Students enjoying their computing lesson.
Teacher asking questions during an English lesson.
Two girls working hard during an English lesson.
Two girls working hard during an English lesson.
Two girls working hard during an English lesson.
Two girls working hard during an English lesson.


The teaching of English, with a focus on spoken language, reading and writing is integral to the Iqra curriculum and permeates all aspects of learning. The development of communication skills is the foundation for the growth of nurturing effective and enjoyable relationships between students, families, carers, staff and other partners in the school and the community. Furthermore, we develop these skills as a strong foundation for secondary school and further academic success.


At Iqra, we are more than just a school; we are a community of passionate educators dedicated to nurturing lifelong readers in the hearts of our children. Reading is not just a subject for us; it’s at the very core of our curriculum. Our mission is clear: we aim to instil key values within our children that will transform them into avid, lifelong readers. We want them to fall in love with reading, to embark on literary adventures, and to savour the magic of the written word. Our commitment is to introduce them to the best of English literature, carefully selected to be age-appropriate, so that they can build their background knowledge, broaden their horizons, and share in the collective heritage and values woven into the fabric of these literary treasures.

Early Years & KS1

In Early Years and Key Stage 1 (KS1), we lay the foundation for reading success. We teach the skill of reading through phonics so they are able to read fluently. This is a primary focus in KS1, where we balance the importance of reading for both pleasure and fluency. We also start nurturing their comprehension skills and enriching their background knowledge, setting the stage for cultural capital. We achieve this through a range of engaging methods: 1. Daily Phonics Instruction: Our structured, regular, repetitive phonics lessons are the building blocks of reading. We teach children to recognize the sounds of letters, segment words, and blend them together until reading becomes second nature. 2. Guided Reading Lessons: Small groups of children delve into texts, deepening their comprehension skills. They learn to extract meaning, understand sequences, make predictions, and explore the “why” and “how” of a story’s events. 3. English Lessons: Our curriculum revolves around high-quality texts, introducing children to different genres, authors, and cultures. We aim to engage them in the wonder of reading while further honing their comprehension skills. 4. Home Reading: We encourage reading at home by providing physical books for children to take home weekly, promoting the joy of reading with their caregivers. We also offer wealth of online books to cater to various reading stages.

KS2 (Years 3-6)

In Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6), we take the reading journey to the next level. By now, most children have mastered the skill of reading and are ready to dive into more complex texts. We explore the worlds of significant authors such as the craziness of Roald Dahl, the morality of Michael Morpurgo, the timelessness of E B White’s Charlotte’s Web. It’s going to be a thrilling ride! Our focus extends to: 1. Guided Reading Lessons: Daily whole-class sessions centred around key books (Iqra loves whole books more than extracts) foster a sense of reading community, sharing a common journey with classmates is a lot more fun! Here, children learn vocabulary, retrieval, inference, fluency, background knowledge, and much more. 2. English Lessons: High-quality texts remain at the heart of our lessons. Carefully chosen for the quality of language, engagement and themes, pupils will deepen their comprehension and exposure to the best in the written word. 3. Home Reading: Children are required to choose a book through their class library and read 10 minutes everyday. This is done through a library experience where children have the books scanned out and allocated to them. This gives them independence in their reading diet, allows them to pursue their interests and develops life long habits. Children also access texts through Bug Club which is an online library of books suited to their level that they can progress upwards within. Interventions: We understand that children progress at different rates. For those who require extra support, we provide interventions during and after KS1 to ensure that fluency is achieved, making comprehension more accessible. Our commitment to reading extends beyond the classroom and we promote reading through:

  • Prizes for regular reading in the form of bookmarks and pencils.
  • Book Fairs which always creates a buzz around the school community and gives parents an immediate access to books to feed to their children.
  • Book Swaps where children bring in previously loved books and swap books with their classmates.
  • Book Clubs in which parents are able to purchase quality books for their children and stock up their libraries.
  • World Book Day! The best day of the year! Dressing up, fun filled assemblies, and a day dedicated to your favourite books, What could be more fun?
  • Author Visits: We have had the honour of inviting some fantastic authors such Gareth Jones and SF Said who have shared their writing process with the children. We aim to develop ongoing relationships with authors and get our children involved in the creative process. In fact, SF Said asked our children to become test readers for his recently published book Tyger! Children were given unpublished manuscripts which they read, commented and gave feedback to the author which SF Said actually took on board and used in his book!
  • Reading Workshops: We hold reading workshops for our parents in which we explain why reading is important, how phonics work, and how they can support their children to become lifelong readers.

Our Context

At Iqra, most of our children are from backgrounds in which English is not the home language. Our children have different starting points when it comes to English, speaking and reading. Despite this, we have had a lot of success in ensuring that by the time children leave, that they leave with a high standard in English, both reading and writing. We achieve this in a number of ways.

  1. Communication and Language in Early Years. We focus on a language rich environment with our early years. This means that children are exposed to vocabulary and phrases through high quality discussions. Teachers interact with children both planned and incidental and talk to children about their interests, through modelling language. We set up activities where children are able to engage with specific vocabulary in Nursery and Reception. We have one to one ‘Tiny Talk’ which ensures that every child has quality interaction with a teacher throughout the week. We expose our children to stories, songs, rhymes and repetition of phrases so they are able to quickly pick up the English language.
  2. Vocabulary. We understand that many of our children do not come with a literary vocabulary; and that academic success as well as cognitive development is conditional upon language, in particular vocabulary acquisition. Hence, we cannot leave this critical aspect of child development to chance. We select tier 2 vocabulary (the type of words you find in books, rather than everyday vocabulary) and we teach this directly to children, so that children gradually build a network of words that allows knowledge and concepts to be meshed on to.
  3. Background Knowledge. Many of our children have not had broad experiences that extends their world knowledge to comprehend events and situations in books. Whether that is visiting the countryside, exposure to animals, building sandcastles, fine dining and so on. Never having built a snowman or snowball fight makes it more challenging to ‘comprehend’ these things or even write about them. Hence we teach our children about genre and we help them build up mental models of the world so they are able to understand the world and events that a character in a story may be experiencing.

Reading is the heart of our school. With a structured and engaging program, professional knowledge and passion, and a commitment to the needs of our community; we aim to create a strong foundation for future success. Children, the adventure awaits! Let’s turn the page together.