BerkswichCE Primary School

Achieve, Believe and Care

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From Year One onwards, children will experience rich whole-class reading adventures with an aim of:

  • All children are encountering new words and enriching their vocabulary
  • Children have access to a wide range of genres and challenging text types
  • ALL children being able to enjoy and understand texts that may be beyond their own reading ability.
  • Imagination and observation skills enhanced
  • A child’s general knowledge and understanding of the world expanding
  • Empathy being developed as they make connections with the experiences of the characters in the text and with each other
  • Fluent, expressive reading from high quality modelling
  • A desire to read and a shared enjoyment

Teachers model a range of reading strategies during reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to develop their own strategies and to discuss texts in detail through riveting debates and discussions. Reading aloud is modelled at the highest standard and children are encouraged to reflect on their own progression with this. Where possible, each child will have their own copy of the text; we are continuously building our range of resources to meet this demand as we understand the importance of following along from your own copy. Where appropriate, geographical and historical context is taught so that children are equipped with the background knowledge needed to make full sense of a text. Unless exploring and decoding unknown words in contexts is the aim, teachers plan in advance the vocabulary that they need to teach explicitly before children are exposed to the words within the text; this ensures an high level of understanding of the text and that no child is left behind in their comprehension.

Discrete vocabulary lessons teach a wide range of strategies and assess the level of a child’s understanding of a word. During shared reading, the teacher will stop regularly to clarify the meaning of additional complex vocabulary and ensuring that all children can understand the text with regular opportunities for the children to summarise what has happened. Texts are analysed in great depth with a strong understanding of the authors’ choices and the impact that this has on the reader.  All children across the school are taught to answer what effect the author has created, how they have created it and why they have created it; a skill we have found has turned our young readers into young authors. 


​​​​​​​Separate to Guided Reading lessons, all classes right through to Year Six engage in a whole class read for pleasure; an essential part of the Primary school classroom. It is just one very important way that we can model our enthusiasm for reading and for books and create magic and excitement around the special joy of reading a good book. Enthusiasm for reading as a class teacher is critical; it has a vital effect on reading achievement and the life-long love of reading. Teachers ensure that a wide range of texts, including poetry, which is regularly celebrated throughout school, is used in these sessions.


Key Stage Two use Accelerated and Star Reader (please see our Accelerated Reader page for more details about this literacy platform) to promote a love of reading and inform teacher assessment. Children complete Star Reader tests at the beginning and end of each half term to determine their ZPD range and to measure progress. This test can also inform the teacher the areas in which the child has progressed in and finds more challenging, helping to target intervention more precisely and adapt planning. Once children have read a book, they are able to take a short quiz which evaluates their understanding of the text; the feedback for this is immediate. This book is added to their virtual bookshelf and they choose another book, guided to the correct level range. As a child completes the quizzes, teachers are able to build a fuller picture of an individual's reading. Parents can view how well the children are doing in the quizzes via Home Connect or by email.


Children share an enjoyment of reading through individual class challenges related to Accelerated Reader and can take part in whole Key Stage challenges such as becoming a ‘Word Millionaire’. Children receive regular certificates for their independent reading achievements and take great pride in their ‘daily minutes’ report. Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, e.g. ‘World Book Day’- where children are immersed in storytelling, author quizzes, book discussions and the opportunity to dress up as a book character and share their favourite books. All classrooms have an inviting and interactive Reading Corner where children can discuss and debate recent reads.



​​​​​​​From Foundation Stage up to Year Six, children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult regularly; with there being a particular focus on questioning to promote an in-depth understanding of the text. If you are looking to volunteer in hearing our children read, please contact the school by email or ask at Reception; we welcome new faces!


​​​​​​​Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. Information is given on how to support your child in reading on the school website, curriculum letters, parent information evenings and parents’ evenings. In Key Stage Two, children are encouraged to read independently for at least 20 minutes per day which is monitored by the class teacher through Accelerated Reader.