“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Exposing Children to Quality Texts at Bickershaw Church of England Primary School

As the above quote states, here at Bickershaw Church of England Primary School, we strongly believe that reading can stimulate the imagination and transport children to different worlds, develop their vocabulary and help them to find out interesting facts about the world in which we live. 

As a result of this, we strive to provide our children with quality texts, matched to their topics, reading level and age. We purposefully dedicate time to reading as we understand its importance; each class has reading lessons, in which the children practise the skills associated with being a confident reader and time is also provided to listen to and enjoy stories, information texts or poetry each day. 

Below, you can see some of our 'Core Texts'.



Early Reading

Once the children can recognise some graphemes and they can blend sounds together to read words, they start their reading journey (for more information about our chosen Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme, and the progression of phonics at our school, please follow this link:

From the autumn term in Reception, the children access Reading Sessions three times per week. These Reading Sessions use wordless and fully decodable books which are matched to our SSP, Little Wandle. Within a week, the children read their book three times. Each time they read, the focus of the session changes so that they can practice their skills of decoding, prosody and comprehension. These sessions continue throughout Year One, and into Year Two, until the children can apply their phonic knowledge confidently. Each child's learning journey is different and so some children may continue to access Reading Sessions beyond Year Two. 



Book Bands 

Once the children have completed their 'Early Reading' journey, and they can confidently read decodable texts, they then move to reading banded books. All of the books have a 'Book Band'; a colour and number which determines the level of the text. At the end of each half term, we assess our children's reading; focussing on their ability to read fluently and their understanding of the text, whether they can retrieve basic information from the text and infer meaning from what has been said. We have a range of reading schemes in school to enable the children to follow their interests, however we mainly stock 'Project X' and 'Oxford Reading Tree' books. 

Below, you can see the 'level' at which we expect the average child to be reading at: 


Promoting a Love of Books at Bickershaw Primary School 

  • Each Key Stage has a refurbished library stocked with a range of high quality fiction texts. These libraries also house information texts and poetry books and we are always looking to extend our range.
  • We have a library service, ran by two of our governors; Mrs Bristow and Mrs Davies. Each child has the opportunity to lend a book from the library each week so that they can access new books at home with their families. 
  • Each classroom has a reading area, filled with texts based upon their 'must reads', current topics and interests. 
  • Every year, we love taking part in World Book Day, a special day dedicated to books, in which we share our favourite texts with others, draw inspiration from authors and try our hand at being illustrators. 
  • Each class has time within the day dedicated to the children being able to 'read for pleasure'. 
  • When the weather allows, books are taken onto the playgrounds for the children to enjoy reading at lunch times. 

Encouraging a Love of Reading at Bickershaw Primary School 

  • 'The Readathon' - Each child in school is within a team, named after 6 of the best British Authors throughout History. Each time a child reads at home to an adult, they receive a point for their team; these points are represented by a pom pom on our display board. 
  • Scholastic Events - Every year we host the Scholastic Book Fair and two Scholastic Book Clubs. These give our pupils the opportunity to buy the latest books at great prices. Also an added bonus is that for each £1 spent, school receives 25p in reward money for us to restock our libraries. 
  • Second Hand Book Sales - Each half term, we run a second hand book sale. Children bring pre-loved books into school which we then sell to raise funds. These funds go towards stocking our libraries and reading areas with the latest releases for our children to enjoy. 

Promoting Reading at Home 

We expect children to be reading to an adult or discussing a text for 15 minutes a day. We believe that time needs to be spent re-reading a text to develop pace and expression; when a child can read the text fluently, time should then be spent discussing the events of the text, practicing the skills of: predicting, inferring, retrieving, summarising, sequencing and making links. 

As well as giving children time to practice their own skills, they should also be exposed to more challenging texts, read to them by an adult. These experiences grow a child's world of possibilities and encourage them to think imaginatively and build upon their range of vocabulary. It also ignites a curiosity in the world around them and gets them to ask questions. 

For further information about the English Curriculum as a whole, please visit: