OFSTED 2022..."Pupils describe West Horndon as being a big family. Staff know pupils well. Pupils are proud to be part of such a welcoming school...Leaders have high aspirations for all pupils. Pupils rise to meet these expectations. All staff share this vision. Leaders make sure pupils have a wide set of experiences. These help pupils develop into confident individuals. Pupils develop their self-esteem through extra responsibilities...Leaders have developed an inspirational curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of pupils at West Horndon. ..The whole school environment is a celebration of language and vocabulary...Pupils are well behaved in lessons and around school. They know the school rules...Leaders consider staff’s workload and well-being. Staff enjoy working at the school and feel supported by leaders." Pupils do not disrupt lessons. Pupils always do their best and want to make their teachers proud of what they can achieve. 2024 New Intake Prospective Parent Tours 2nd Oct at 10.30am, 30th Nov at 9.30am and 11 Jan at 9.30am Please call the school office or email admin@westhorndon.essex.sch.uk to book a space.

Reading at West Horndon Primary School

Reading at West Horndon Primary School

We want to help children to develop a life-long love of reading. We strive to give the children the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to read with confidence across a variety of media.

It is known that reading can develop the child’s self-esteem and understanding of the world around them. It is vital that children are exposed to literature that is beyond their current experience and fluency.

Our love of reading is rooted in the use of high-quality texts. Through these texts, children are given the skills required to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. It is vital that our children develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information, acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. Reading underpins our ability to succeed in all curriculum areas.

What reading scheme do we follow?

At West Horndon Primary School we use the Oxford Reading Tree book banding system throughout KS1 which uses a wide range of texts from a variety of popular reading schemes that link to the children's phonics phase. 

These include:

Alien Adventures

Hero Academy 

Project X

Children take two reading books home; a book that matches the child’s phonics ability and a book of their choice from the same colour book band.

When children exceed the Oxford Reading Tree book bands they move onto Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader (AR) is a reading management and monitoring programme that aims to foster independent reading. The internet-based software assesses reading age, and suggests books that match pupils' needs and interests. Pupils take computerised quizzes and earn AR points as they progress. We have an Accelerated Reader library which is located on the lower floor communal area, the books are arranged into book levels. 

To find out more about Accelerated Reader, please click here:

How do we teach Reading?

We teach children the skills and strategies they need to become fluent readers through Whole Class Guided Reading. Teachers model good reading to inspire a love of books and develop the necessary skills to become masters of reading. Each lesson will include opportunities to practice the key reading skills of retrieval, inference, prediction, vocabulary and summary. Each class has a bespoke collection of literature of high quality and value, where children can access a wide range of books for pleasure. Non-fiction texts, appropriate to current learning, will be displayed and enjoyed. These texts will be drawn from our ever-growing and improving non-fiaction library. Reading is an intrinsic aspect of learning across the curriculum, whether it be reading a problem in Maths, accessing instructions in a Design and Technology session, using inference and deduction to explore a painting in Art or sourcing information for a topic from a book or the internet. Children are provided with many opportunities to read, enjoy and share books as well as being emerged in language rich environments with access to a breadth of vocabulary and print. At West Horndon Primary School, we celebrate literary events such as World Book Day, World Poetry Day and have regular Book Fairs.

How do we choose books?

Our texts are chosen based on the research carried out on reading spines by American educationalist, Doug Lemov. With carefully selected titles, which enhance teaching across our Bespoke Curriculum, children will be given the opportunity to experience five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. These are complex beyond a lexical level and demand more from the reader than other types of books.


Archaic language: Children will become fluent when accessing antiquated forms of expression, so that they can access more complex, historical texts. The size and richness of our vocabulary directly affects our ongoing success.

Non-linear time sequences: Children will be able to fully understand more complex story structures in which time, character or setting may shift.  

Narratively complex: Books where the narrator may be unreliable or non-human.

Figurative/symbolic texts: Texts which happen on an allegorical or symbolic level which give children the chance to evaluate or challenge their own understanding

Resitant texts: In these texts, children have to assemble meaning around nuances, hints, uncertainties and clues. In these texts, inference skills will need to be developed and applied.


Authors in Residence

Our Authors in Residence, Chris Connaughton and Sam Scott, are regular visitors to our school. They are both much loved by the children who are inspired by meeting real authors, who provide bespoke workshops in Reading, Writing and Drama. They also inspire the whole school by giving assemblies. 


Each year, we invite children in Year 6 to apply for the position of Librarian. These children will be chosen based on their demonstration of a love of reading as well as their ability to be role models to younger readers. Not only do they help to keep the library and TARDIS well ordered, but also provide book recommendations.  

TARDIS Little Library

In 2022, the TARDIS landed at West Horndon Primary School. This has become a literary hub for the whole community – for children and adults alike – where books can be shared free of charge. We are lucky to be at the heart of a supportive community, and are never short of donations!



How can you be involved?

We ask that all children in KS1 spend at least 10 minutes a night reading at home and in KS2, spend at least 25 minutes. Reading with your child at home has many benefits - no matter how old you are. In order to keep the teacher up to date with home-reading, parents can log their reading on BoomReader.

Our Reading Champions are volunteers that come into school and encourage reading for pleasure as well as boosting children’s confidence.