Skip to content ↓


At Hazelwood, we believe that it is the right of every child to become a competent and confident reader; able to live, work and succeed in the literate world with a passion for reading.

We believe that children should be able to read fluently and confidently, use a wide vocabulary accurately and effectively and critique a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.  Our Reading curriculum provides the fundamental building blocks for every Hazelwood child to access the wider curriculum to its fullest and therefore to succeed in all areas of their learning. Reading is a vehicle which enables children to gain an invaluable insight into a world of imagination and therefore we understand our responsibility to foster a love of reading from a young age. We believe that this will enable children to grow into motivated, independent and self-confident readers. This, alongside carefully selected texts appropriate to our school and wider context, develops the cultural capital needed for children to succeed in a 21st Century adult life. Crucially, at Hazelwood, we aim to foster a love of literature and language through widespread reading for enjoyment.

How do we teach Reading? 

At Hazelwood, we teach reading in different ways according to the age and secure understanding of our children.

In EYFS and Year 1, we teach Early Reading and Phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. For more information, please see our separate Early Reading and Phonics Page.

From Year 2 upwards, we teach Reading through our Whole Class Reading approach.


Whole Class Reading

Our Whole Class Reading approach follows a weekly structure that is based on a new, age appropriate and high-quality text extract each week, which is carefully selected to suit the needs of our children. We use a range of texts and sources across the school to progressively increase reading stamina and vocabulary. These texts include extracts from a variety of fiction and non-fiction.

Hazelwood children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS, created by Rob Smith, The Literacy Shed. The main difference between KS1 and KS2 is the ‘S’. In KS1 this ‘S’ stands for sequence and in KS2 it stands for summarise. The key skills are outlined below:

     KS1 – Year 2                                          KS2 – Year 3 – Year 6

Images taken from The Literacy Shed.

Teachers adapt questions for the children based on the text, depending on the skill focus for the week and to meet the needs of their individual children.

The Whole Class Reading structure involves 4 reading lessons taught Monday – Thursday from 9am – 9.30am. On Friday, teachers will teach spelling and handwriting.   






Understand key Vocabulary (V)

Share new text and understand

Focus on chosen key skill (VIPERS)

Answer variety of VIPERS questions

Spelling & Handwriting


“I love learning new things and my teacher gives me tricky work so I can challenge myself. Sometimes, some of the words we read are new words and I like that!” (Year 2 child)


Accelerated Reader

Accelerated reader is an online reading programme that enables teachers to manage and monitor children’s independent reading. Children have a free choice of books to read at an appropriate ability and interest level. Rather than having a book given to them, giving them the opportunity to select their own reading book of choice invites independence and promotes a love of reading.

STAR Reader Assessment

STAR reader is an intuitive computer-based reading assessment taken by each child in Year 2-6 every half term. As the child takes the test, the questions continually adjust to each child’s response. This assessment estimates each child’s reading age and gives a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) level that is then used to determine which level books each child should be reading.

ZPD – Reading Book Levels

A reading starting point for each child is taken from their ZPD score. It is expected that children begin by selecting books at the lower end of their ZPD range and then they will be encouraged by their teacher as and when they feel they are ready to move through their ZPD range. If a child’s ZPD range is 2.8 – 3.6 for example, they would start reading books that are levelled 2.8 and may try 3 books that are around this level before moving up to 2.9 and trying 3 books on this level and then 3.0 and so on. They would then keep working within this range until the next STAR reader assessment. If their ZPD level changes, they would then adjust to work within the new range.


Reading for Pleasure 

In order to promote a love of reading in the classroom, each classroom book corner at Hazelwood offers children a selection of texts aimed to both inspire and motivate reading. Reading books on display in each classroom book corner are updated and replenished regularly to ensure we offer a range of books related to current learning. Each book corner also has a live reading display to support children with their reading or phonics learning. At Hazelwood, despite the focus being about the books, teachers often develop reading themes in order to ensure that book corners actively invite children to be transported to other worlds through books and language.

Reading for Pleasure - Book Vending Machine

At Hazelwood, we encourage Reading at home and give our children the chance to win a book from our fabulous Book Vending Machine located in Maple Hall.

In order to be in with a chance to choose their very own book from our amazing vending machine, children must move their peg up the reading challenge chart in their class book corner each time they read and record in their reading record book. If by Friday lunchtime they have read 5 times that week, they will be entered into a random draw where in achievement assembly, one child from each house will be given a special, golden coin. They can then take their golden coin to the vending machine and choose a special book of their choice to keep and read for pleasure!

The challenge week runs from Friday to Friday so reading over the weekend definitely counts!

In addition to their new book, they will also take home our Hazelwood Reading Celebration book where they have the chance to decorate a page in their house scrap book, which celebrates their new chosen book, their favourite book from home or their favourite author.

You can watch our Launch Video below, starring Mr Oliver!

You have not allowed cookies and this content may contain cookies.

If you would like to view this content please

Our Reading Spine

Our Hazelwood reading spine is used to promote a love of reading through class story times. We have a list of core story time texts for each year group to be enjoyed during regular, timetabled story time sessions. We aim to include a diverse range of texts set in the UK and around the world, that reflect our diverse and unique Hazelwood community.

In order to share what each class is reading, all classes proudly display the title of their current class reading book on their door.


World Book Day

At Hazelwood, we love celebrating World Book day, giving the children the opportunity to dress up as their favourite book character and share their love of books. We also join in with other initiatives throughout the year related to reading and books - our Hazelwood aim will always encourage children to be hooked by books!  



Support for parents and carers

In November, we held a successful Reading workshop for parents and carers. We were delighted that so many people were in attendance. The slides from the meeting are below.