Reading at Macaulay

At Macaulay we strongly believe that for children to be lifelong readers they need to read for practice, purpose, and pleasure.

All children need to be confident with both their word reading skills and language comprehension.

Developing Language Comprehension

The Reading Strategy is a trust-wide approach to develop reading comprehension skills, it takes place every day for 30 minutes in KS1 and 45 minutes in KS2. It incorporates age-appropriate, challenging texts which vocabulary rich therefore pupils are exposed to text which enables them to respond using a greater range of vocabulary.

All Delta schools teach the same text in each year group which allows for better collaboration and development and shared planning for CPD for all staff. There is a clear focus on core reading comprehension skills which are age appropriate and the strategy develops ‘depth’ in pupil’s reading. The use of a clear structure supports staff and develops confidence in their delivery of reading. All pupils are exposed to high quality texts and discussions despite potential barriers to word reading and comprehension.

Year 1DoggerTin ForestTrue Story of the Three Little Pigs
Year 2The TunnelThe Tear ThiefThe Twits
Year 3This Morning I Met a WhaleThe Firework Makers DaughterCharlotte’s Web
Year 4KrindlekraxIron ManThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Year 5Kesukes KingdomStreet ChildPig Heart Boy
Year 6Black PowderThe Boy in the Striped PyjamasWolf Wilder

The core principles of the Reading Strategy are as follows:

  • A 30-45 minutes whole class text reading session
  • Whole class reading taking place during the morning, with a further fluency session in the afternoon.
  • This is a non-negotiable session which must not be missed
  • Use of a Delta-wide approach to the texts covered, supported by non-fiction, poetry and other fictional texts.
  • Texts will last for the term to develop a depth of understanding.
  • Text used in the reading session will be separate from literacy or wider curriculum work.
  • Teachers identify children who are working below or well below ARE who will need support (in addition) for fluency and decoding, often phonics.
  • All year groups will have a reading response book. There should be 3 pieces of written response per week. (independent/guided/ specific). These books reflect the pride and enjoyment in reading children have.

Developing Fluency

All children from Year 1- Year 6 take part in a daily fluency session. In Key Stage 1 the daily fluency session forms part of the phonics sessions. Children that are working on phonics will use a phonics book that is aligned to the current class teaching. Children in Year 2 who are phonics fluent will be working on a range of objectives to improve reading fluency and stamina across a wide range of texts.

Children in Key Stage 2 who are phonics fluent will use Reading Plus as part of their fluency session to ensure that children are working on texts which are pitched at the correct reading level. Teachers then work with a guided group to further develop other reading skills such as the use of punctuation and expression. Children who are not phonics fluent will still have a phonics intervention in line with the academy’s bespoke programme.


At Macaulay we are a language rich school and explicitly teach vocabulary across all subjects. Children are taught Tier 2 language progressively across the whole academy. At the start of every reading strategy session children take part in a vocabulary starter using words from the class text using strategies from Reading Reconsidered and Teach Like a Champion. The children will explore this language looking at the meaning of the words and using them in context.

Home Reading

At Macaulay we encourage children to read every night at home, with use of a book that is age and ability appropriate to supplement the development of reading fluency and comprehension within school. With use of the Accelerated Reading programme, every child in school has a book that challenges their comprehension skills, yet is appropriate for the fluency ability. Children have free choice over which book to pick within their set range, this encourages the enjoyment and love of reading we promote every day at Macaulay.

To further develop this love of reading children, choose a book to read for pleasure. The children have the choice of a wide range of books which are situated of bookshelves all the way around the academy and grouped into themes- our whole school is our library!

Story Telling Time

Story telling is an important time in school. This is a set time that happens in sync across the whole academy every single day. The lights are turned down, the children gather round and adults bring stories to life. Children love the time to simply listen to books come alive and this important time is loved by children and staff alike.