Bourn Church of England Primary Academy


(Reading and Phonics)

The overarching aims of the Reading Curriculum at Bourn Primary are to foster a love of literature and to enable pupils to read fluently and independently. At Bourn, we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that reading is a vital component for academic success as well as being an enjoyable, gratifying and pleasurable activity. 

Our aim is that pupils leave this school able to read fluently and with confidence. Our aim is that our pupils become competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, enjoy a wide range of reading genres and can participate in discussions about books, including evaluating authors’ use of language and its impact. Pupils leave Bourn having had exposure to a range of texts including up-to-date literature as well as studying a range of classic books, poems and authors. Our carefully mapped reading spine including class texts helps us to achieve this. 

 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, to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Children are exposed to a range of different, and often complex texts, during which they can demonstrate understanding and develop their range of vocabulary. Children are read to daily by their class teacher and enjoy a series of class novels throughout the academic year. Independent reading records are also used by all pupils to track reading outside school and to ensure that reading becomes part of our pupils’ lives. Other initiatives to increase the profile of reading across the school and develop a whole-scale reading culture include Reading Buddies, increased communication with parents to highlight the importance of reading at home and promoting a love of reading by engaging with reading events. 

Teaching focuses on developing pupils’ decoding, fluency and comprehension (both listening and reading); different teaching approaches are required for each. Phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start school. At Bourn, we use Storytime Phonics: a programme designed to teach phonics using a multitude of well-known and well-loved children’s books. This follows Letters and Sounds to the end of Phase 5 through systematic, daily lessons with a range of multi-sensory activities. Pupils regularly complete reading comprehensions (in a range of subjects). Good comprehension involves a variety of skills such as: inference, knowledge of vocabulary, predictions, retrieval and summarising. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-level material, high-quality discussion as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts.

Curriculum Intent - ReadingCurriculum Intent - Phonics