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Reading at Portfields Primary School


Portfields Primary School Reading Strategy


At Portfields Primary School, we prioritise the ‘simple view of reading’. We believe children should be able to read words/text and understand what they have read. We are determined that every child will learn to read fluently and develop a life-long love for reading by the end of their Portfields’ journey.  We believe that reading is a key life skill and the ability to read is fundamental to succeed in education and empower future learning.


A Portfields’ child will:


  • have a desire to read widely for both pleasure and information;


  • read with confidence, fluency and understanding;


  • develop a wider vocabulary and knowledge of the world to broaden their horizons.



We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and high quality interventions.


Our school works with external partnerships and through the many connections such as inspirational writers/authors. It allows us to improve and enhance our resources and inspire our pupils to love reading.


Through the Portfields’ Big Reads, children are deliberately exposed to a whole school reading spine that combines classics and essential reads to build a common bank of stories that binds the Portfields’ reading community together.


Reading volunteers, including Buster - our reading dog - to enhance our reading provision every week hearing our vulnerable readers.


Talk for Reading develops our children into efficient, effective, thoughtful and strategic readers who can learn about life, discover information and deepen their thinking through considering other people’s views and experiences with a critical mind.

In addition, children read one to one with a teacher frequently which provides valuable time for the teacher to model fluency and expression and discuss any unfamiliar vocabulary. It also highlights any gaps in reading skills and allows the teacher to closely monitor the child’s progress.


At Portfields, we aim to develop a whole community culture of reading, so children are encouraged to read for pleasure at home and school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the children daily through ‘storytime’.


Portfields Primary School Reading Strategy

Our aim is that every child leaves Portfields Primary School with:

  • a desire to read widely for both pleasure and information;
  • the ability to read with confidence, fluency and understanding;
  • a wider vocabulary and knowledge of the world to broaden their horizons.

1. Daily Reading Lesson
EYFS / Y1 – Daily Read, Write, Inc. phonics lessons
Y2 – Read, Write, Inc. phonics lessons moving to Talk for Reading
KS2 – one to one reading sessions and Talk for Reading Sessions
Y2 – Y6 have Talk for Reading sessions at least 4 times a week

2. Reading Practice

    Teachers will listen to all children read frequently

    Teachers will have 1:1 reading sessions with identified children

    Reading volunteers will listen to children read to practise their fluency

    KS2 reading buddies will listen to younger children read practise their fluency

3. Children Read to Daily
EYFS / KS1 / KS2 – ‘ Storytime’ daily class read to the class

4. Reading for Pleasure in Class
Mini libraries in each class of quality books to engage emotions; be diverse; show different perspectives

    Library time in the Space Library (EYFS and KS1) and Jungle Library (KS2)

5. Reading Records
Completed at home (and in school for EYFS) to share the love of a new story

6. Independent Reading Time
Class sets of high-quality reading books, reading books chosen by children, comics and subscriptions

7. Promote a Community Culture of Reading
Teachers model a love of reading and are excited about books
A wide range of authors and genres are discussed
Opportunities to share books, opinions and authors

Family and community reading days

Activities such as World Book Day, author visits (in school and online) promote our reading culture

Reading Ambassadors from Year 6 support the culture as role models to share, read and listen to younger readers

8. Reading At Home
Reading books are sent home and changed as appropriate
Parent support sessions to give tips on reading at home
Additional support will be given to children/families who require it

9. Reading Every Lesson
Teaching sequences linked to quality texts and novels
Reading and integration of texts incorporated where possible into all lessons
Quality modelling and engaging with texts as a Historian, a Geographer, a Scientists etc


Catch Up and Interventions

Some children may require additional support in Reading for identified children
This is achieved by:

  • Additional phonics
  • Fresh Start (RWI intervention)
  • 1:1 reading
  • Small group work
  • Small group book sharing to develop retrieval, inference and comprehension
  • High quality FREE books for all PP children and SEND
  • Diversity and equality in all books
  • Opportunities for children to listen to, act out and discuss stories
  • Opportunities for children to tell stories
  • Stories read by teachers, adults, authors, visitors (including audio books and Author Zooms)


Phonics and Early Reading


At Portfields Primary School we follow the Read Write Inc. scheme of phonics.

We undertook a full review, training and invested £25,000 in a new phonics scheme. We commit to a budget spend annually to continue to build our libraries in classrooms and in each library.

Children in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 where appropriate have daily, phonics lesson, following the teaching sequence of the programme.


In Yr2, children access a balance of both phonic and spelling punctuation and grammar (SPAG) lessons based on their individual needs and attainment.


All children are assessed every five weeks by the Phonics Leader and groups are revised based on these assessments. Small phonic sessions or interventions are delivered by trained staff, to support children to keep up with the programme.


Sessions are lively, fast-paced, and fun. In a session, children are taught either singular sounds, special friends, high frequency and/or red words and these are consolidated through reading and writing. There is an emphasis on paired work and lots of opportunities to speak and listen, as well as to read and write the sounds.


At the end of Year One, children have to take the national Phonics Screen Check which tests children’s phonic knowledge. Here, they are required to read real and nonsense words, applying the skills they have learnt. Ideally, children will have completed the RWI phonics programme by Spring of Year 2, so that they can focus more on higher-level comprehension using increasingly challenging texts.


Any child that does not complete the phonics programme will continue learning phonics throughout Year 3 and 4 and complete the Fresh Start RWI intervention programme in Year 5 and 6.


At home 


To support your child’s development of reading skills and enjoyment of reading, we have developed these opportunities to engage with reading as a family:


*Your child will bring home a Banded Book (levelled) matched to their reading age and a book for pleasure from one of our libraries.

*A high-quality Reading Record – please record each time your child reads in all year groups. This could be their banded book, book from the library, comic, recipe kindle etc

*Research shows that the quality of reading, reading together, sharing, and discussing stories all have the most impact on successfully developing reading. Each week, your child’s teacher will encourage you to complete the reading journal with your child. You can also use it to record discussions you have about books, authors, characters and settings.

*Please ensure your child’s Book Band Book, Reading Challenge Book and Reading Records are brought into school every day because they may be used in lessons throughout the week.

Talk4Reading Long Term Overview

Reading Progression