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The Mount Stewart
Schools Federation


Teaching Reading at Mount Stewart Federation


Approach and Planning:

At Mount Stewart Schools, our reading program is meticulously designed with the following aims to cultivate proficient and enthusiastic readers. We have a strategic approach to reading that emphasises skill development, curriculum integration, and preparation for future learning and societal participation. At Mount Stewart Schools, we are dedicated to fostering a rich reading culture that not only develops essential literacy skills but also ignites a lifelong passion for reading in every pupil.

  • Long-Term Skill Development: Prioritise the development of reading skills as a foundation for lifelong learning.
  • Curriculum Integration: Seamlessly integrate reading skills across all subjects to enhance understanding and applicability.
  • Future Preparation: Prepare students for academic success and their roles in society by cultivating strong reading and comprehension abilities.
  • Adaptive Learning Strategies: Continuously evolve teaching methods to meet the changing needs of students and educational standards.


Teaching Strategies:

We utilise diverse, innovative teaching methods that cater to different learning styles, engage students actively, and foster a deep love for reading.

  • Interactive Learning: Implement activities like group discussions, role-playing, and interactive storytelling to make reading sessions more engaging.
  • Use of Technology: Incorporate educational technology tools to enhance reading experiences, such as digital books, reading apps, and interactive quizzes.
  • Differentiated Instruction: Tailor reading sessions to meet the varied needs of students, allowing for individualised learning paths.
  • Collaborative Learning: Encourage peer-to-peer learning and group projects to enhance comprehension and foster a sense of community in learning.
  • Creative Expression: Integrate creative arts into reading sessions, such as drawing, drama, or music, to help students express their understanding and interpretations of texts.
  • Regular Feedback and Support: Provide consistent feedback and support to students to help them track their progress and stay motivated.


Curriculum Intent:

At Mount Stewart, we intend to develop essential reading skills, foster a love for reading and provide a strong foundation in English necessary for effective societal participation. We aim to cultivate proficient, enthusiastic readers with a lifelong passion for reading, using diverse methods and assessments to support and track progress.

  • Key Life Skill: Recognise reading as essential for maximising learning potential.
  • Fostering Love for Reading: Aim to inspire confidence in speaking about books, listening to stories, and developing comprehension skills.
  • Secure Knowledge-Base in English: Ensure a clear progression pathway through the primary curriculum to equip children for societal participation.
  • Comprehensive English Learning: Emphasize reading fluently, acquiring a wide vocabulary, understanding grammar, and appreciating literary heritage.
  • Writing and Speaking Skills: Focus on clear, accurate writing and competent speaking and listening skills as crucial aspects of English education.



At Mount Stewart, we implement a comprehensive and integrated approach to reading across the curriculum, combining a variety of texts and resources with systematic teaching methods and regular reading practices.

  • Systematic Synthetic Phonics: we utilise the Read Write Inc program for systematic synthetic phonics instruction, ensuring a strong foundation in phonemic awareness.
  • Freshstart Reading Programme in KS2: we use the Freshstart reading programme for Key Stage 2, focusing on age-appropriate phonics and reading strategies.
  • Accelerated Reader Program: Incorporate the Accelerated Reader program to track student reading progress and tailor reading experiences to individual student needs.
  • Daily Reading: Pupils are expected to read for 15 minutes daily, fostering daily reading habits.
  • Embedding Aims in Curriculum: Integrate reading and discussion opportunities across English lessons and the wider curriculum, reinforcing reading skills in various contexts.
  • 7R's Learning Behaviour Values: Foster values like respect, resourcefulness, reflection, resilience, responsiveness, relating, relationships, and risk-taking within the reading curriculum.
  • Cross-Curricular Links: Use various texts and resources to motivate and inspire, ensuring reading is connected with other areas of study.
  • Daily Reading Practices: Teachers read high-quality texts to their class daily, maintaining a vibrant and diverse reading library in each classroom.
  • Regular Library Visits: Schedule weekly visits to the school library, encouraging exploration and love for various high-quality books. We also visit the local library in Kenton.
  • World Book Day Celebrations: Actively participate in World Book Day, sharing the joy of reading through special events and activities.
  • Reading Interventions: Provide targeted support to pupils through interventions by teaching assistants and teachers.
  • Reading Club and Parent Information Sessions: Offer extracurricular reading clubs and informative sessions for parents to involve them in their children's reading journey.


Inclusivity and Support:

Provide inclusive and supportive reading experiences, with targeted interventions and parental involvement, to enhance the reading journey for all students.

  • Regular Reading Interventions: Address individual student needs with targeted support.
  • Parental Engagement: Run informational sessions to involve parents in early years and key stage learning.



Strive for measurable progress in reading skills, sustained interest in reading, and the development of transferable skills that will accompany students throughout their educational journey and into adulthood.

  • Measurable Progress and Sustained Interest: Track progress and maintain interest through day-to-day assessments and termly formal assessments.
  • Transferrable Skills Development: Focus on developing skills applicable in various contexts.
  • Pupil Progress Meetings: Discuss each child's progress and strategies for those needing additional support.
  • Long-Term Reading Passion: Aim for students to carry their love of reading into secondary education and adulthood.


When students leave Mount Stewart, they will:

Students will depart with a robust reading foundation equipped with skills and a passion for reading that will benefit them in future educational endeavours and throughout life.

  • Be equipped with a strong foundation in reading, possessing the skills and passion to continue their reading journey through life.


Enlivening Reading: A Dynamic Approach

Our bespoke Enlivening Reading sessions expose pupils to a broad spectrum of texts, including culturally diverse and relatable materials. We begin with targeted vocabulary exploration and then delve into key reading strategies such as inferring, predicting, summarising, evaluating, making connections, and questioning to enhance comprehension skills.


Assessment Through Accelerated Reader

To effectively assess and support our pupils' reading progress, we incorporate Accelerated Reader into our curriculum. This powerful tool allows us to track reading practice and progress, providing valuable insights into each pupil's individual needs. It encourages pupils to read more, offering them a wide range of books suited to their reading level and interests, and helps teachers guide students towards books that will challenge them, whilst still being within their comprehension ability. Through Accelerated Reader, we can ensure that our reading instruction is tailored and responsive, enabling each pupil to achieve their full potential in reading.



We are pleased to introduce Jessy Sangha as the Reading Lead at Mount Stewart Federation, where she plays a pivotal role in guiding and enhancing our reading programs.