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Barnes Farm Infant School

Barnes Farm Infant School

Building Futures, Inspiring Success


Teaching pupils to read is at the heart of everything we do at Barnes Farm Infant School.  From the moment our four-year olds join us in Reception class to when they leave us to go to KS2, our overriding aim is for our children to love picking up a book and confidently read.  We immerse our children in quality texts aimed to spark their imaginations and draw them into the story or non-fiction.  We have a huge range of reading books in classrooms and around the school. We also subscribe to the Essex Library Service who offer us Literacy loans for topics.

The teaching of reading is of paramount importance and besides being integrated into English lessons and Reading sessions, it is encouraged and taught throughout almost every lesson during the school day. The application of learned competencies is an important motivator in promoting the acquisition and development of reading skills.


Reading Books

Books are grouped into colours and coincide with reading levels and end of year expectations.  These books are used as the basis for the teaching of reading skills and stocks are held in every classroom.  Children are encouraged to change their books daily and to choose their books independently.  The colour schemed books offer a structured progression of vocabulary and interest level and books are colour-coded across levels.  A wide variety of mixed genres are utilised together with “real” books to provide a broad range of books at each level (including non-fiction and fiction).

Pupils read individually to their class teacher or learning support assistant at least once a week.    When pupils are being heard read, teachers make a record of this in their individual Home Reading Diary. This is marked in a purple pen.

Guided Reading  

Guided reading takes place every day with a class teacher and learning support assistant.  This is a whole-class approach with a shared text and will focus on a particular reading skill.

Teachers choose a reading focus for each session taken from the Band 1 and 2 Reading statements which are based on key reading skills such as Vocabulary extension, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing (VIPERS).  


Our library zone is an exciting area for the children to read and learn.  It is well resourced with a variety of books.  Classes may visit the library for different reasons e.g.  a teacher may want to read to the class or encourage the children to borrow an information book to take home.  The library can be used to develop skills in research and fact finding.

Class teachers can also choose to use the library zone for further time or for group work as and when they would like.

Whole-Class Reading

Throughout the week, a whole-class reading lesson with a shared text allows teachers to focus on one of the key reading skills (VIPERS) and as a class develop these skills further.  Whole-class reading is recorded in each pupil’s Reading Journey book.

All teachers aim to read with their class before the end of the day. This is a special time in which pupils hear their teacher using a ‘storytelling’ voice and is a perfect opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about their class books.


How we teach Reading at BFIS...

Reception and Key Stage 1

What are we trying to achieve through our Reading Curriculum?           What schemes we follow and why?

We aim to develop keen readers who demonstrate a love of reading.  Readers who are fluent and competent by the time they leave us in Year 2.  We use Jonathan Bond’s English Planning kit which outlines a progressive term by term set of reading objectives.  The kit has been enhanced to make it bespoke to our school

How our Reading Curriculum being delivered... 

Our children are engaged in their learning as they become ‘experts’ who read for a given purpose e.g. Archaeologists in Reception, Party organisers in Year 1 and Rainforest Explorers in Year 2.  These experiences are memorable whilst providing a context for meaningful English practices.  Children take home books from a banded system based on individual phonic assessments every day and progress through the bands as they move through the years. 

What difference is our Reading Curriculum making? 

What assessments we use? How we track progress...

In a recent Pupil Voice survey (Dec 19) our children overwhelmingly love to read.  High quality texts have been incorporated into the Curriculum maps including The Iron Man in Year 2, Percy the Park Keeper stories in Year 1 and Purple Cat books in Reception. 

Teachers track individual progress in reading by recording steps in learning on the assessment grids in the back of Reading Journals.

Ways We Celebrate Reading...

We celebrate our love of reading in class with our Reading games in which children aim to move along the game by reading at home.  Our LSA’s record how many times a child reads at home each week and the results are celebrated in our Friday Celebration Assembly with the winning class choosing a special book to take back to their class libraries and one lucky reader chooses a book to take home.  This is communicated to parents and carers via our weekly newsletter.

How we make sure our Reading Curriculum meets the needs of all Learners...

English interventions groups are tailored to individual/group needs. 

More Able children are challenged within lessons through a choice of activity, more freedom to explore genres and vocabulary and are differentiated through outcome, support and task. 

Focus readers are chosen by both teachers and LSA’s as a priority to read with each week and progress meetings are arranged with parents.