in connection with our topics.