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Newton Burgoland Primary School

Newton Burgoland Primary School

Together We Can Achieve Excellence

ENGLISH (Reading)

Together We Make Learning to Read A Memorable, Unmissable Adventure

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and 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. The national curriculum for English aims 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.



Learning to Read


Learning to read is one of the most important educational steps for our children - reading underpins almost all aspects of the curriculum. So at Newton Burgoland Primary School we focus lots of energy, time and enthusiasm to help all our pupils become successful readers. We want children to love reading and to continue to do so throughout their lives. 

 Children who belong to families where books are valued, shared and talked about find it easier to learn to read and write. A variety of experiences and the vocabulary to talk about those experiences makes a huge difference to reading and understanding of reading. The journey to being a reader  and a writer starts at birth when you first talk to your child.

’Reading and writing floats on a sea of talk” ( James Britton, 1983 )

We are members of  Leicestershire's Creative Learning Services. This enables us to borrow up to 250 books, gives us 4 book talks a year, introducing pupils to new authors and unusual books providing project collections  each term.

At the bottom of this page you will find some bookmarks for reading to download for each year group. These will help you to ask your child about the book they are reading. It is really important that learners are:

  • Enjoying their reading, developing a love of a particular author or genre
  • Visiting libraries
  • Reading challenging texts with resilience and determination
  • Finding our the meaning of any usual words
  •  Collecting ideas for writing
  •  Linking their reading to their lives and other books they may have read,
  • Empathising
  • Finding out and learning new facts

We use phonetically decodable books alongside other books to support pupils early reading development. Our phonics teaching is based on 'letters and sounds' Using the DFE approved scheme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' Revised. Find out more here.

Progression in Reading


We want all learners to reach at least the expected National Curriculum standard by the end of year 6 and to be keen to continue their studies in key stage 3 and beyond. We want learners to be able to see themselves as Readers from the first time they pick up a book.

Listening to stories and sharing books should be enjoyable. We want to instil a love of reading in every child. We recognise that reading for pleasure is key indicator of future achievement.

Learning to read takes precedence in our curriculum. Progress should be rapid and anyone falling behind should be supported to make progress and keep up with year group expectations.

Those with additional needs such as dyslexia will be given extra support to help them crack the phonic code and make sense of reading material.

We aim to provide a range of reading material, in particular books representing and telling the stories of all memebrs of a diverse and modern Britain.


Reading starts with cracking the phonetic code and discovering the world of adventure and knowledge hidden in books.

We have adopted the 'Little Wandle Revised Scheme for Letters and Sounds'. This is used consistently from the start of the autumn term, in reception, supporting all pupils to secure their phonics knowledge for reading and writing. 

For pupils needing additional support we use the 'Little Wandle' keep up materials. For pupils in key stage 2 who, due to school closure or additional needs have not mastered the phonetic code we work in small groups to enable rapid catch-up.

Alongside this early work, to secure the phonetic code, using fully decodable books, we  encourage pupils to share books at home with parents and others. Pupils select a book from our 200 book challenge collection to take home and enjoy.

The Little Wandle Scheme promotes, decoding, prosody and comprehension using books matched to pupils decoding knowledge. 

When phonics is mastered our pupils continue their reading adventure by selecting books from an age appropriate range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

The 200 book challenge continues in year 2 to 6, introducing wide range of genres, authors and content.

In year 2, when phonics is mastered pupils select books from our phase 6 collection, practising their prosody and comprehension skills in small groups.

In years 3 to 6 pupils enjoy whole class shared reading practising skills collaboratively before applying these to unseen texts.

In all classes pupils are read to for at least 10 minutes daily. Class reads are selected carefully. 


Pupils make strong progress in reading - 92% of pupils passed the phonics screening in 2022. To build on this achievement we have reorganised our reading scheme across the school to build upon the phonic reading scheme and promote reading for pleasure.

Historically, reading has been strength of the school at the end of KS2. Currently, support is in place for all pupils at risk of falling behind due to school closures. We are participating in the DFE reading for pleasure initiative, recognising that not all of our pupils are choosing to read outside of school since the pandemic.

Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One

It is essential that parents and carers understand the importance of home reading and how to support their children’s reading in a positive and enjoyable way. Investing time to develop reading relationships between home and school is crucial. Parents are invited to attend our phonics and reading session for parents at the start of reception. 

Children begin to learn to read in the first term of Reception through the teaching of phonics. We deliver our phonics teaching through a scheme called, 'Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Revised'.  

Children are regularly assessed to check their progress in phonics and support is identified early and put in place by a 'keep-up' programme.

Our reading books are fully decodable - arranged into sets suited to each phase of the phonics programme.  We use the Collins Big Cat reading scheme which follows a progression through from EYFS to Year 2.

In addition, children are introduced to a bank of ‘tricky’ words. These words need to be read by sight rater than sounding out.  We often send these words home in book bags so you can help your child to practise. You can download the first 100 and the second 200 high frequency words below.


At Newton Burgoland we provide a balance of books to send home for early readers, including:

a reading practice book matched to the child’s phonic stage that they can read independently

a sharing book that they can talk about and enjoy with their parent/carer. These are part of our 200 Books in the purple book bags.

Book Talk:

If children are to become lifelong readers, it is essential that they are encouraged to read for pleasure. The desire of wanting to read will help with the skill of reading. To help foster a love of reading, children should take a book home that they can share and enjoy with their parent/carer.

Making links between what is happening in the book and your child's own experiences is really helpful. Questions such as :

How would you feel if....?

Why do you think.....?

What do you think might happen next?

Do you think this person would be a good friend- why/ why not?

Is this story like anything else we have read?

Reading opportunities at school will be supported through: whole class reading, reading activities during phonics lessons; shared group reading sessions and individual reading. 


Reading and continuous provision 


Key stage 2

In key stage 2 the reading journey continues. Your child is expected to read independently daily and to read a range of text types. We ask parents to take an active role and to listen to reading and discuss reading at least three times a week.

Book Talk:

Have you read anything like this before?

What does this book make you think about?

Would you like to meet the characters in this book? Why?

Where could you find out more?


Poetry Talk

How does this poem make you feel?

What do the words and phrases mean?

Why did the author choose to.............?


Non- fiction talk

What have you found out?

What else do you know?

What else would you like to know?






Finding a good book

How to help your child find the right book

Take a look at the book lists below or follow the link to the book trust.

The book you choose should be a' Goldilocks text' - not too easy and not too hard.

To find the right text open the book at any page. Hold up one hand. Read the page and every time you come across a word you do not understand or can't read, fold down a finger.

  • 5 fingers folded - save this book for later
  • No fingers folded - ethos book could be too easy.

Book trust