Approaches to Reading

At Castle Hill School we have developed our own Reading Pathway which enables all students, from P1 to those working at the Key Stage 1 expected Standard, to access reading at a level appropriate to their needs.

It is designed to facilitate vertical and horizontal progression and to inform target setting, including MAPP and PIPS

Click here to view our assessment page.

It is drawn from:

The National Literacy Strategy (2002) Towards the National Curriculum for England
QCA (2001) Planning, teaching and assessing the curriculum for pupils with learning difficulties- English
Victoria Park Curriculum (2009)
Glyne Gap Expanded P levels
Quest for Learning (2006) Guidance and assessment materials: Profound and Multiple Learning DifficultiesBelfast. The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
Routes for Learning (2006). Qualification and Curriculum Group. Welsh D of E. Cardiff
EQUALS (2004) Moving On – Literacy and Numeracy
EQUALS (2003) Schemes of work for the National Curriculum for pupils with Learning Difficulties
Letters and Sounds (2007) DfES
MAPP The Dales School, North Yorkshire
Development Matters in the EYFS (2012) DfE

It also includes clear learning steps to develop reading skills in those pupils who have a visual impairment or who use AAC systems.


We teach a combination of phonics and whole word recognition and our priority is on developing functional literacy skills. Key vocabulary, whether using the written word, photographs, symbols or real objects, is reinforced through our termly topic approach. We use a small bank of Core Vocabulary symbols and  photographs which are displayed in every classroom and  learning space and which staff wear on a ‘key fob’. These, as well as Objects of Reference and Touch Cues  are standardised throughout school and make up our ‘Communication baseline’.


The following resources are used in school;

  • Jolly Phonics ( using Makaton initial letter signs)
  • See and Learn
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Usborne ‘My first reading library’
  • Read it yourself with Ladybird.

Pupils in the Secondary and Sixth Form departments access the ‘Dockside’ reading scheme.