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At Bookwell Primary School, learning to read and reading to learn lies at the core of our curriculum. We strive to ensure every pupil is a fluent, competent reader who is able to make sense of the world through the power of words and their meaning. We aim to shape pupils into fluent readers who become critical thinkers, question drivers and careful listeners. Through careful planning and comprehensive, up-to-date teaching practises, all staff are dedicated to develop and secure the life long skills of reading. We aim to nurture a love, appreciation and curiosity of books and literature through rich and diverse reading experiences, high quality reading materials and resources within phonics, English and reading sessions.


Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum to enable all children to:


  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • 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




Whole Class Text Study

Through the Talk 4 Writing approach, English units are carefully planned and structured around a high quality text that has been selected either to link with another curricular topic, model a specific text type or to promote a love of reading itself. Through this teaching, children are given opportunities to ‘Read as a reader’ to improve their speech and language skills, learn new vocabulary in context and improve their comprehension of the chosen text. This then leads onto ‘Reading as a writer’ in which children produce a written piece of work linking to the original text.


Guided Reading


At Bookwell, pupils in classes Reception to Y4 read books closely matched to their ability in groups with their teachers. In Upper KS2, sessions are structured using a whole class reading approach. Sessions are structured with individual, paired and group reading where a deeper understanding is driven through teacher led questioning and comprehension style activities to assess. Both follow the format of the ‘Reading VIPERS’ a mnemonic covering the key reading domains:


  • Vocabulary
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Explanation
  • Retrieval
  • Summarising (verbal) and Sequencing

The 'VIPERS’ stimulate meaningful book talk, deepen understanding and improve language skills. Children may respond verbally, in writing or digitally to comprehension based questioning.


Reading across the Curriculum

Reading to learn is an essential lesson component. All teachers carefully plan integrated opportunities for children to practise, apply and challenge their reading skills beyond the confines of phonics, English and reading. This can be through continuous prevision in the Early Years, researching using websites, fiction and non-fiction texts and even song lyrics in music.


Reading Scheme

We believe that books taken home should have two purposes: for phonics practise and to foster a love of reading. To ensure children feel successful from the very beginning, early readers will begin by taking home a selection of ‘Phonics Reader’ books that are decodable or run a little behind the teaching of phonemes. These are carefully selected by their teacher and reviewed each week. All pupils also select a ‘Core Reader’ book that is taken home each week and read with or from an adult at home. The selection of ‘Core Readers’ are produced from Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine that are age appropriate and aim to create a ‘living library inside a child’s mind’. We use a range of book banded schemes to support and provide extra practise for those pupils until reading is fluent and fully comprehended.


Reading is supported in class, across the school day by teachers, teaching assistants, peers and volunteers. Parents are also asked to read with their child at home and ‘Strive for Five’ times a week. Those that do are entered into a draw with prizes for the child at the end of each half term.


Class Reader

All pupils listen to a class reader, this can be a story, rhyme or poem that is read aloud by the class teacher with confidence, encourages book talk discussion amongst pupils and promotes reading simply for pleasure.


Reading Interventions:

At Bookwell, we recognise that some children find reading difficult, this may be because it takes them longer to embed and secure their phonics knowledge, build on their fluency or have yet to develop strong language comprehension skills. Through regular assessments and teacher judgements, such children take part in additional reading interventions to help ‘close the gap’ amongst their peers.

Reading interventions focus on:
− Word reading for children who are struggling to decode and therefore require extra phonics practise.

And / or
− Reading comprehension for those children who can decode appropriately but do not understand what they are reading (small group focus).

All interventions are rigorous and systematic with the intention that these children catch up with their peers based on good knowledge of the children’s understanding and a clear approach to ‘closing the gap.’


At the end of their journey at Bookwell, our pupils are secure in the mechanics of reading and leave as competent, fluent readers. They have developed a wide range of vocabulary through the diverse range of genres and poetry studied and are able to express themselves   confidently. Children will have built the independence needed to fulfil their role in modern society, using words to enhance their knowledge and communicate their understanding to a wider audience. Lastly, they will be drawn to reading as a pathway to learn, entertain and seek new perspectives of the world around them.