📚 Reading at Bessacarr 📚
“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them.”– Neil Gaiman

Our Reading Intent:

At Bessacarr Primary, reading is highly valued by all members of staff and is at the heart of our curriculum. This is showcased throughout school and is evident in everything that we do. From reading ambassadors to the reading retreat, you simply cannot escape reading in our school!

We want our children to be accurate, reflective readers who read widely to learn more and for their own enjoyment. When they leave Bessacarr Primary, we want children to understand what a good reader is and to use the range of skills that they have learnt to help them in the next stage of their lives. Through rigorous, synthetic phonics, using the Read, Write Inc approach, children become accurate readers who can decode effectively. As children become more confident at decoding, they start to learn about elements of fluency and regularly practise reading fluently. Through high quality modelling and instruction, children will become fluent readers which enables them to read for deeper meaning.

Comprehension skills are built upon from an early age through a range of activities including discussion, role play, and drama but the level of understanding they achieve becomes deeper and wider as children move through key stage two with the prerequisite skills required.

 Books are carefully selected by teachers because they are vocabulary rich, engaging and provide a suitable level of challenge. In each class, these texts are the heart and soul of all of our learning- no detail goes amiss! We want our children (and staff together) to be so engrossed in their class texts that they beg to keep reading at the end of each lesson and look forward to the next!

 It is also our intention to immerse children in a wide range of reading experiences by providing a range of opportunities to enjoy reading in school, at home and in the wider community. Most importantly, we want our children to use these skills to help them succeed in the next stages of their life and to develop a lifelong passion for reading.


Reading Implementation

  • All teachers use a text led approach where the class text is at the root of our learning
  • Children across school have the opportunity to read aloud regularly, to enable them to practise reading fluently.
  • Reading for pleasure is promoted across school using different initiatives to encourage children to read at home. World Book Week is also celebrated to show our whole school passion for reading.
  • Engaging, redeveloped library areas are available for children to use. Book fairs are also held regularly.
  • Systematic, synthetic phonics is taught from Nursery using the Read, Write Inc approach to enable children to learn to decode accurately to prepare them to become successful readers.
  • A granular ‘reader on a page’ approach is used for the bottom 20% in reading, which tracks all different aspects of the child’s reading.
  • All pupils in year one, as well as pupils who are behind expectations in phonics, are provided with keyring flashcards to take home and practise to help them catch up.
  • Teaching assistants have been trained in 1-1 reading and fluency strategies such as echo reading, to enable them to provide effective interventions.
  • Library areas and reading areas are well organised, to help children find books that interest them and develop an understanding of different authors and genres.
  • Vocabulary is taught explicitly and regularly recapped to ensure that children understand taught words and can use them in different contexts.
  • Teachers use the National Curriculum to inform their planning and make sure that children have opportunities to develop skills related to each reading content domain- alongside regular fluency lessons.
  • Monitoring includes book scrutinies, lesson observations, coaching and pupil/staff voice.
  • Progression documents are in place to ensure that teachers understand what children should be able to do in each year group, what they should already be able to do, and where they are going next.


Reading Impact (for academic year 2021-2022)

-At the end of Reception, 76% of children achieved GLD (good level of development) comapred to 65% of schools nationally.

- 95% of our children passed the phonic screening check at the end of Year 1 compared to 76% of children nationally.

- At the end of Key Stage 1, 81% of children met the expected standard in reading compared to 67% of children nationally.

- At the end of Key Stage 2, 87% of children met the expected standard in reading compared to 75% nationally.



Bessacarr Reading Ambassadors

Results Announced:

We were absolutely astonished by both the amount- and quality- of applications that we received from children wanting to be reading ambassadors for our school. We received over 60 applications, which demonstrates the love and passion our pupils have for reading, and we were so proud when reading all of their amazing ideas! After much deliberation and discussion, we managed to narrow our selection down to 12 children. 

Role and Responsibilities:
These children will be responsible for many exciting and important jobs: these include reading new material before it enters the library; helping to organise events inclduing World Book Week; reading to and with children across school; ensuring libraries are well organised and inviting places; as well as liasing with pupils to help improve reading within school.



📗 Author Visits 📕

Andy Seed

To help us celebrate National Poetry Day, we invited the amazing author and poet, Andy Seed, to come and visit our school. We loved listening as he shared his hilarious stories and poems with us, and we LOVED joining in! At the end, we were even lucky enough to have the opportunity to buy signed copies of his books!

Eleanor McKone

As part of KS1's geography topics, the wonderful Eleanor McKone visited us to share her series 'Piper's Passport'. The children thoroughly enjoyed meeting a real life author whilst finding out all about different countries through her engaging, rhyming stories! How exciting!

🐑 Sleepover Animals 🦈

Each class, from reception to Year 3, will send home a sleepover animal to a different child each week to bring home. The idea is that each animal comes with a book/selection of books to encourage children to enjoy reading at home. We love seeing these books being enjoyed in the sleepover animal journals and on Twitter!


The Reading Retreat

Instead of sleepover animals, all classes from y4-y6
have the Reading Retreat! Make yourself a hot chocolate; get cosy; and read your book! Once you’ve finished, write a little review in the diary and tweet your picture to your class page followed by the hashtag #myreadingretreat

Phonics Tutorial With Mrs Shaw

Find out more about what phonics in and how we teach it in school using the Read, Write, Inc scheme. The information is presented by our phonics lead Mrs Shaw.


Reading Domain Progression
Reading Policy 2022
Core Text Progression
Bessacarr Early Reading Paldet