Learning to Read


We believe that reading is at the heart of all children’s learning and is an essential life-long skill. We strive for children to learn to love books; have an innate desire to read for pleasure and develop a natural curiosity for language and its intricacies. In developing the skill of reading, the children will also gain access into a wide variety of facts and figures contained within non-fiction.  Our curriculum provides children with the opportunity to immerse themselves in quality texts that are age-appropriate and give a balanced diet of fiction, non-fiction and poetry experiences. 

We aim to raise and / or sustain pupils’ levels of attainment / achievement in reading throughout the school by modelling and instilling positive attitudes and developing specific skills.



To create a passion for reading we believe children must enjoy their reading experiences and show curiosity and interest to texts. A commitment to perseverance and self- confidence is also required to become an independent reader. The children must be open-minded and respect the views of others. They must also learn to show empathy and appreciate the feelings and cultural experiences of others.


The programmes of study for reading at Key Stage One and Two consist of two dimensions; word reading skills and comprehension skills. These are the core skills:

  • skilled word reading using decoding and quick recognition of familiar printed words

  • Speedy recognition of familiar printed words

  • the ability to read with fluency and expression

  • understanding of key features of texts

  • knowledge of sentence structure and punctuation

  • good comprehension which is drawn from linguistic knowledge (particularly vocabulary and grammar) and knowledge of the world

  • ability to interpret an author’s language, thoughts, and feelings

  • ability to discuss to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

  • Skill to perform poetry and song.





Word Reading

Underpinning the skills of decoding and word recognition is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. The fundamentals in the early teaching of word reading include: Phonics and Decoding, Common Exception Words and Fluency.



This concept relates to drawing meaning from what is read and draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. There are several aspects to comprehension which include: Understanding and Correcting Inaccuracies, Comparing, Contrasting and Commenting, Words in Context and Authorial Choice, Inference and Prediction, Poetry and Performance and Non-Fiction.


Whole Class Reading

Each year group teaches the comprehension skills through whole class reading sessions. In Key Stage Two, the VIPER acronym is used to ensure questioning delves deep into a given text and facilities the children to develop skills in each aspect of comprehension. In EYFS and KS1, comprehension questions are linked to a ‘reading dog character.’

‘Text rich curriculum’

We will create a curriculum which facilitates the children to experience a wide range of engaging and stimulating texts. We will use:

  • Class novels

  • Extracts of texts or poems which link to cultural capital, topics or simply enjoyment

  • Picture books as opportunities to explore themes, characters and plot at a greater depth

  • Non – fiction texts to link to topics


Cross Curricular

Reading runs through the curriculum and there are regular opportunities for the children to develop and apply their reading skills in topic lessons. We believe this approach progresses their reading skills in a purposeful context and develops their learning in other subjects.


Long Term Overview

We have worked collaboratively as a team to create a long-term overview that:

  • provides a range of fiction, non-fiction, classics and poetry

  • supports cross-curricular learning

  • enhances cultural capital

We have planned our reading curriculum collaboratively with teachers and there is the opportunity to review and adapt the planned texts when appropriate. For example, a visit from an author or school trip may result in a change to a text.


When new texts and their authors are introduced to the children the teacher will aim to share some key information such as:

  • age of the text

  • the heritage or nationality of the author

  • any key themes or messages in the text


Please find below an explanation into each text type included in the long-term overview.

Class Novels

Every half term or term in Upper Key Stage Two, each class will share a class novel. These engaging texts will model varied and ambitious vocabulary and provide a vehicle for learning both in Literacy and other subjects. Our class novels are linked to topics, where possible. In Key Stage One, another text may be used as their novels are often shorter.


Two or more poems will be read in class each half term, with teachers encouraged to read more if time allows. Across the year, the poetry planned should promote cultural capital, provide writing opportunities and create a sense of enjoyment in poetry. The teachers will be able to use the poems as they feel is appropriate for their children.

Additional Extracts

Alongside the use of the class novel, teachers may wish to use additional extracts from a text. These may link to a topic, class novel, current affair or event and will often be used as comprehension texts.


Picture Books

We believe picture books provide children of all year groups the opportunity to grapple with important themes and issues. They also provide an engaging and exciting stimulus for story writing as the stories can be easily read in full and contain powerful illustrations.

Non- Fiction

There needs to be balance in each year group between the use of fiction and non-fiction texts. These factual texts are important in widening the children’s knowledge and skills and providing purposeful reading opportunities. The teacher will plan for the use of appropriate non-fiction texts that support and enhance their topics.

Wider Reading and Enrichment

Reading for pleasure is promoted throughout the school and in Lower School, each child has a weekly slot of visit the school library. We also take part in World Book Day and we have enhanced our curriculum with a whole school ‘Amazing Author’s topic. We continually read and share class texts with the children in each year group to promote a love of reading and to increase the children’s vocabulary. In Reception and Year One opportunities for reading is planned for in areas of provision. For example, re-telling a story in small world play or reading a menu in a role play café. All classrooms in Lower School have a reading corner which are stocked with a variety of texts.

Five Plagues Reading Spine

We have used the reading spine to ensure that our class texts have the types of texts that will enable our pupils to successfully navigate reading with confidence. The five plagues of reading are:




Reading Books

We encourage daily reading at home but expect a minimum of 3 reads per week. Reading at home is encouraged through our ‘Reading Tree Challenge’ in KS1 and our ‘Adventurous Readers’ in KS2. An aim for the end of the Autumn Term is to provide each child (working up to Phase 5) with a ‘learning to read’ reading book which closely matches the phonemes that they know/are currently learning along with a ‘read for pleasure’ reading book which they will read and discuss with some support from an adult. The purpose of this is to ensure the children experience a variety of texts and to encourage them to explore and develop their reading preferences. Once children are secure in Phase 5, they will take home two books from the School Reading Scheme. Class Teachers track the children’s progress through the reading scheme by updating a class book band tracker to ensure each child is appropriately challenged.

Any Key Stage 2 pupils that did not that do not meet the minimum standard by the end of Year 2, continue to be tracked and supported closely. Each child continues to be tracked and supported (see details on assessment above) and will have read phonics matched books to an adult daily in school.


By the time children leave Bardsey Primary School, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.  They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum and communicate their research to a wider audience.

Senior leaders, subject leads and teachers use the evidence collected, alongside the assessment information, to monitor and track the implementation of the subject’s curriculum to ensure that our intentions are achieved.

The impact of the English (Reading) is evaluated and reviewed through annual reports that are created and shared with governors by the subject lead. 

In addition, we measure, and validate, the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: 

  •  The tracking of assessment data including statutory and in house’ summative assessment at the end of each year

  • Termly pupil progress meetings

  • SLT and Subject Leader Lesson observations; including subject enquiries

  • Work Scrutiny

To view the Reading Curriculum pdf please click here





Non-Linear Sequences