English - Reading

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Reading at Fishponds Church of England Academy

"There's so much more to a book than just the reading." Maurice Sendak (Illustrator and writer of Where the Wild Things Are)

Learning to read is one of the most fundamental skills that your child will learn whilst at Fishponds Church of England Academy. They will not only learn the skills to read texts at a sentence level, through decoding and sight recognition, they will be able to comprehend texts using a range of skills: retrieval, inference, summarising and prediction.

Through the powerful texts chosen for our writing sequences and the wide range of literature available for children at our own library, your child will develop a love of books and literature that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Our intent for your child:

It is our intention at Fishponds Church of England Academy to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively.

With regards to Reading, phonics will be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start school. At Fishponds we are determined that all of our children will learn to read fluently as a result of the high quality phonics teaching received throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1.

We intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across fiction, non-fiction and poetry to develop their knowledge of the world in which they live, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and have a deep-rooted appreciation and love of reading which they will carry throughout their lives and continue to allow them to be lifelong learners.


The teaching of Reading

Reading is taught, developed and embedded across the curriculum. In the Early Years, children are taught to identify letters and sounds through a systematic, synthetic phonics programme.

For more information about how phonics is taught, please follow the link to our Phonics Page.

Whilst our pupils are taught to read for comprehension across all aspects of the curriculum throughout the school week, they also receive a dedicated daily reading session where they develop their fluency and comprehension.

In Key Stage 1, phonics continues to be taught and used as a reliable strategy for reading unknown words. Other reading skills (vocabulary development, information retrieval, inference, summarising and prediction) are taught in whole class guided reading sessions.

In Key Stage 2, there is less focus on decoding (word reading) skills and a higher focus on understanding a range of text and embedding the key skills taught in Key Stage 1.

Our Reading Intervention Team

As part of our dedication to ensuring each child leaves Fishponds Academy with a secure set of reading skills, we are lucky enough to have a team of specialist Reading Assistants who work with children across the Early Years Foundation Stage through to Year 6. During an intervention, they focus on developing specific elements to improve their reading, either through group sessions or on a 1:1 basis.

Children who receive the Pupil Premium are guaranteed access to the Reading Intervention Team and will receive sessions tailored to their needs.

The team use a system called Benchmarking in KS1 and KS2 to assess and monitor progress.

Assessment of Reading


When a child is confident with reading books at a particular colour band, they will be ‘benchmarked’ before moving up to the next colour band. A benchmark assessment is an informal check of the child’s decoding (word reading) and comprehension (understanding) and is carried out by an adult know to the child: teaching assistant, reading assistant or the class teacher. The child will be asked to read the book, retell the story and then answer a series of questions about the book. This is a clear and efficient method of establishing whether a child is ready for the next colour band.

Each child is benchmarked a different points across the year to ensure that all children are making progress. Based upon what is observed, we can then identify what support they require to progress their reading.

Free Reading

When a child has successfully completed reading through the entire book band system, they will automatically become free readers. The purpose of this is give the children the freedom to explore literature from a greater range of books.

In Key Stage 1, children may be put on to a Rainbow Readers level. This is a ‘free reader’ level for children who are beyond the Lime level book band. Children in Key Stage 1 who are accessing Rainbow Readers will be stay there. until they begin Year 3.

KS2 NFER testing:

At certain points throughout the year (Autumn, Spring and Summer) each class will undergo a formal assessment for Reading – NFER. The NFER tests look at all aspects of reading across a fiction, non-fiction and poetry text.

Teachers use the results from the formal assessment to organise interventions, adapt the own teaching and inform parents of the child’s progress.

Reading 25 Club

This year, we have introduced the a Reading 25s Club. Each time a child reads 25 times at home they will receive a certificate in assembly. If they complete the challenge with 300 reads over the year, they will receive a prize.

Reading for Pleasure

Developing a love for reading outside of the classroom setting is an important part of a child’s journey as a reader - whether it is revisiting old favourites or discovering new adventures. At Fishponds Church of England Academy we encourage and support our readers to widen their knowledge of stories, authors and genres.

KS2 Library

The culture of reading has grown significantly this year with the introduction of our new school library. In June 2019, we opened the doors to our brand new library. Children in KS2 are encouraged to use the library to discover new authors, challenge themselves with unfamiliar books and revisit stories written in their own language.

We have a growing section of books, hand-picked by teachers, aimed at challenging pupils to read books which may have untraditional themes, ambitious vocabulary or complex storylines.

Part of our library is dedicated to celebrating our pupil’s native language. We have many books which are written in different languages so that families can comfortably share books.

KS1 Library

As part of our 3 year plan for reading, we will be developing a Key Stage 1 library. Watch this space for more information.

KS2 ERIC time

As part of our growing reading culture, each class in Key Stage 2 uses the first 15 minutes of the afternoon sessions as ERIC time (Everybody Read In Class). This is an opportunity for teachers to have a short 1:1 reading session with a member of the class.

Class Books

At the end of each day, each class teacher reads a chosen book with their class. In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 it will be a book used to develop their knowledge of vocabulary, their understanding of story narratives and may be linked to parts of their topics. In Key Stage 2, it may be the book that they are using as their writing stimulus.

Recommended Reads by Year Group

Contact Us

Our office is staffed from 7.45am to 4.00pm from Monday to Friday during term time.


  • Fishponds Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3UH

Telephone Number