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Reading - Our Subject Story




All children at Bourne will read easily, fluently and with good understanding.  They will 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.  They will be skilled at speedy recognition of familiar printed words and working out the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words.

The children will have good comprehension drawn from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world.  Through their reading, pupils’ imagination will be fed and a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds, opened up. It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.  This will be reflected in our reading results and the fact that pupils choose to pick up a book as a way of exploring new worlds, characters and ideas. 

We aim to build a love of reading by ensuring book corners are exciting places to visit, stocked with books that appeal to all children regardless of gender, age and ability.  We will celebrate reading through author visits, celebrating world book day and through sessions at the local library. 

The children will have highly structured reading sessions, starting with consistent teaching of phonics and thereafter, whole class reading sessions. 


Reading is a core subject within the National Curriculum.  All pupils will cover the programmes of study relevant to their year group.  In all key stages, (this includes Nursery and EYFS) reading is part of the daily teaching routine. Further opportunities are provided for reading across the school for example in assemblies, labels and display boards. 

Alongside a text-rich environment, the children in Nursery are taught Phase 1 of “Letters & Sounds: Principles & Practice of High Quality Phonics” (DfES, 2007, DFES-00281-2007) Phase 1 of “Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds” concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

Group Reading sessions are introduced in Term 5 & 6 of Nursery for children that are entering school in the September.

In Reception, the teaching of “Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds” is continued as the children work through Phases 2, 3 and 4. Pupils are taught the letter names and sounds and how to blend and segment to read simple words and sentences. Phonics teaching, whole class story sessions, quiet reading times and opportunities for the children to explore a wide variety of good quality texts.  To find out more about our teaching of phonics and Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds please go to our phonics page.

In Year 2 from term 4, reading is taught as a whole class- this is in addition to their daily phonics session, which includes the reading of fully decodable books. 

Whole Class reading continues in Years 3-6.   The children are exposed to high quality texts, many of which are from the Power of Reading recommended book lists.   Each day the children will be taught a variety of reading skills from the six reading domains of the National Curriculum and reminded of these though the VIPERS acronym.

The teacher will introduce the book, discuss the background information the children will need to access this type of text, historical and or geographical elements, genre and character type- lots of these things may come from discussing the title, front cover or blurb for example.  A useful additional resource to use here would be the Aidan Chambers Tell Me Grid from the Power of Reading. Some background knowledge will be given to the children, regarding the context of what will be read in that session.  Visual stimulus could be used here to further deepen the children’s understanding. Any new or tricky vocabulary is taught/discussed.  The teacher reads the section of text to the children to model expression, inference and awareness of punctuation. Children must follow the text with their reading rulers.  The teacher will then scaffold how to answer question types that may occur in that session.  The children will then answer the questions in their journals and these will be discussed after. 

There will be opportunities for the children to read aloud to the class and to an adult individually, so that they are able to develop their fluency, hone their expression and demonstrate their awareness of punctuation. 


Formative assessment is carried out during every lesson.  The RAC (Reading Assessment Criteria) sheet is used by both the teacher and the pupils to assess whether a particular skill/objective has been understood.  Through careful questioning, discussion, looking at reading journal answers and the RAC sheets, teachers are able to use this information to inform their future planning, correct misconceptions and use interventions- whether that is an immediate intervention during the lesson or a further intervention at another time will depend on the need. 

Summative assessments using PIXL papers are carried out 3 times a year and this data alongside the RAC and teacher judgements will be recorded on our data tracking system.

Parents are kept up to date of their child’s progress and attainment through the reading card that is taken home each day. 

It is expected that all children will reach ARE in reading and become competent and confident readers.  Through our consistent teaching approach, our passion for reading and inspiration through the choice of texts and a rich reading environment, the children at Bourne will develop a lifelong love of reading.

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