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Reading and Phonics

At Borrow Wood, our aim is that by the end of their primary education, all children will learn to read fluently and confidently, with good understanding. We follow the national curriculum objectives for reading, providing broad, balanced and differentiated opportunities for children to develop their reading. Our focus is to ensure the progressive development of word reading, fluency and comprehension so that children can read accurately, with speed and understanding which enables them to make links in learning.


In Early Years and Key Stage 1 the children are taught early reading skills through Letters and Sounds - our Phonics programme. We do not follow a particular reading scheme but have books from a range of recognised schemes as well as a broad range of quality children's literature.


All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live.  Through reading, we intend to support children in developing a curious mind, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. We are keen for children to develop a wide vocabulary to support their learning and understanding.


We have adopted ‘Reciprocal Reading’, a discussion technique that improves reading comprehension. It incorporates four main reading strategies:

·         (1) predicting,

·         (2) questioning,

·         (3) clarifying

·         (4) summarising.


You can use these techniques at home to develop your child’s understanding of what they are reading. The parent’s guide can be downloaded below.

  • Thank you to the Foyle Foundation, we have spent £4000 on brand new books to enhance our library! This means that we now offer a wide range of high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry to all our children in school, each of which are colour banded by difficulty to support the children in progressing their reading skills and fluency levels.
  • We worked with West Park (our local secondary school) to develop a ‘free little library’ for our playground. The children are now able to bring their old books and swap them for new ones for free! Our children really enjoy coming to see what delights have appeared in the library and have been thrilled to take a new book home each week.
  • We had introduced ‘Early Morning Reading’ on the first Tuesday of every month – a time for parents and their children to enjoy refreshments and some quiet time to read. We had a good uptake until COVID-19. Since then due to restrictions this strategy has been suspended until further notice. 
  • We would normally hold several parent events through the year to promote the love of reading, as well as developing parents' understanding of how we teach reading in school. These include reciprocal reading information sharing, bedtime stories, campfire tales and early morning reading. The parent’s guide to reciprocal reading can be downloaded below.
  • We celebrate book week every year to encourage children to love books and reading.   


We are looking forward to developing our reading curriculum even further over the next year …keep your eyes peeled for even more fun events to celebrate our love of books!


At Borrow Wood we have a passion for developing a love of reading, and one way that you can help us with that is through sharing books at home with your children as often as you can.  To help you to develop engaging, exciting and purposeful story sharing, we would like to share with you the work of Neil Griffiths, an educationalist and keen storyteller.


Please watch the videos below, which give a fantastic example of how to read stories aloud to children, as well as some top tips of what to discuss when sharing books and how to develop vocabulary.


A key priority is to engage our children in reading for pleasure. Our 'library project' was interrupted by COVID-19 and took much longer to complete than first anticipated.  We are hoping to be able to fully utilise this lovely space in school once restrictions are fully lifted.


Top Tips For Reading To Children - Author Neil Griffiths - ELC

When we're small, our imagination is big, wild and exciting. You can help to channel this, and develop reading and communication skills through storytelling....

Reading To Children - Tips & Techniques - "Sneezy Bear" by Neil Griffiths - ELC

Neil Griffiths, passionate storyteller and former headteacher, shares some of his tips and techniques for keeping children engaged and entertained with readi...