“Once you learn to read, You will be forever free” – Fredrick Douglass


We strive to nurture the love of reading in every child through our reading rich curriculum, quality reading resources and stimulating environment. We aim to provide:
• All children with the skills and strategies to read with confidence, fluency and understanding.
• Create a positive reading culture where children enjoy reading, want to read regularly and discuss their reading.
• Encourage reading outside the classroom through forging strong links with home including the Strive for Five programme.
• Establish a love of books where children choose to read for pleasure.

From an early age, our children take part in whole class reading sessions daily where they are exposed to high quality texts and develop their reading comprehension skills through the VIPERS approach. All classrooms have a welcoming reading corner, often linked to their class text, in which children can choose to enjoy a book.
Strive for 5 is a weekly reading challenge that is set across Hensingham. The aim of Strive for 5 is to encourage pupils to develop a regular schedule of reading outside of school. Strive for 5 is to support the development and progression of readers. Teachers will check reading records in order to move children along the Strive for Five chart, if children read 5 reads in the week, they are given a raffle ticket. This provides them with an entry into the Reading Raffle. Children receive an extra raffle ticket each time they read on top of the five times needed for Strive for Five.

These raffle tickets are drawn during the Celebration assembly. If children don’t manage to read at home, they are encouraged to ask adults at school to hear them read – on top of their daily reading. This not only gives them the opportunity to be entered into the raffle but they are taking ownership of their reading opportunities.

Every individual child has a school reading book matched to their ability. Children accessing Read Write Inc will being home their group’s book that they have read three times throughout the week. Children will then practice fluent reading with expression in a story telling voice as they will be familiar with the book. They will also be provided with a book bag book. This book will be their phonic group colour and closely matched to the sounds that they have covered. Once children move off the Read Write Inc scheme, they will have a book banded book matched to their reading ability. There are a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books in each book band. We have a huge collection of books to match the interests of children. As a child’s reading improves they move through the book bands. The books children have read are logged in reading records. Children are also encouraged to choose a book of their choice from the library. This can be a book they want to read or that they want to take home for family reading.

We have created the HENSINGHAM MIRRORS AND WINDOWS collection of books that celebrate diversity.

MIRRORS We hope that all of our children are able to see themselves in some books at school.

WINDOWS We hope that all of our children are able to look out into the world and learn about as well as celebrate diversity.

Click here to find out more information. 

Reading Manual

VIPERS- Fiction

VIPERS- Non Fiction



At Hensingham, we follow the Read Write Inc Phonics Scheme to support the development of early reading. This scheme was chosen because of its small group targeted approach that would encourage children to read and provide them with the skills they need to decode.
Phonics is taught from Nursery up until children finish the programme. This is usually by the end of the Autumn term in Year 2. For those children who need some extra time, further support or a different approach we use the follow up scheme from RWI – Fresh start. This is taught in small groups or one to one to enable children to develop the skills they need.
Children are assessed on a regular basis to ensure they are making the progress that is expected and where necessary children receive extra tuition to boost their ability. This is on a needs led basis which still encourage children to develop a love for reading.

Phonics Manual