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English Reading


At Barry Primary School, we value reading as a key life skill, and therefore it is our priority to teach every child to read. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and with confidence in any subject so that they are prepared for their forthcoming secondary education. We strive for all of our pupils to achieve a love of reading and cultivate independent thinkers who understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.

We intend for all of our pupils in KS1 to achieve the expected standard in Phonics. Developing early phonics skills is of high importance to us to ensure that children can decode texts from an early age -learning to read but more importantly reading to learn. We also intend for all of our children across school to achieve the expected standard by teaching reading and comprehension so that they can read with fluency, accuracy and understanding.  We feel it is important to inspire an interest in words and what they mean to enable children to develop an increasing oral and written vocabulary. 

We foster a home-school partnership, which encourages parents to read at home with their child.



We follow the Little Wandle’s Letters and Sounds SSP programme. Daily lessons take place for a duration of 25-30 minutes in the morning from Reception to Year 2.  A catch-up session is taught in the afternoon to ensure that sounds are retained and applied to reading. Nursery also implement phase 1 and 2 activities within the setting. In EYFS, there is a focus on sharing stories, rhymes and songs every day. Phonics is used throughout school to support all readers and these skills are reinforced across all areas of the curriculum. Phonics intervention is used to support children across school where deemed necessary.

Phonics lessons follow a four-part whole class teaching sequence: Review, Teach, Practise and Apply. Pure sounds are taught alongside the correct use of vocabulary; phoneme, digraph, segment, blend.  Sound talk is used to segment a word and blending enables a word to be read. Sound fingers are used to spell.

We use Big Cat Phonics reading books which follow the Little Wandle’s Letters and Sounds phonics programme.  Pupils are given a reading book that is matched to their phonic ability up to Phase 6. This is based on the child’s phonic assessment. In EYFS and KS1 children read to a member of staff twice each week and they have a book change during this time. KS2 children are responsible for changing their Accelerated Reading book on a regular basis and are heard read at least once a fortnight. Children are heard additionally where the need is felt. They are quizzed after each completed book on comprehension based questions. Teachers use these AR assessments to plan lessons and interventions. Interventions are delivered by our Teaching Assistants three times a week.

Reading lessons

At Barry Primary, we teach reading skills in a whole class setting.  In EYFS and KS1 this is sometimes as a group or whole class. This is to ensure that all children are challenged, read more regularly and are exposed to quality texts and teacher led discussions. Through this, children have access to a wider range of vocabulary and grammar.  

Throughout school, reading skills are modelled, discussed and made explicit to ensure children know that there is more to reading than just decoding words. There is clear progression across school as reading sessions focus on the National Curriculum expectations which include the VIPERS. In KS2, children will have a minimum of three thirty minute reading sessions each week. Floor books are used to record the children’s responses from EYFS-Year 4. Year 5 and 6 pupils record their  work in a Reading Response book.

Reading for pleasure

Reading for pleasure is so important at Barry Primary School. Each class has an area that promotes a love of reading and books, children are given time to read and a class story is shared every day. Books are also shared across the curriculum. These pleasure texts are chosen based on topics and children’s interests. Reading is celebrated in our weekly school assembly through our golden tickets reward incentive for all pupils and KS2 children also work towards completing bookmarks every time they finish a book.

Reading at home

As a school we must be actively promoting reading at home. All children are expected to bring in their reading book and reading record/homework diary every day. Teachers are responsible for checking who is reading regularly at home and acting upon this as appropriate. Children receive a house point and/or sticker for reading at home at least 4 times a week, managed by the class teacher.

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