A passion for reading and a love of books is a key part of our educational provision here at Barley Fields.  The progressive development and eventual mastery of reading skills is a key priority across the whole school which begins in nursery.

At Barley Fields we have an extensive and rich literary environment with the provision of high-quality reading materials in all areas of the school including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reference books.  Every classroom contains a variety of books for reading or sharing and class readers are enjoyed by teachers and pupils alike.  Each year group follows a reading spine of books and this forms the basis of our extended reading curriculum.

Our philosophy is for all children to find pleasure in reading and we therefore allocate time each day to develop the habit of quiet reading or to listen to stories being read aloud by adults.

In every year group high quality children’s literature runs alongside the teaching and learning of writing and children are encouraged to discover the joy in reading books by a wide range of respected authors including Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. Children are encouraged to read poetry and to learn by heart poems for performance to different audiences.


Reading Resources

The development of Reading is supported by a graded reading scheme which uses resources from a variety of published materials including:

  • Floppy’s Phonics
  • Rigby Rockets
  • Big Cat Phonics
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Rigby Star
  • Usbourne Books
  • Project X
  • Literature by familiar authors.

Our books are organised into resourcing for Guided Reading and Individual reading and are graded by colour bands according to levels of challenge and accessibility.  This banding is linked to age related expectations and assessment of key reading skills.

Early Reading Development

We teach children to read using a synthetic phonic programme delivered alongside a programme for learning high frequency word site recognition.

In Early Years and KS1 we follow the progressive expectations of the Letters and Sounds Programme supported with the Floppy’s Phonics reading scheme published by Oxford Reading Tree.

Our Phonics programme is supplemented and supported with teaching materials from Jolly Phonics and Phonics play.  Children also read decodable reading books from Letters and Sounds, Big Cat Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star.  This structured approach intends to develop fluent and competent readers.

High Frequency Words

We teach children to read, spell and understand key words through a multi-sensory approach called ‘Action Words’ which incorporates visual, auditory and kinaesthetic teaching strategies. This programme is progressive and ensures children can read on sight the most frequent words in the English language and words in the National Curriculum Y1 and Y2 word lists.  

Guided Reading and Reciprocal Reading

In teaching reading the school follows three progressive models of delivery – guided, reciprocal and individual reading.  Our approaches are underpinned by taught comprehension and read and respond activities.  The implementation of these strategies is linked to the age and ability of children but all are designed to aid the development of reading fluency, enhance comprehension and understanding and develop side the skills of inference and deduction.

From the end of Year 3 children also enhance their reading skills with the use of Reading Plus.  This is  an online adaptive reading programme designed to support individual readers using an extensive library of informational and narrative reading materials.

Please see below for a summary of the reading strategies used in school.

Involving Parents

We recognise and value our shared role in developing your child’s skills as a reader from reading aloud and sharing books, to developing their understanding and skill in extracting information.  We involve parents a great deal in the teaching of reading and staff will explain and support you in your important role in relation to this in each Key Stage.

Every child will bring reading materials home daily along with a Reading Record.  This book is used across the school and we ask you to make constructive comments and record when your child practices their reading at home. We really value your support in completing the Reading Record as it has a major impact on children’s progress.


At Barley Fields we pride ourselves on our children’s attitudes towards reading.  This in turn leads to excellent attainment outcomes.  We evaluate the success of our reading curriculum by:

  • A continued reflection on the standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
  • A celebration of learning which demonstrates progression in skill development;
  • Pupil discussions about their learning; including discussion of their interests, thoughts and evaluations of their achievements.

Year 1 Reading Spine
Year 2 Reading Spine
Year 3 Reading Spine
Year 4 Reading Spine
Year 5 Reading Spine
Year 6 Reading Spine
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