Reading at The Pines

Reading is a fundamental part of the learning experience at The Pines and the pupils are given a variety of reading opportunities, where appropriate, including:

  • Access to key texts
  • Whole class reading
  • Small group reading
  • Guided reading
  • Individual reading
  • Pre-phonics opportunities
  • Daily phonics (RWI)
  • Home reading activities/books
  • Reading through exploration
  • Timetabled allocations for use of the school library
  • Cross curricular reading
  • Access to books throughout the day

Much of the programme of study is taught through English lessons and daily phonics sessions.

Reading for Children with Autism

Children with Autism can face distinct challenges in learning to read. Autism is a spectrum, so the range of challenges is different for every child. But for many young children with Autism, it affects the development of foundational language and social skills. This impacts reading readiness, comprehension skills, and a child’s overall approach to learning. This is why it’s especially important to explicitly provide children with Autism with the tools to help them become successful readers.


  • To raise standards in reading.
  • To have a consistent approach to reading across the school.
  • For all children to learn and practise appropriate and effective reading skills
    appropriate to their stage of development.
  • For all children to have access to Read, Write Inc when appropriate.
  • To Develop positive attitudes to reading that ensure reading is an enjoyable and
    meaningful experience.
  • Use reading as a fundamental part of all curriculum planning and development.
  • Develop a range of reading strategies that allow children to tackle reading problems
    and the wider curriculum with confidence.
  • Read and respond to a variety of texts whilst developing an increased level of fluency
    and independence.
  • For all staff to use and model the agreed conventions outlined in this document, thus
    providing consistency and continuity throughout the school community.
  • To develop functional reading skills for all learners to equip them with skills for their

Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning reading is one of our main priorities at The Pines. It is a skill which underpins a child’s ability to access the wider curriculum and allows them to broaden their vocabulary and develop imaginations. To ensure that pupils at The Pines are given the best opportunity to succeed, we ensure that pupils are given daily reading/phonics teaching that builds skills in letter/sound recognition, blending and segmenting, fluency and comprehension and additional reading for pleasure time (class and school library). All children will be taught functional reading skills to enable them to access opportunities after The Pines.

Read, Write, Inc


Read Write Inc. is a literacy programme developed by Ruth Miskin. Read, Write Inc. is taught at The Pines through 1:1 tutoring or in small groups. Due to the fast paced learning and differing abilities in each class whole class teaching is not suitable for our children. Read, Write Inc is used to systematically teach all of the common sounds in the English language, help the children to recognise the sounds and then to ‘sound-blend’ them into words for reading and writing.

When appropriate children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • Learn to read words using Fred talk (pronouncing each sound in the word one at a time) and sound
    blending (putting those sounds together).
  • Read from a range of storybooks books matched to their phonic knowledge.
  • Develop comprehension skills in stories by answering discussion questions.

Independent Reading

All children have access to independent reading time with both the class teacher and teaching assistants. Clear learning intentions are identified during this reading time. Books are at a level that is appropriate to the child. (Children’s reading levels are based on the end of year YARC reading assessment). If a child is not yet ready for a reading book then they are given opportunities to look at picture books or have shared reading time with an adult. All independent reading sessions are recorded on The Pines Reading Record sheet and are kept in a classroom reading folder. All comments recorded relate directly to the learning intention.

Whole Class/Shared Reading and Small Group Reading

All classes have access to whole class or small group reading. This is often taught through Attention Autism techniques to engage the children and maintain their attention. In classes where children are able to sit for longer periods reading is often taught as a whole class session with the use of symbols to help aid understanding. The texts chosen are linked to the half termly topic and the text being read will usually lead into the children’s main activities. Small group reading may also be taught through a guided reading session ensuring all children in the group are of a similar reading level. Children are required to take turns reading, answering questions and maybe completing work based around their comprehension of the text.

York Assessment of Reading Comprehension (YARC)

Where appropriate children will take part in a reading assessment at the end of the year. There are three parts to the YARC assessment dependant on the child’s reading ability.

Early Reading (age 4-7)
The early reading suite comprises four short tests specifically designed for 4-7 year olds or older pupils with reading difficulties. These tests assess a pupil’s phonological skills, alphabetic knowledge and word reading in a time-efficient and flexible way.

Passage Reading Primary (age 5-11)
Comprising fiction and non-fiction texts, the passage reading primary suite has been developed to identify the reading (decoding) and comprehension skills of 5-11 year olds or older pupils with reading difficulties. It assesses accuracy, reading rate and comprehension in one single test.

Passage Reading Secondary (age 12-16)
The passage reading secondary suite comprises a series of fiction and non-fiction passages for 11-16 year olds. Designed to be read silently, the test assesses reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension.

The YARC assessments provide an in-depth analysis of reading and comprehension skills for children. It identifies specific problems with word recognition, reading fluency or reading comprehension and informs on the best and most appropriate interventions to support the individual. Children’s progress is monitored yearly (by the English lead) and interventions, where necessary, are discussed with class teachers and are actioned.

Reading for Pleasure

At The Pines School, we aim to develop a love for reading by prioritising reading for pleasure and enjoyment. To encourage children to read for pleasure, we timetable a daily story time in every class.  We have a school library in each department and every classroom has a book corner with a wide selection of engaging fiction and non-fiction texts.

Early Years Library

KS1 and KS2 Library

KS3 and KS4 Library

Digital Library

Love Reading 4 Kids


Open Library




International Children's Digital Library


Book Trust




Oxford Owl




Stories with Symbols