Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School




The Intent of our Reading Curriculum 

To ensure that all children reach their full potential across the curriculum, we take a consistent and rigorous approach to the teaching of reading, starting with a phonics scheme beginning in the early years. We want all children to consider themselves a reader and be able to independently explore genres and texts. We want our children to read widely and often and take part in discussions about their favourite texts. Throughout their school careers, we want to provide children with exciting reading experiences to encourage a love of reading.

How we Implement our Curriculum


When the children begin school in Reception, they begin a systematic phonics programme called Read, Write Inc. In Reception and Key Stage One, children receive daily 30-minute sessions where they learn a new sound each day. While completing the Read, Write, Inc programme, children read books which are matched to their phonics knowledge. This allows them to apply their segmenting and blending skills and build fluency in their reading style as they read and re-read texts suited to their reading ability.

Reading books

As children move on from read write inc reading books, books are grouped into colour bands and focus more widely on reading comprehension skills. Teachers will decide when children are ready to begin, and when to move through this scheme. Children read these books with members of staff in school and they will also be sent home to be read with parents. Children are assessed regularly on their comprehension skills and will move through colour banded levels at their own learning pace.

In addition to their colour banded book, children also take home a library book of choice each week. This is to promote a love of reading and encourage children to read books for their own pleasure. This book of choice is from a wide range of text types in the class library and may sit outside of their reading stage. We encourage families to share these books together with children and support where necessary.  

Class Reading Spines

We plan our English lessons around high-quality core texts, which may also link to the topics and themes for that term. We have ensured our selected texts represent a wide range of diversity in both authors and protagonists and are engaging to encourage a love for reading. Our reading spine is designed using books – written by inspirational authors – which we value and want the children to have read by the time they leave primary education. The texts are purposefully selected to take the reader on a journey, from sharing picture books, to sharing a range of chapter books that gradually expose the reader to beautifully crafted storylines with evermore intriguing and challenging themes. Some books also fit with the year group’s history, geography and science topics.

Whole Class Reads

All classes have a dedicated storytime at the end of EVERY DAY (a non-negotiable timetabled slot) where staff read aloud uninterrupted. Children in Reception and Year 1 also have a dedicated poem, rhyme and song time at least once a week.


Guided Reading

We have daily guided reading comprehension sessions from Year 2 onwards to ensure that children read age-related texts and answer V.I.P.E.R.S (Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise / Sequence) as our method to explicitly teach each skill. These whole class or group reading comprehension sessions are used as a powerful tool to allow all children to make progress in reading and provide regular and supportive opportunities for children to encounter engaging texts that will resonate with their interests and capture their imagination. Carefully graded questions allow for children to develop their comprehension skills at an appropriate level.

Through Whole Class Reading from Year 2 - 6, pupils are introduced to the Reading VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing / Summarising).  This consistent approach throughout school enables pupils to become secure in each skill as they are introduced and further consolidated.


Within the last year, we have offered additional activities to promote reading enjoyment: 

  • World Book Day – dressing up as book characters and taking part in book day themed activities.
  • Termly reading newsletters
  • Key stage 2 book clubs
  • Reading buddies
  • EYFS reading passports
  • Year 5 and 6 pupils can apply to be a librarian
  • Termly reading challenges
  • Reading competitions
  • Visits from librarians from Sherburn Library
  • Usborne book fairs run termly in school
  • Reading challenges both in school and at home.  The feedback from the last challenge was very positive from both parents and children. 
  • Teachers have visited different classes to read their favourite texts.
  • Daily story time

The Impact of our Curriculum

We want to instil a love of reading in all children. By using engaging texts in English lessons and in learning across the curriculum, children are exposed to a range of genres and styles. By creating reading rich environments and celebrations across the school year, we want children to see that we are all readers and it is a skill we all need to learn.

As a result of this ethos and a rigorous approach to the teaching of reading, our children will:

  • Read widely and often across the curriculum and be able to extract information from different genres of text. Children will be able to apply their phonics knowledge to decode unknown words and by re-reading texts, will gradually build their fluency.
  •  Reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum as they will be able to apply their reading skills to different subject areas.
  • Learn new pieces of vocabulary and gain creative ideas from fiction texts. After listening to inspiring stories, children will be able to transfer ideas into their own writing and be motivated to use higher level vocabulary.


At Barkston Ash Catholic primary school, we aim to develop able writers with secure understanding and application of basics of punctuation, language and spelling. We give children the opportunity to recognise and write a variety of genres. We aim to develop creativity in children, fostering enjoyment in creating imagery in poetry and story form.

  • We want children to have a vivid imagination and enjoy all aspects of English.
  • Highly developed vocabulary and knowledge of grammar, phonics and spelling.
  • Excellent knowledge of techniques involved in reading, writing and communicating.
  • An appreciation of the entertainment values of written work.
  • An exceptional talent for listening and responding.
  • Highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interests and imagination.
  • Confidence to share their ideas and a respect for others opinions.
  • Pride in their work and strive for excellence in presentation.
Schemes/Teaching Initiatives
  • School-designed writing for purpose curriculum;
  • Weekly SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) lessons;
  • Weekly extended writing sessions;
  • Half-termly spelling bee competition.
  • We use a variety of long term texts to link to our carefully planned and tailored curriculum.
  • Purposeful opportunities for reading and writing.
  • Cross curricular consolidation and links
  • Streamed phonics through the ReadWrite inc phonics programme – follow the link here for more information;
  • All children make good or better progress.
  • Confident, resilient learners.
  • An understanding and tolerance of diversity in our community and the world.
  • Rich vocabulary and strong understanding of the English language.
  • Children have a love of reading and writing for a purpose, they are fluent readers who seek out different genre of books.
  • Children understand the benefits of English and maths in other areas and are ready for the next stage of their education.

Reading Newsletter 

100 Books to Read


Reading Passport


London Road, Barkston Ash, Nr Tadcaster, North Yorkshire LS24 9PS

01937 557373

Mrs Ward: