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Grange Park School

Learning for Life - Personalised Pathways for All

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Reading@Grange Park

Reading has an exceptionally high status across Grange Park School at every stage of the learning journey. We have worked hard to ensure that reading is prioritised in two central ways; firstly, that our school environment fosters a love of reading and, secondly, that our children receive high-quality reading provision in their learning time. Our offer at Grange Park School comprises reading for pleasure, phonics, comprehension and fluency, ensuring sure that students gain all the skills necessary for them to access and make sense of the world around them.

At Grange Park School, we believe in the value of providing the most engaging and exciting literacy environment and provision possible. Our aim is that every pupil develops a love of reading and the skillset to become confident and articulate writers.

Whatever stage of the learning journey a Grange Park pupil begins with us, we deliver them the highest quality provision that equips them for future life. 

Each strand of our literacy offer interlinks to enable children the very best provision. Phonics and spellings, reading, writing and oracy (spoken English) are all championed in our knowledge-rich curriculum. The children are provided with extensive opportunities to rehearse and refine these key skills, as well as demonstrate their understanding in innovative and original ways.

Fostering a Love of Reading

Here at Grange Park School, we believe in building a passionate culture of reading across the school to engage and enthuse children about reading. Appointing dedicated librarians, setting up Reading Reward Schemes and purchasing a Book Vending Machine (stocked with diverse texts) are all examples of the way we incentivise and bring value to reading.

In addition, teaching and support staff receive weekly training in current reading theory and practice. With a focus on exploring how children learn the fundamentals of language, the informative sessions have focused on exploring how phonics programmes help students identify and use the patterns of sounds or phonemes to read and enjoy written language.

We also run imaginative events to promote reading for pleasure. For example, at our Stansted site, we hold a popular bedtime stories evening for our younger children, while across the whole school our all-day World Book Celebrations are an annual, fun-filled highlight of the calendar. Furthermore, we offer the chance to perform on a real theatre stage through the renowned Shakespeare Schools Festival. This gives our pupils the opportunity to rehearse and appear in professional-run performances of plays, such as Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and this year’s hilarious modern retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

High Quality Provision

To deliver high-quality reading lessons that are impactful for our children, we have invested in a variety of effective, up-to-date resources. These are then used to support daily reading provision in the classroom and provide opportunities for consolidation and retrieval of key learning.

Where necessary, reading aloud of banded books supplements reading lessons which are taught in all classes from Year 5 upwards. In Year 5 and 6, pupils are taught by the VIPERS approach to reading. The six domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics, such as decoding, fluency and prosody.  The VIPERS method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions.  It allows the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these, which allows for targeted questioning afterwards. 

Children across Grange Park also have access to Bedrock, our invaluable online reading and vocabulary programme. Bedrock offers an easily accessible online library of fiction and non-fiction books for children that consolidates and grows their word knowledge and vocabulary. Additionally, all pupils also have access to the Libby online library, ensuring that a wide variety of books and genres are readily available to our children – as well as newspapers, magazines and audiobooks.

Reading for Pleasure, Fluency and Comprehension

At Grange Park, we use high-quality texts to motivate and inspire children linked to the concurrent topic, for children to link their learning and work in a cross-curricular way. We choose class texts that run alongside our topic to create interest, enthusiasm and a love for reading. These books form the base for discussion and analysis, extending children’s understanding. They also allow children to explore new vocabulary and language structures.

We place significant emphasis on children reading regularly at home, in order develop a habit for reading as well as encouraging children to explore a range of text types that they enjoy. After their reading age is carefully assessed, children take responsibility for their own learning by choosing their book within the optimal range for their ability. This system is designed to challenge children, as well as grow their confidence. These books are regularly refreshed to offer a range of current and high-quality texts. Pupils can also take home a free choice book that they have self-selected from our school library.

Furthermore, at our Wrotham site, all our secondary age students enjoy a varied diet of reading activities. Along with enjoyable and challenging class texts – from culturally diverse, modern authors to Dickens Shakespeare -, we hold weekly library carousel sessions. During these enjoyable lessons, students listen to a novel, complete targeted comprehension activities and independently choose their own books to read from the diverse, up-to-date selection in our library. This ensures students continually have opportunities to read for pleasure and build reading habits for life.


Oracy is a significant focus as we endeavour to find innovative and new ways to improve the communications skills of our students here at Grange Park School. Oracy gives every child the opportunity to find their voice, to articulate their ideas clearly and coherently, and to develop their understanding of what a good discussion looks like.

As we continue developing our oracy provision at Grange Park, we seek to combine the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within our curriculum. In doing so, we believe that children will build their vocabulary, learn to express their thoughts and better understand the structure of language.

In line with the ambitious goals of our literacy curriculum, our desire is that this oracy focus will equip our children to be successful and valuable citizens. Effective communication skills and teamwork are highly sought after by employees, so developing the oracy skills of our students helps to prepare them for their future lives.


Where necessary, pupils who cannot read at age-related expectations will receive urgent, targeted support from fully trained members of staff. Little Wandle Rapid Catch-Up is a complete catch-up programme that mirrors the main synthetic phonics programme but has a faster pace. It has been created to help children catch up quickly.

For children to make rapid progress, Rapid Catch-Up is timetabled as follows:

  • Day 1             20-minute Phonics Lesson
  • Day 2             20-minute Phonics Lesson
  • Day 3             Review Day: A quick review of the teaching from days 1 and 2

         10-minute phonics lesson plus 10 to 15-minute Reading Practise Session

           In Phases 2 and 3, the blending practise books will be used for this session

  • Day 4             10 to 15-minute Reading Practise Session
  • Day 5             10 to 15-minute Reading Practise Session

Any child in KS3 upwards, who needs additional reading support can be placed on the Switch On Reading programme. Intensive and individualised, Switch On is a ten-week reading intervention that is delivered by fully trained adults to ensure these children make rapid progress.

Building on their phonics and literacy skills developed at Key Stage 2, we provide regular 1-1 intervention to support targeted students to develop their essential reading and writing skills. To further embed their core literacy skills, we are introducing the Abigail Steel Key Stage 3 Phonics Programme which will help these students develop their foundational literacy skills with appealing, age-appropriate texts.