Bemerton St John CofE Primary School



Our vision for reading is to develop children who are fluent, enthusiastic, capable readers who take pleasure from independent reading. We want to expose children to a range of fiction and non-fiction books and give them the opportunity to discover the authors they like. We intend to develop the children’s inference and questioning skills, allowing them to engage with what they are reading, widening their vocabulary. This will allow them to access and appreciate a greater range of more complex books: developing reading stamina as they progress through the school.


Specific decoding skills are taught through daily phonics sessions following the Twinkle Phonics programme. These skills are explicitly taught through six phases, beginning in Reception, carried through KS1 and, where appropriate and necessary, in to KS2. Children work through the different levels, learning and developing their phonics sounds and understanding. The direct teacher-led lessons enable all learners to develop and apply new skills while also providing opportunities to further apply these skills within fun and engaging activities and through continuous provision.

In EYFS every child is heard weekly by an adult and in KS1 and KS2 every child reads individually to an adult once every three weeks. In all year groups children who are identified as in the lowest 20% and any additional children, who are identified by their class teacher, are heard on a more regular basis. Parents and other adults volunteer to listen to readers. They are given training and support children read across the school. Each child is assigned a book from the book band which matches their phonic ability. These books have been carefully organised to match the progression of phonics as outlined in our Phonics Vision, Coverage and Evidence document. Children who are developing as readers move from the reading scheme to free readers and are supported to select books that match their reading ability.

Whole Class Reading is delivered from Year 1 through to Year 6 twice a week. Year 1 use teacher adapted Twinkl comprehension texts. Year 2 through to Year 6 use and follow the ‘Reading Explorers’ scheme to deliver these lessons. The first lesson focusses on vocabulary in the form of 'Word Wonders' where a key word is analysed looking at its definition, antonyms and synonyms. The children then create their own sentence to demonstrate their understanding of the word. The second lesson then focusses on one or more of the six key skills to develop reading comprehension; vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summary – VIPERS.

As a school, we feel it is important to promote and develop reading for pleasure from an early age and have implemented a range of strategies to support this:

  • The children listen daily to an adult read a class book
  • Children from Year 5 and 6 are invited to apply for the role of school librarian and once appointed are trained and are then responsible for a fortnightly library duty
  • Children are able to visit our school library during their lunchtimes and borrow books
  • Authors are invited to visit the school to promote their books and run workshops with the children
  • We have a bookmark reward scheme where children are rewarded with a bookmark each time they reach a certain number of home reads
  • Selected children are taken to a local bookshop at the end of each term as a reward for regularly reading five times a week at home
  • An after-school library club is run by a TA – open to all year groups from Year 1 to Year 6

Through the year, each teacher identifies the 20% of pupils in their class who are not meeting the expected level of development for reading. We use a tracking document to identify the pupil's needs and the support that is required to meet their needs. These documents are then evaluated and updated 3 times a year by the class teacher. 


The evidence of how successful our reading curriculum is, is largely monitored through assessment. Formative assessment takes place daily as reading is integrated into our whole curriculum, but also during Whole Class Reading sessions. From this assessment, teachers adapt their planning accordingly to meet the needs of their pupils and ensure progress in comprehension skills is made by all. Summative assessments take place three times a year, using the NFER reading assessments. All formative and summative assessment results are recorded on an on-line tracking system to monitor progress. Through successful implementation of the curriculum, our reading results at the end of KS2 will exceed the national average and our progress scores will be positive.

A further way of measuring how successful our reading curriculum is, is through discussions between teachers and senior leaders. Formal meetings are held at regular intervals in the year between the class teacher and subject leader, during which the reading attainment and progress of all children is discussed. The teaching of reading is also monitored through lesson observations, book scrutiny and pupil conferencing. 

We believe that this ensures that our that our children leave Bemerton as fluent, capable readers. Readers who can access and appreciate a wide range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live and to establish an appreciation and love of reading.