Developing Reading at Barlows Primary School



Within the Early Years, we use the LCP Phonics Planning, which is based around the Department for Education document, Letters and Sounds. (Link to Letters and Sounds Document:

Pupils in Nursery begin by exploring the Phase 1 sounds. Where ongoing assessment provides evidence, those ready will also begin to explore Phase 2 sounds.

When entering Reception, daily phonics lessons commence in the Autumn Term. On-going assessment is used to set pupils into smaller phonics groups so we can tailor learning to meet different stages of phonic acquisition. To support the journey of Early Reading, we have a range of phonic readers that closely match the different phases of phonics acquisition. Pupils read these books in school and at home so that they can experience the success of reading at a young age.

As pupils progress into Year 1, we use the Liverpool Phonics Plans. Again, they are based upon the Letters and Sounds publication. It our aim that a significant proportion of pupils meet the age related expectation for phonics knowledge by the end of Year 1. For pupils who do not meet the expected standard, further phonics teaching continues in Year 2 and into Key Stage 2 where required.


Developing Early Reading

It is essential that pupils develop confidence in early reading whilst in Key Stage 1. As part of our drive to ensure pupils establish firm foundations for reading, we run a programme in Year 1 called ‘Read Every Day.’

As a school, we deploy 10 members of staff across Year 1 every day at the start of the afternoon. Each adult has responsibility for a group of pupils who they perform a guided reading session with every day. Pupils take home their book to share with an adult and bring it back the following day, ready to receive their next book. To ensure pupils are not rushed onto books that are overly challenging, we have invested in a wide range of books within our guided reading bands. This allows the pupils and adults working with them sufficient lateral movement.

Our aim through this programme is to ensure that as many pupils as possible begin Year 2 with a solid reading and vocabulary foundation to excel in learning across all subjects.


Guided Reading

In ensuring a consistency of progression within guided reading, we use the Rigby Star guided reading scheme in the EYFS & KS1, followed by the Rigby Navigator series in KS2. Guided reading sessions are delivered daily and create opportunities for pupils to apply the reading strategies they have learnt to a new text. Pupils are grouped according to their ability and are set appropriate tasks related to the text. Daily guided reading sessions are incorporated into class timetables.

The pupils read a range of texts covering different genres, from play scripts to poetry, to fiction and non-fiction. You can find out further information regarding the schemes by flowing the links below:


Rigby Star (EYFS & KS1):


Overview of the Rigby Star Book Bands:


Rigby Navigator (KS2):


Overview of the Rigby Navigator Book Bands:


Volunteer and Staff 1:1 Readers

We acknowledge that for some pupils, a bit more 1:1 support with reading goes a long way. In September 2019, we welcomed a trainer from the reading charity Beanstalk. The trainer spent the day working with volunteers from our own parent and carer school community as well members of staff.

Having being trained in how to support and encourage pupils with reading, we now have a group of 18 adults who provide twice weekly 1:1 reading sessions for key pupils across our school. Our aim is ensure that no child is left behind, with all pupils developing the self-esteem and confidence to be a proficient reader.


Teachers Reading to their Pupils

Every class is allocated whole class reading time during the week. The texts read by the teacher are high quality and are from a wide range of authors, both traditional and contemporary. Through listening to their teacher read, pupils have access to texts that they may not be able to tackle independently. They are encouraged to contribute to discussions, offer predictions, express opinions and discuss vocabulary throughout the reading session. We hope that through access to these texts, pupils will further develop a love of reading and the appetite to read books from a broad range of authors and genres.


School Library

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have a school library at Barlows Primary School. In 2018, we hosted a ‘Bike-a-thon’, which raised over £1000 for new books. Using the money raised, plus money from the school’s own budget, we have established a library which currently has over 1000 books. We stock a wide range of children’s fiction texts by popular authors as well as a range of non-fiction, picture books and poetry books.

In September 2019, we launched sessions before and after school, where parents and carers can come into the library, read books together and take them out on loan. Our aim during the 2019 – 2020 academic year is to expand our library further, so that we have a section of books for adults. We want our library to become a family library. A place where both pupils and parents can develop their love of reading.


Continuing Professional Development for Staff and Volunteers

High quality CPD for staff and volunteers results in a better learning experience for our pupils. With that in mind, we continually host sessions for staff and volunteers that develop their knowledge and expertise in the field of phonics and reading.

For the 2019 – 2020 academic year, we already have the following training sessions confirmed:


September 2019

Learning Support Assistant (LSA) Training on the Teaching of Phonics provided by School Improvement Liverpool

Delivering Effective Guided Reading – for class teachers and LSAs – provided by Gareth Davies from Literacy Counts


October and November 2019

Teaching Phonics from Nursery to Year 6 – for all class teachers from Nursery to Year 6 – provided by School Improvement Liverpool