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At Willingdon we value reading and want our children to leave Willingdon with a knowledge of a wide range of quality texts. See our KO to see what texts your child will be reading this term.

We achieve this by…

Daily Guided Reading Lessons

In addition to our systematic phonics teaching we teach 30 minutes daily guided reading lessons. These lessons expose the children to quality texts above their independent reading ability.

Each lesson teaches the children;

1. Interesting vocabulary that will allow them to access the text

2. How to read the text aloud through strategies such as echo, choral and partner reading.

3. How to discuss and comprehend the text through the teaching of VIPERS – one per week.

We provide annual information sessions for parents. ‘Reading beyond phonics’


We have an up to date library that inspires and encourages the children to make independent choices of their reading. Every week each class has a library session where they can lend and return books.

Reading Champions

We celebrate enthusiastic readers. Each year a reading champion is selected from each class. This groups enthusiasm is put to good use throughout the year by promoting our various love of reading events. These include;

Summer Reading Challenge

World Book Day

Author Visits

Pop in and Read

Every week from term 2 EYFS, year 1, year 2 and year 3 parents are all invited into the classroom to enjoy reading with their child.

Recommended Reads

Every classroom has a special box of the recommended reads for that age. The children are encouraged to read these books and each year group chooses one a term to read as a whole class at the end of the day during storytime.


Our mission:

Our mission is for children to become fluent and keen readers who understand what they are reading and can articulate this understanding to others. We are also keen to develop their knowledge of our unique literary heritage and the classics of English literature and for them to understand the power, which is at their fingertips, if they develop good reading habits.

We Love Reading: Children in our school have a passion for reading which we have facilitated through providing new, relevant, age appropriate and rich texts which are in every class library. These class libraries are well organised, up-to-date and welcoming for the children. Children read daily, are read to daily and talk about their reading daily. This is at the core of everything we do. Teachers provide rich texts to inspire children and use these to develop children’s decoding and understanding, often using whole-class activities, using a shared text, to develop reading skills. We are also in the process of re-developing our new community school library which will allow us to take our reading provision to the next level, providing a dedicated, well resourced area for reading pastimes for everyone in our school community. 

Whole Class Reading

At Willingdon we use our quality texts to plan daily guided reading lessons. These lessons are planned to teach fluency and comprehension skills. We follow the ‘progression of skills’ and ‘21 steps to reading’ documents to inform our planning.

Whole School Reading

At Willingdon in addition to our daily reading and phonics lessons we like to create opportunities to celebrate reading and books across the whole school. These include;

Regular use of our library including library monitors in each class

Secret reader

Share a book

World Book Day

world book day Capture

This year things were a bit different but we still managed to have fun enjoying books…

Activities on the day included;

A story relay across the school

A masked reader competition

Live story tellings

And of course the fancy dress competition which included a family entry for those in lockdown.

book day winners from 4.3.21Capture

Reading for Pleasure

We encourage reading for pleasure as much as possible.

We take part in competitions to inspire and motivate reading. These are often linked to local book shops and libraries. These include summer and winter reading challenges that reward children who read a certain number of books.


We also run our own get caught reading challenge.

Our winners were rewarded with book tokens from the amazing Bag of Books Bookshop in Lewes. We had some fantastic entries from staff and children. Reading in swimming pools, on tractors, up mountains and whilst doing gymnastics!!

reading for pleasure(1)

Supporting your child to read

"Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks." — Dr. Seuss

Even before your child starts at Willingdon they are given the first of the quality texts. Every child receives this to ease transition and ensure they are familiar before starting. Once in school children are given reading records and the chance to take home reading books. Whilst your child is learning specific phonic sounds they will be given reading books that match the phonic phase they are learning to support decoding skills. We regularly assess the childrens fluency and comprehension skills to ensure they have books that match their reading ability. We also encourage looking at high quality texts which may be above your childs reading ability. In school these are read to the children as part of lessons and storytime. These support the immersion and development of a rich vocabulary. We encourage you to do the same at home.

See attached a list of questions based around the VIPER skills that you can ask your children when reading with them.

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