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 to Year 2, 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. 

From KS2, the children are taught reading using Destination Reader: a pedagogical based approach to teaching reading through engaging daily, structured sessions that support children to read with greater understanding, enjoyment and purpose. Children are taught that a good reader uses a range of reading strategies as they read to deepen their understanding of a text. 


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

Key Stage 2:

Reading Strategies

Our teaching is focused on modelling and applying the above reading strategies to improve decoding and improving comprehension skills. We have introduced sentence stems to enhance the quality of the reading skills and the talk happening in the classroom. 

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. 

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.

  • 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.

  • Reading Ambassadors read to classes and recommend books to children.

  • 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.

 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 Perivale library on Horsenden Lane South, 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