Believe in yourself, Learn together, Persevere and Succeed


We have two reading-related policies at Barley Lane, which you can access to the right of this page: Phonics and Reading. A summary of our reading policy is outlined below. Please see phonics policy for further detail on the teaching of synthetic phonics. We use the Little Wandle scheme for this.



Our overarching aim for English at Barley Lane Primary School is to promote high standards of literacy, by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

By the end of their primary education at Barley Lane Primary School, it is our aim that all pupils can read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject.


Reading, at Barley Lane, takes place throughout the Curriculum where children are encouraged to apply the skills they have been taught in the focused reading lessons.


Reading Lessons

Teaching in whole class reading lessons, across the school, focusses on developing pupils’ competence in both word reading and comprehension as outlined in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Reading. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why, at Barley Lane, phonics, is emphasised in the early teaching of reading. (See Phonics Policy). Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In EYFS, reading is an important feature in and outside the classroom. We have a range of ways in which we promote reading:

  • Book corners that are accessible, owned and loved by children, indoors and outdoors.
  • Using core books to plan for children’s interests and class topics
  • Early Reading: children have the opportunity to read to an adult with a decodable reading book regularly
  • Having enthusiastic staff who share their excitement of books with children
  • Having books available in all areas of the classroom
  • Using story props, sacks and boxes to enhance core books
  • Having well planned reading lessons that all practitioners are confident to take part in
  • Opportunities for children to learn ‘reading behaviours’, for example, the recognition that print conveys meaning, the left to right directionality of English text, the purpose of punctuation
  • Involving parents in understanding the importance of early literacy though parent workshops, newsletters, home shared reading and reading books etc
  • Listening to a variety of genres, for example, non-fiction, poems, digital stories, rhymes often reflecting our children and their community
  • Opportunities to retell and to act out stories using props and story maps.

Key Stage 1

Reading lessons take place each day in Years 1 and 2. Year 1 use a decodable book to model and teach reading and comprehension skills following the National Curriculum for Reading. In Year 2, a combination of decodable books and engaging picture books, often related to their topic, are used to teach reading skills and comprehension.

Children read to a school adult on a 1:1 basis each week with teachers recording achievements against National Curriculum objectives. Reading books are sent home linking to the phonic level and are changed regularly.

Reading journals are introduced in Year 1 where children demonstrate their understanding of taught reading skills. This continues in Year 2.

To develop reading for pleasure each class visits the library each week and takes a book home to share with an adult. Storytime takes place, usually towards the end of the day.

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, reading does not just take place within designated reading sessions; it is something that is of paramount importance in every curriculum subject. Children in Years 3 to 6 take part in daily whole class reading sessions, which last for 30 minutes. Reading tasks are also completed during writing sessions to build context for the children leading up to and developing their writing. Across the year, all of the National Curriculum objectives are covered within these sessions.


In Key Stage 2, children are exposed to reading-immersive environments, in which they are encouraged to read at every opportunity. Each classroom has a wealth of topic-related knowledge and material displayed, and has a designated reading area in which children can take a book home and swap their book on a regular basic. Children visit the library every 1-2 weeks to choose a book to take home from a wider selection.



The staff update the National Curriculum Reading statements on a regular basis on Scholarpack, our assessment system. Judgements on achievement are made based on reading journals and hearing children read individually. At each assessment checkpoint, teachers assess children’s reading ability and progress is reviewed with Year Group Leaders and SLT.


Years 2 and 6 complete the statutory SATs assessments in May. The Teacher Assessment Frameworks (TAFs) support teacher assessments.



Policy Documentation