How is reading taught at Chestnuts? 

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and forms a key part of all learning experiencesWe enable our children to be avid readers, who read fluently and widely, who express their preferences and discuss books confidently within the school community. We encourage children to read for pleasure, provide them with access to a range of genres and text types and immerse children in a language-rich environment. 

We are Hooked on Books 

We have introduced a whole school approach to the teaching of reading and have aligned this with the teaching of writing using Jane Considine's 'Hooked on Books' approach. This provides a systematic way to teach reading skills across the whole school that works alongside the Read Write Inc Phonics programme.  Across a fortnightly cycle, the children will participate in five Book Talk sessions and five skills-based lessons. In 'Book Talk' sessions, the children will experience reading a range of different ways: reading by themselves, reading with a partner, reading as a whole class or listening to the class teacher model the reading. Throughout the lesson, the children explore high quality texts and use the 'Reading Rainbow' to read and respond to texts through different lenses within three different zones of reading: The Fantastics, The Stylistics and The Analytics. Each lens provides a new reason to read! 




Book Talk is key to developing an engaging reading culture for everyone that facilitates oracy skills, reading fluency and confidence. Children collaborate and in small groups using sentence stems and high-utility words to develop a Book Talk response, scoring up to 4 points for every response they articulate correctly. All of our texts are carefully selected to suit the interests of our children and are age appropriate to ensure the children are suitably challenged.  

During skills lessons, the children are exposed to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts which they use to develop their reading, retrieval, sequencing and summarising, inference and prediction skills. They will also discuss the vocabulary that they encounter to help continue to build their banks of language.  

The Library: 

Our school library is a place that we are proud of here at Chestnuts. It is beautifully decorated with well-known book characters that make it a warm, welcoming and engaging place to spend time embracing in books! We have many different genres and an ever-growing stock of non-fiction texts spanning an array of different subject areas. We have a library full of awe and wonder! 


Reading Scheme – Home / School Books: 

At Chestnuts, we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme to support the teaching of reading we undertake in school – it is the most successful reading scheme in the UK and has supported children to learn to read and develop a love of reading! The scheme incorporates books for the children in Reception all the way through to Year 6 and supports both of our reading programmes as the books are age appropriate, offer suitable levels of challenge and are phonetically decodable to support the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. There is a wide range of genre coverage and the books are written by many popular children’s authors, including Michael Morpurgo. We appreciate that reading with your child is a special time and therefore we ensure that the children change their reading books weekly with an adult who can support them to make a suitable selection.  

If you would like a greater variety of texts or media to read, Oxford Owl has an online e-library which you, as parents, can sign up to and use at home. Please have a look at the link below for more information. 

Here at Chestnuts, we also have an online learning platform called ‘Oxford Reading Buddy’ that allows children to access additional books from home and develop word reading and comprehension levels. Each child has their own personal reading journey and access to coaching e-books that contain a personalised ‘Reading Buddy’. This buddy can model the key comprehension strategies for the children so that they are supported as they read. These books are aligned with the texts that the children bring home from school, which means that they are age, and ability, appropriate.