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What is Reading like at The Berkeley?


Phonics and early reading starts in the nursery. 'Toddler talk' and 'chatting children' are used to develop children's communication skills through games and discussion. In the Summer term, the pre-school children will access phase 1. They are introduced to Little Wandle and reading for pleasure sessions in preparation for September and their move into reception.


Children continue to develop a love of reading founded in nursery. They share a wealth of stories together and experience stories by being read to and through play.

They develop their reading skills through the phonics scheme Little Wandle. For more information on this please see the Phonics page.

Books that support the teaching of reading are Collins Big Cat. Children learn to point to the words taught in phonics lessons and read them aloud to build up sentences. They use the pictures to support them.

Steps to Read texts are shared by the teacher to model reading aloud and to explore themes.


Year 1

Children  in Year 1 become more confident and skilled  in applying phonics knowledge to decode words. They explore texts and use supporting illustrations to infer meaning linking what they've read to their own experiences. children are encouraged to use ‘because’ to explain answers.

Children develop confidence and knowledge of books by sharing texts with older children.

Reading lessons are part of the Little Wandle phonics programme. The reading practice sessions have a clear structure:

  • Pre-read: Revisit and review
  • Reading practice: Practise and apply 
  • Review: Pacey review of any misconceptions and explanation of what is expected for home reading.


Books from Steps to Read are read by the teacher to develop a love of reading together.

Year 2

In Year 2 Children learn to locate information efficiently from fiction and non fiction texts and develop specific words such as blurb, quote, and caption. They enjoy discussions on word choices and meanings and develop a broader vocabulary.

Year 3

Children enjoy discussing books, poems and other works that are read together. They begin using Accelerated Reader to answer quizzes that draw on their  inferential skills, understanding of character’s actions and emotions and encourage independent reading.

Year 3 spent the morning with author Rebecca King, who wrote the book 'Ember Shadows and the Fates of Mount Never'. The children were able to understand an author's writing process and find out what inspired Rebecca King to write her book. They were able to complete activities linked to her book and loved creating their own fate cards. The children have been reading her book in school each day and are keen to share and discuss the book with each other. 

Year 4

In Year 4  connections are made within texts and between similar texts. Children are encouraged to link  their experiences and the experiences of others to texts they read and support their views and opinions with more in-depth explanations.

Year 4 also enjoyed a visit from Rebecca King, who is the author of the brand new book, Ember Shadows and the fates of Mount Never. During her visit, the children learnt about the process of writing a book and what it was like to be an author. The children then had the opportunity to ask Rebecca questions and have their books signed. 

Year 5

By Year 5 children should have a wide knowledge of texts and authors including those from other times and cultures. They will read for a wide range of purposes and enjoy raising queries about texts.. 

In our reading lessons we have continued to develop our skills to support our comprehension. We have worked hard on our ability to skim and scan text for key words and information. We have also continued to improve our ability to PEE - we make a Point, then we use Evidence to Explain our answer. We have also added an L to Link words from the text to our answers for further direct proof!


We also enjoy reading for pleasure and have enjoyed sharing some brilliant texts with our buddies in reception. 

Year 6

By Year 6 children are confident and experienced readers and have an clear view of the genres and authors they enjoy reading. They are able to present the views of authors and of themselves using clear evidence and offer counter viewpoints. Their knowledge of texts and authors allows them to compare and contrast books they've read and see the links between themes. Reading helps the children understand the effects  on individuals of events of the past and present.

Reading comes in many forms. Some of the Year 6's favourite times to read are with their Year 1 buddies and online to complete Accelerated Reader quizzes. 

Year 6 are enthusiastic role models to younger children and have even written their own stories using their individual buddies as main characters. They are also quite competitive readers amongst themselves and enjoy comparing the number of books read on the Accelerated Reader logs. 

Reading For Pleasure

At the Berkeley we aim to create a reading culture where children choose to read. We do this by creating exciting reading opportunities and allowing children the time and tools to choose their own reading paths.

Reading Buddies

Accelerated Reader Champions

Author Rebecca King Pays Us A Visit.

I was awe-struck when Rebecca walked into our classroom.  Rebecca was really nice and enchanted me with the stories she shared about her writing her book Ember Shadows and the Fates of Mount Never. Rebecca has made me want to become an author and now, like her, when I visit places I write about them rather than taking pictures on my phone. – Robyn


After the author visit, I went home and started to write my own book. Rebecca King inspired me to do this as being an author sounds really fun! – Chloe

Favourite books and favourite ways to read.