At John Gulson, we believe that reading is at the heart of the curriculum and that developing a love of reading from an early age is the key to successful learning.
Our English curriculum promotes reading for pleasure, with story time being an important part of every day school life. We have built a reading spine (see below), linked to our wider curriculum, filled with exciting, quality texts, which will both inspire a love of reading and help develop important skills.
We promote reading for pleasure in a number of ways:

  • Reading clubs are available to children in every year group, where children can come along, listen to a story in a calm and comfortable environment.
  • Our purpose built library has a vast range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Classes visit regularly to change their books and enjoy story time.
  • KS2 also have access to the library during lunch times if they can’t wait to change their books!
  • We have outdoor libraries on the playgrounds at lunchtimes, with a selection of books for children to take away and read on the playground.
  • Our ‘Own Books’ scheme allows children to start their very own collections of books to keep at home. Regular donations to the school mean that children have regular opportunities to add to their collection. For more information about Own Books, visit
  • Every classroom has an inviting reading area based on a book. On transition day, each class works together to design and make items to add to the display.
  • We are currently refreshing our home-reading books and starting the process of book banding them so the children will have access to high quality, exciting texts to read at home.


Reading at home is the best way to improve reading achievement while spending quality time with your child! You could share their school library book, read them a story you choose together, get a book from the local library or even read an e-book together. is a brilliant free resource full of high quality e-books, all you need is an email address to sign up, and there are lots of excellent stories to share with your child. Your local library is It is free to sign up and children can take up to ten books out at a time.
Children in every year group need to read for a short time every day. They should also be reading to an adult on a regular basis.

Our expectations for reading at home:

  • Nursery and Reception and Key Stage 1: Children should read to an adult for 10 – 15 minutes a day
  • Key Stage 2: Children should read to an adult at least three times a week for 10 – 15 minutes. It is expected that children in KS2 will read independently on the other days.

In Early Years and Key Stage 1, children start by reading the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme and progress through the stages until they get to the end of Year 2.
In Key Stage Two, we have just introduced book bands. Please see a copy of the recent parent’s letter below for more information.

Not sure how to support your child with reading? Take a look at our videos below to see some good examples of reading with children. There are also lots of handy hints and tips in your child’s reading diary. If at any point you are unsure about how to support your child’s reading, please speak to a member of staff at school or contact Mr MacKintosh (English Leader).
Don’t forget, the most important part of learning to read is enjoyment. Pick a comfy place to sit, decide on a story together and enjoy spending some quality time together.


It can seem scary, but it’s not as hard as it looks! Take a look at this video to see how it’s done.