Our Reading Mission:

At Whitehall we believe that developing children as expert and enthusiastic life-long readers is a fundamental entitlement for every individual child. Successful readers will have a head start in all they do. Therefore, by the time all our children leave us they will:

  • Have developed a lifelong love of reading
  • Have developed fluency and comprehension skills to read age-appropriate books independently
  • Have been exposed to a range of texts, genres and authors to deepen their understanding of different cultures
  • Have seen themselves in texts which reflect the diverse reality of our community
  • Feel empowered to make choices about their own reading preferences
  • Confidently voice their opinions when discussing literature.


In order to achieve these reading aims for our children, we:

  • Place reading and books at the heart of our curriculum
  • Ensure all our staff are experts in teaching reading through training which utilises a range of evidence-based strategies and methodologies
  • Build in time for children to read for pleasure during the school day
  • Invest in quality texts so our readers can be enthused and inspired
  • Involve parents to encourage our school reading culture to extend to the home environment
  • Have a whole school strategy for teaching reading which implements our curriculum through sequential skill development
  • Promote a love of reading through our whole school ethos and culture.

To find out how we teach reading in each year group then read through the booklet we have produced as an English Team: (Reading at Whitehall: Our approaches to the teaching of reading fluency and comprehension).

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Reading for Pleasure

Research shows that being a literate child who reads for pleasure has a more positive impact on your future life chances than any other factor. So as a school we have been embedding our reading for pleasure culture. This is reflected in:

  • Developing an ethos and a reading-3rich environment that excites, enthuses, values and inspires readers
  • Our use of high quality texts with depth and interest in story, character, illustration, vocabulary, structure and subject matter
  • Daily opportunities for the children to read aloud, in pairs or independently, as well as a daily time to listen to a story at the end of the day read by the teacher
  • Teachers who are knowledgeable about children’s literature
  • Creating a community of readers with opportunities to share responses and opinions on books
  • Talking about books and stories, and modelling ways for children to do this too
  • Working with authors and author/illustrators to understand the process of creating books.

Recommended reading lists:

In order to help parents and children find high quality books to read we have produced three new recommended reading lists! We have worked hard to consult teachers, other schools, nationally-respected reading experts and children’s literacy organisations to make sure our lists are packed full of fantastic stories, non-fiction texts and poetry collections from a wide range of authors.

The lists are:

  • Books to read in Reception and Key Stage 1
  • 100 books to read in Year 3 and 4
  • 100 books to read in Year 5 and 6

English: Writing

At Whitehall we have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities to enable all children to become skilful and confident writers, who write for their own pleasure and that of their audience.


Teachers aim to ensure that children are fully engaged in their writing and that they understand how to use spelling, grammar and punctuation to good effect by:

  • Using high quality hooks (novels, picture books, images, short films clips etc.) to engage children  
  • Immersing children in a range of text types - reading, reading and more reading!
  • Using 'Talk for Writing' strategies to enable children to build up their narrative storehouses
  • Identifying grammar and punctuation within shared texts and extracts 
  • Modelling expectations in small steps
  • Giving continued feedback so that children’s writing develops through the process.


Handwriting and spelling are taught weekly during the English lessons. Spellings are sent home every week for children to learn. These follow the rules and patterns set out in the National Curriculum. Learning activities are effectively differentiated so that all children can achieve success and feel empowered by their own accomplishments. 

Reading: Our approaches to the teaching of reading fluency and comprehension


Progression in Reading


Recommended Reading Lists


Reading and Writing Objectives

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Progression in Writing