Research has shown that children who enjoy reading, do better at school in all subjects so at Horsenden Primary, we ensure that our pupils learn to decode accurately and develop a love of reading!  

Pupils learn to decode through the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme which is detailed on the Phonics page. This allows pupils to learn the phonemes and graphemes that make up words. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils also do the Read, Write, Inc. guided reading programme which develops fluency and accuracy in word and sentence reading. Phonics is taught daily and guided reading groups are taught at least three times a week.

From Reception, we teach the reading domains using the Pawsome Dog characters, which represent each reading assessment area. This provides a child-friendly way for pupils to understand the different skills needed to develop their reading and comprehension skills. The skills progress for each dog character year on year which allows pupils to read and understand increasingly complex texts over time. The reading assessment areas, linked to the dog characters are shown below. 

Early Years & Key Stage 1 (Reception to Year 2):

Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to Year 6):

To find out more detail about the different reading domains and the skills the pawsome dog characters develop, please view the linked presentations here:

EYFS & Key Stage 1 - Introduction to Pawsome Characters

Key Stage 2 - Introduction to Pawsome Characters

Once the majority of pupils hit a fluent level of reading through the  Read, Write, Inc. programme (usually by October of Year 2) classes move to our guided reading program which ensures all pupils have exposure to high level reading and whole-class discussion as well as targeted ability-level work. Pupils are explicitly taught the reading domains in order to become confident in these skills and answering a range of comprehension questions, both verbally and written.

Home Reading Books

Pupils at Horsenden bring home levelled books each week and the reading of these is recorded daily in their Reading Record. In addition to this, Year 1 through to Year 6 visit the school library weekly and can choose books of any level to borrow from here. Please ensure you sign your child's reading record - these are checked in school and there are rewards for pupils who read frequently and consistently at home.

Reading With Your Child

Reading with your child at home is really important. It increases literacy skills and so much more - it helps to build a strong and loving relationship between you and your child. It's never too early to start reading with your child and it so important to read with your child throughout their primary school years. 

At the beginning of each school year we send home the Pawsome Dog reading bookmarks  – these have example questions suitable for each year group on them and will support your child's comprehension. Just choosing 2-3 questions per day is really beneficial. You can find a copy of all bookmarks below. For more information on how you can support your child's reading, please see the 'Other Reading Resources' section and the Parent Workshop at the bottom of this page.

Pawsome Dog Reading Bookmarks

Year 1            Year 2             Year 3             Year 4           Year 5          Year 6


Reading for Pleasure

At Horsenden we have lots of exciting initiatives to ensure our pupils develop and maintain their love of reading. Some of these include:

  • Every class has a range of supplementary texts which are carefully chosen in order to expose children to a wide range of genres and authors. These are read to the children by their class teacher on a regular basis.

  • The Reading Cloud platform where pupils can review books and have their thoughts and opinions published.

  • Teachers reward pupils who consistently have their Reading Records up to date.
  • Reading mornings throughout the year with parents and carers joining pupils to enjoy a slower start to the day with a good book.

  • Buddy reading sessions, where classes 'buddy up' with a class from another year group and pupils enjoy reading and discussing their books together.
  • World Book Day celebrations – a new theme every year and school-wide activities and events.

  • Author visits to share books and inspire the children.

  • Whole School reading enrichment days, focused around a key text across the school.

  • Library Ambassadors leadership programme to ensure the library is open during lunch times for pupils to read (new this year!)

  • Weekly library sessions with our very knowledgeable and book-loving librarians.

  • Our Bookflix display which outlines new books to our library, new releases and teacher’s recommended reads. Prizes associated with reviewing these books on Reading Cloud (new this year!)

  • Class dojo points that can be saved until reaching the prize of a book voucher.

 Recommended Reads

We have developed a recommended reading list for all year groups.


Please see the following links for some other great reading options for your child:

Other Reading Resources

There are many local libraries throughout Ealing. The closest one to school being Wood End library on Whitton Avenue West, which has many children's and adults’ books, including dual language texts. It also has free Internet access. 

There are also several good websites to support parents and carers in knowing what to read and what questions to ask and how to read with children.

Words for life - This website is created by the National Literacy Trust and has sections from birth to age 11. It has suggestions of books to read, age appropriate milestones and fun activities to do with your child. 

Book Trust - The Book Trust also has some useful tips and hints for parents and carers including competitions to win books. They also have some useful information for parents translated into different languages here.

World Book Day - The World Book Day website contains some useful information including an area for parents to search for reading recommendations and an area where children can hear authors reading stories on the Story time Online page.

The following parent workshop outlines the importance of reading, how we teach it at Horsenden and tips on how to futher support your child at home with their reading.

Reading: Curriculum in Action