Learning & Curriculum

Reading Curriculum



Why do we teach reading?

At Bluecoat Primary, we LOVE reading. We believe passionately that all children should be taught the necessary skills to enable them to read easily, fluently and with good understanding.  Our goal is for all children to develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information. We teach reading (word recognition and language comprehension) in a range of agreed ways using whole school resources.  For those children who are finding reading difficult we provide extra support and alternative approaches to support them in becoming more effective readers.

For information reading our approach to reading at BPA, please contact our Reading Leader, Miss Horridge. 

How do we teach reading?

We recognise and understand the importance that word reading is a crucial step for reading success therefore we place emphasis on the learning of phonics the early stages of reading. However, as reading involves many skills, phonics must be taught alongside reading fluency and comprehension.  This, along with developing and fostering a love and appreciation of reading through the frequent and explicit sharing of books and a reading rich ethos and environment supports our pupil’s reading journey within the school setting.

Some specific ways this is done include:


Phonics is the process children use to segment and blend words when reading and writing. It is the process of understanding phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (written representations) to develop understanding of reading and writing.

Please click here to see our page on phonics.

English/writing Sequence

As reading and writing are intrinsically linked, all English sequences of learning will naturally include the direct teaching of reading.  Children cannot be successful writers without being exposed to a breadth of different reading materials.  Each sequence of learning will have a text as its main driver to inspire and support the writing process.

Reading Curriculum

Separate to the reading lessons taught during an English sequence, each year group from Year 2 onwards is to be taught its own reading curriculum delivered through whole class reading.

Class Novel

To promote a love of reading, expose children to vocabulary and to ensure all children experience the pleasure of having a story read aloud, every class is to be read to daily by their class teacher

1:1 Reading in KS2

The value of hearing children read aloud cannot be underestimated.  It develops confidence, fluency and comprehension as well as proving to be an invaluable assessment tool for teaching staff.  Therefore, all children should be heard read by their class teacher reading their banded book throughout a half term.

Reading for Pleasure

At Bluecoat we aim to ensure that our children develop a love and passion for reading. This will be demonstrated via children making informed choices when selecting a book to read; recommending books to each other and having the confidence to stop reading a book if they are not enjoying it. Children will understand that they can not only get pleasure from reading fiction books, but may demonstrate that non-fiction books can also bring joy. Children will choose to read a variety of materials including newspapers and magazines which will be in the school environment.

We achieve this in many ways including reading class novels daily, having exciting and well stocked reading corners which promote a love of reading, allowing children to take home bed time stories and books from the reading racks outside of classrooms, visits to our local library, weekly deliveries of magazines and newspapers for each class and weekly Stay and Read sessions, where parents come and read in school with their children.

What do we teach in Reading?

Please click on the icons below to see the phonics progression and reading progression through the school.


Phonics is the process children use to segment and blend words when reading and writing. It is the process of understanding phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (written representations) to develop understanding of reading and writing.

At Bluecoat Primary Academy, we want every child to become a successful, fluent reader and writer. We believe this is achievable through a combination of daily high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with regular opportunities to develop reading skills. The teaching of phonics is a key strategy that helps our children to read, write and spell.

At Bluecoat Primary Academy, our aims are:

  • To provide consistent, high quality phonics teaching that ensures all children have a strong foundation upon which to tackle the complex processes of reading and writing.
  • To ensure that the teaching of synthetic phonics is systematic and progressive throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One as well as Key Stage Two for those children needing interventions to support phonetic knowledge and understanding.
  • To ensure that children have sound phonetic knowledge, understanding and skills so they can decode and segment words confidently and engage with higher order reading and writing skills.

We use a systematic synthetic phonics programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds, which is approved by the Department for Education. Progression is planned so that children start by learning simple GPCs and the complexity increases over time. Please see the attached progression document here.

Programme Overview Reception And Year 1


In Nursery, our focus is to develop children’s listening skills and involves listening to and identifying environmental, animal and instrumental sounds; body percussion; rhyming; alliteration and oral segmentation. Initially, children are taught aspects of listening skills in discrete lessons and throughout the curriculum. By the end of Nursery, we aim for children to be able to hear initial sounds in words; blend sounds to make words and segment simple words into sounds.

EYFS and Year 1

In Reception and Year 1, phonics is taught every day as a whole class lesson. Children revisit GPCs and words they have learnt before and learn new GPCs and words. All the GPCs taught are practised in words and sentences and, when children are ready, by reading fully decodable books. Phonics is applied in the spelling section of the daily lesson and in reading and writing activities that take place across the curriculum.

On Fridays, children review what they have learnt over the week. This practice, along with revisiting prior learning in the daily lessons, ensures their knowledge moves into their long- term memory. This will enable children to recall  knowledge quickly and accurately.

Teachers assess children’s understanding during lessons and identify any children who need to have some further support in daily keep up sessions. Some children have more significant gaps in their understanding and they take part in more intensive interventions that will enable them to catch up.

The teaching of phonics goes hand- in- hand with reading; children read at least three times a week in small groups. Children are grouped based upon Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics assessments. Our reading practice groups provide opportunities for children to apply their phonics knowledge to reading and to develop fluency and comprehension skills. In the reading groups, children read a phonics book which is fully decodable: in other words, their book will only contain phonemes they know. Children then read this book independently at home and also have a reading for pleasure book to share with a grown-up at home.

Year 2

In Year 2, pupils who are not yet secure in their knowledge or who did not pass the phonics screening check receive a daily phonics session, focusing on the phonetic knowledge they need to secure, using the Little Wandle teaching order as guidance. They will also receive 1:1 or group interventions. Those who are secure have a recap and practise in spelling lessons.

Key Stage 2

Pupils who still require phonics input in Key Stage 2 are supported through interventions with teaching assistants or teachers following the Little Wandle Rapid Catch Up programme. Children will also bring home the Little Wandle 7+ books. These books are written for children who are older but have a lower reading age.


In EYFS and Y1, children’s phonics knowledge is assessed every 6 weeks using Little Wandle assessments in order to keep track of pupils’ progress, to inform next steps for teaching and to identify pupils for Keep- Up sessions. In Y2 and KS2, we use the rapid catch up assessments to assess children. Phonics assessments are carried out half-termly to ensure children are in the correct group, working within the correct phase.

If you would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.



Phonics And Early Reading Framework

Programme Overview Reception And Year 1

Reading Framework

What do we teach in Reading?

Please click on the icons below to see the phonics progression and reading progression through the school.



Contact Us

Bluecoat Academy Primary
Harvey Road

E-mail: primary@bluecoat.uk.com
Tel: 0115 900 7200

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Bluecoat Primary Academy