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Reading is crucial to a child’s development and learning, and helping your child to read is our priority. We work closely with parents to support reading and encourage children to read at school and at home throughout the primary years.

The school has a systematic approach to the teaching of reading. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, there is a daily phonics lesson, using the Essential Letters and Sounds Department for Education approved scheme.

Children in EYFS and Year 1 have a phonics book which are matched to their ability as well as 'banded books' based on their reading and comprehension ability they include a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play scripts for interest.  All classes take part in guided reading sessions, sharing ideas about the plot, the characters and the language used in the books.

The school encourages children to take part in the Summer Library Reading Challenge each year.

All teachers have taken on the '10 minutes a day' reading challenge which has shown to increase vocabulary from 8000 words per year to 622,000. This matched with 10 minutes of reading at home, increases to 1,269,917 per year.

The school has an excellent library for both fiction and non-fiction books, which may be taken home. There is an on-line, remote system for checking what your child has chosen to read from the library. Year 6 children act as librarians.


At St Bartholomew’s Primary School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill. We are committed to enabling our children to become ‘lifelong’ learners and feel that reading enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum, laying the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment.


At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent approach to the teaching of reading to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.


As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we hope that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum.


Reading and Phonics Implementation

At St Bartholomew’s, we use a phonics programme called ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’, approved by the Department for Education. This programme is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. This is supported by a comprehensive scheme of decodable reading books alongside a variety of banded books. Children identified as not ‘on track’ in lessons or who have been assessed as having not met the required standard for phonics (in Year 1 or 2), receive intervention, individually or in small group sessions.

All children in Year 2 progress onto the Read Write Inc spelling scheme and, through daily spelling lessons, teachers regularly recap phonic knowledge with children through the ‘dot and dash’ activities.

At St Bartholomew’s all classes have both individual reading time and small group or whole class guided reading sessions. High quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of children, and teachers use this to model the application of the agreed reading skills. Children are also taught to relate the text to themselves, previous reading experiences and the world around them.

Teachers at St Bartholomew’s place a high value on reading for language acquisition as well as for enjoyment. All teachers have taken a 10 minute a day pledge where they have committed to reading to their class each day. This has been followed up with a plea for parents to match this at home.


At St Bartholomew’s we believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. From Year 1 upwards, ‘banded’ titles - from schemes such as Collins Big Cat, Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree - are used for home-reading, to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genres. Our reading scheme ensures children are offered high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world. Children work through the wide variety of books at their own pace, reading the majority of titles in each series (approx 75%). Teachers monitor their progress and determine when best for children to move onto the next series, ensuring that a range of titles have been explored and understood.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

We believe that reading is key to all learning but feel that the impact of our reading curriculum, goes beyond the results of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.

In addition to this:

  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, contributing regularly to home-school records;
  • The % of pupils working at age related expectations and above age-related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children;
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)