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At Barnham CEVC Primary School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.


At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought provoking texts.


Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment.  We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.


We have high expectations of all our children and we inspire them to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always believing that they can achieve.


Early Reading

In the early years, reading is taught through synthetic phonics using Little Wandle.  This follows Letters and Sounds as a basis for planning, whole word recognition and reading for meaning.  Ongoing assessment ensures that phonics is taught systematically and to each individual need.


In the early stages of reading, books are organised to closely match the learners' phonics knowledge; this allows the opportunities for consolidating learning and plugging any gaps which individuals may have.


Books have been carefully selected to ensure that children remain interested and engaged in learning to read; they include, non-fiction and fiction, with some well-known and loved stories for the children to consolidate their reading skills (eg, Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt).



We understand that as the children progress in their reading and become more fluent readers, their need for more challenging books is greater.  Books have been carefully grouped at this stage of reading to ensure that children are able to continue to progress. 


We have recently updated our reading books, making sure that books are current and inviting to the children.  We want children to be excited about the books they are choosing and want to continue their reading journey.  we will continue to listen to the children's interests and purchase books for our reading scheme based on this.


Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure remains a focus at Barnham Primary.  We recognise the many benefits that reading for pleasure brings, including:

  • increasing empathy
  • improving relationships with others
  • improving well-being
  • connecting people to the wider community
  • gives insight to the wider world
  • improving reading achievement


School Library

The school library has become a central hub for the children where they are able to select books with their families to take home to read, spend time each day reading in the comfort of the library or engage in daily activities carefully selected by staff.  New books are continually being purchased to reflect the latest bestsellers, new and up-coming authors and, quite simple, the old classics.


Each class has it's only designated area for reading, where it is inviting and 'cosy' with a selection of texts, fiction and non-fiction, for the children to choose. 


In response to the pandemic, a mini-library has been made where children and families are able to select stories to share at home.  The library is situated outside where all are able to access it.


Teaching Reading

Reading is taught in a variety of ways at Barnham, including:

  • reading with an adult
  • reading in a group
  • whole class reading
  • echo reading
  • shared reading
  • group reading
  • home learning


Reading is also explicitly taught in lessons regularly to ensure the children have the opportunity to develop skills for improving their accuracy, fluency and comprehension.


The Curriculum

Books have been purchased and bought to reflect our curriculum.  Texts are carefully selected to allow children to research independently.  Online texts have been purchased, such as National Geographics, to extend reading and immerse children in more complex literature and vocabulary.


Reading at Home

We encourage all children to read at home with an adult at least five times a week.  We know how important this is to support the children in developing as independent readers.  As a school, we subscribe to GoRead where children, parents and staff can all log reading and the children can win rewards (gems) for their efforts.