Please view our updated guidance and expecations for Reading at home here:  

Our Vision:

All children become life-long Readers who are excited and passionate about discovering the world around them through books and a fostered love of Reading.' 

At Beaver Road, children's reading experiences expand to more than the reading of the book which comes home from school. Reading is happening all the time throughout the day and in every classroom. Children are constantly practising their skills in Reading across all subject, with fun and engaging texts picked to spark their curiosity and grow their love of reading. Our priority is for childrento develop a love of reading which will take them on many a wonderous and magical adventure and to be a gateway to many different paths in life. Reading is a life-long skill, to be developed and encouraged throughout children's time at Beaver Road. Children are given ample opportunities to read for pleasure, explore a range of text-types and make sense of the world around them through a fostered love of language and literature. Children value literature and treat books with love and respect with dedicated book areas to enrich a love of books throughout our school. 

Our key principles:

  • Provide rich, stimulating reading environments for our childrento develop a love of reading. 
  • Enable children to read with confidence, acccurac, fluency, understanding and enjoyment of Reading. 
  • Foster an enthusiasm for and love of Reading from the start of their school journey. 


Early years is a magical place. Communication and language is the foundation of our world, interdependent is relationship. Our practice is continually informed by the latest research and evidence alongside the greatest researchers of all, the children. There is strong evidence that shows the most effective ways to develop communication and language are: shared reading, storytelling and explicitly extending children’s vocabulary. All are ingrained in our practice. Storytelling, group reading and role play are most effective in developing expressive language to support writing. All of our classrooms have a role play area, we have core role play in two rooms, a home corner which we call 'My Wonderful World', we also have interchanging role play that is developed alongside the children's interests and our learning. Each class has storytelling opportunities and we build on these skills throughout the year. We immerse ourselves in books and imagination.

We ensure a language rich environment both implicitly and explicitly. We have implemented three books/poems a day, the children become experts and build a strong bank of stories and poems. All our focus texts are launched with a hook to enthuse and engage. We have daily, fun and active phonics sessions and each class has a phonics application station to practice and embed knowledge. We have daily guided reading sessions but we call it cosy time and the children adore it. Alongside phonics and cosy time, storytelling and shared read are effective to develop comprehension.

Key Stage 1:
In Years One and Two, as well as the teaching of phonics, there is also a focus on comprehension and reading for enjoyment. All children will have an opportunity to read individually with an adult and we use a ‘banded’ scheme which is carefully graded to move the readers quickly; using one small step at a time. In addition to that, guided reading takes place in classes daily, through a carousel of reading activities to further develop word recognition and comprehension skills. During this time, the other groups focus on other reading activities linked to the text that they are reading with the teacher.

This may include:
· Comprehension: reading a section of the text independently and answering questions about it.
· Reading for pleasure: the children read books/comics/newspapers or stories/poems/play or texts they have written themselves, quietly.
· Follow-up Tasks: linked to a guided reading session.
· Vocabulary - related tasks: linked to the text that is being read with the teacher.
In all these activities, the teachers will look for opportunities to deepen ‘book talk’ and to develop the children’s spoken vocabulary.

Key Stage 2:
We are happy to see most children are reading fluently by the time they start Year Three. Our task now is to make sure the children’s understanding of the text is keeping up with their ability to read fluently. In fiction, we develop their ability to infer, deduce and to speculate on the reasons for authors' character, setting and plot choices. We use new texts as an opportunity to grow a rich spoken vocabulary. We use non-fiction texts to deepen the children’s understanding of topic work across the curriculum. Teachers seek to ensure children appreciate reading helps them to understand the world around them. Again, we aim to use reading as a tool to increase the children’s vocabulary across every subject area. Similar to Key Stage 1, our Junior children take part in a guided reading session each week. This may be an ability-set, small group read with the teacher, or a whole class reading session, where a text is unpicked and broken down, to support comprehension skills.

Reading For Pleasure:

Reading for Pleasure is key to developing a love of reading which inspires children to explore, learn and grow, integrating ideas for themselves. Each classroom has their own reading area, with age appropriate reading materials and challenges for the children to complete. The children have taken ownership of their areas, with themes such as a jungle and an enchanted forest appearing in the school. In every classroom, teachers spend time sharing their favourite books with their class. Each term, the children vote for a class book to read each day. We are currently starting a reading programme called ‘Our Mystery Reader,’ where each class receives a surprise visit from a parent or family member to read them a story at the end of each Friday. We also value the importance of children listening to stories being read to them and each class has a sign on their door telling the rest of the school what their class is reading. Children are given the opportunity to vote for a class book and teachers read to their whole class at least 3 times a week. We encourage our families to read aloud to their children at home, irrespective of year group or reading ability.

Whole Class Reading:

Children in the Junior School at Beaver Road take part in daily Whole Class Reading sessions. These sessions encourage shared reading and whole class discussions of key concepts explored in texts. There is a focus on developing children’s understanding of key question types included in Key Stage 2 Reading Objectives in the National Curriculum. For this reason, teachers have adapted a lesson model in which Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explaining/Evaluating, Retrieval and Summary (VIPERS) questions are explored in each session. By the end of Key Stage 2, children are confident in specifying and answering VIPERS questions as well as creating their own relevant questions. Follow-up questioning from teachers leads to a deeper understanding of books and children become independent in challenging the thoughts and ideas presented in texts.

Children work in Kagan groups and pairs and this encourages collaboration and sharing of a range of different ideas. With exposure to many different text types, children are excited about Reading and look forward to analysing texts and learning more about the world through fiction and non-fiction. Teachers using various high-quality resources including Reading Explorers, Cracking Comprehension and CGP.

Whole Class Reading Model:

Book Banding At Key Stage 2: 

Library Services for Schools - Book banding | Cumbria County Council

By the time children arrive at the Junior School, most children are fluent readers and have confidently moved their way up on to Brown/Grey on the coloured book-bands. At this stage, independence is encouraged and children are given a range of colours from Brown – Burgundy, in which they can develop their love for reading and become exposed to a range of literature. Children who have not yet secured the colours have targeted interventions and take part in a small group of guided reading, similar to Guided Reading sessions in KS1. These small group sessions are designed to help children to move up the book bands and become fluent in their age-appropriate reading levels. Children are encouraged to take a book home every day to help with reading at home, which is key to developing fluency. 10 minutes a day of reading at home will make a difference to a young person’s future.


In order to develop a love of Reading, teachers work hard to ensure that earning environments promote Reading for pleasure. For this reason, children at the Junior school have access to the Junior Library which is an inviting space for children to enjoy books. The library offers a range of books and children can borrow books to enjoy at home. Children are given ownership of the Library with Librarians taking care of the space and helping children to borrow books. Children look forward to reading for pleasure in the library and it is an exciting part of the Junior School. All classes also have book corners and corridor reading areas which are all integral to developing a love of reading at a young age. 

Reading Plus:

Children at the Junior School take part in weekly Reading Plus sessions. Reading Plus is an interactive program that helps to develop fluency and comprehension. All children have an account which they can access both in class and at home. The interactivity, the incentive to earn rewards and certificated and the range of books available to explore makes Reading Plus one of many great motivational tools which encourage readers at Beaver Road. 

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