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Children need to learn to read

Children need to learn to love to read.

Children don't learn everything about reading by the time they leave KS1 but for some that's when they stop reading to parents or stop sharing books with parents.

Children need to practise reading to adults continuously because reading will expose them to a wealth of new vocabulary and experiences they need help to understand.

Please keep reading with your children throughout their time at Berkeley.





1. Children who read often and widely get better at it.

After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.


2. Reading exercises our brain.

Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.


3. Reading improves concentration.

Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If the read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.


4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.

Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.


5. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.

Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.


6. Reading develops a child's imagination.

As we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.


7. Reading helps children to develop empathy.

As children develop they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.


8. Reading is a fun.

A book or an e-reader doesn't take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.


9. Reading is a great way to spend time together.

Reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.


10. Children who read achieve better in school.

Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.



To do this we give children opportunities to read with staff and friends. We read for pleasure and to develop our reading skills. We learn to use phonics to sound out words and we learn to use the text to decode tricky words.

We aim to develop our understanding of texts by improving our comprehension skills.

Firstly we learn to PEE - That is, Point at the Evidence and Explain.

This allows us to show exactly how we have understood the text and used it, rather than our own knowledge, to answer a question.


Understanding texts isn’t easy but children use these strategies and persevere. Some children may find reading hard work so at The Berkeley we aim to show children the enjoyment of sharing books, particularly stories.            We ensure children at all levels of reading ability hear and access a range of quality texts so that they can begin to develop an understanding of books and start to find favourite books and authors. Each class has a class reader which they share at the end of the day. We also choose our texts for literacy carefully, selecting books that are engaging and exciting.


The more children read or are read to, the more they will improve as readers so please keep reading with your children and record it in their diaries each week. 

Teachers keep a record of how many times children read each week. Regular reading is celebrated and rewarded in each class.

We encourage children to bring in books they enjoy and encourage parents to come into school as 'Secret Readers' which has proved very popular with children.


Over the year we plan to promote reading further by extending children's opportunities to read widely and frequently at school and at home. 

If you wish to discuss anything with your child's teacher about reading, please make an appointment to come and see us.

We have created displays and Story Corners.

We also have a colourful and inviting library full of banded books and Free Readers.

Click on the link below to see some clips with children teaching phonics

Visiting Author


Class 12 were fortunate to meet with author and adventurer Michael McCarthy. Michael suffered a severe head injury when he was younger but is hasn't deterred him from achieving some remarkable things such as writing his own books, climbing Mount Kenya and completing the London Marathon.

Many people have inspired by Michael's resilience and determination and by the end of his visit Class 12 were ready to take his advice and  'be their best selves'. Michael kindly left us two  signed copies of his book which can be borrowed from the school library.


A huge thank you to all the children who took part in the Usborne Sponsored Read and to all the parents, grandparents, friends and relatives who sponsored them. We raised a phenomenal amount and have ordered a range of books for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the school's achievement, nursery also raised a very impressive £144.50.

WORLD BOOK DAY! The whole school took part in celebrating the joy of reading. We dressed up as our favourite book characters and enjoyed many reading or book based activities. As part of our day we organised a book swap where children brought in a book they had read and swapped it with someone from a parallel class.