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Intent, Implementation and Impact





At the Berkeley Academy, we STRIVE to do our best and believe reading is fundamental to build knowledge and develop enquiring minds and curiosity about the world.  Our approach aims to ensure:


  • We instil a lifelong love of reading.
  • Reading is put at the heart of our curriculum.
  • Future success is linked directly to a broad vocabulary, a love of reading and the ability to communicate effectively.
  • Pupils engage and understand a world rich in varied cultures and beliefs.
  • All our pupils leave our school as enthusiastic, happy and confident readers with a knowledge of books and authors they love, and a desire to keep exploring literature.



Phonics and Early Reading

At the Berkeley it is important that we get children reading as quickly as possible because we all believe it is one of the most important skills a child will learn. We also want to instil a love of reading from the very first moment they join our school which is why we focus a lot of time and attention on reading in the Early Years.   We start teaching phonics in Nursery and Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code and mastering phonics.


Alongside this, children are taught ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words that do not follow the regular phonetic pattern.  Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support. All lessons are taught by fully trained staff.   Once children have mastered the phonics programme and completed the assessments they move on to developing comprehension skills.


Reading for meaning

At The Berkeley Academy we use the reading programme Steps To Read as a framework for teaching a consistent style of lessons across the school.

Features of the lessons include:

  • Explicit vocabulary teaching
  • Sharing views and opinions of plots and characters
  • Developing explicit reading skills
  • Strong curriculum links

We feel that the most effective teaching and learning comes from a love of reading so the choices of text are often influenced by teacher and pupil recommendations but all are of a high quality.


Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is about choosing to spend time reading. Reading lessons are just one way which we share a love of books with the children. In addition to this we create opportunities for children to develop their own reading preferences and find their own favourite authors and literature.  Children are encouraged to share their enjoyment of books and recommend texts to each other. They are read to each day from a shared text chosen together and have a range of books in class or year group reading areas which they can access daily. We work with children to help them, particularly reluctant readers, to find books and authors they love.  We also celebrate our love of reading through author visits, World Book Day, visits to the library and by creating inviting and interactive reading areas throughout the school.




We assess Reading in a variety of ways.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hearing children read aloud, quizzes, retrieval practice, oral and written responses
  • NFER reading and Little Wandle assessment materials are also used basis.



The pupils at The Berkeley will express their love of reading.  Reading at The Berkeley:


  • Equips children for life
  • Creates lasting memories and brings the whole school community together
  • Supports the well-being of our children, by providing relaxing opportunities to enjoy stories
  • Enables access to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Enables our children to achieve above national expectations