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How we teach reading at Brudenell Primary School

At Brudenell Primary School, we begin teaching the skills of reading at an early age. We use a scheme called All Aboard Phonics, which is based on the Letters and Sounds approach to systematic , synthetic phonics. 

  • We start learning in Nursery with a focus on words and rhymes. Children take part in daily sessions to recognise letters and sounds and teaching is based on 'The ultimate guide to phonological awareness.'
  • Children in Reception will be taught a discrete phonics session daily for a 20 minute period. Phonics skills are also embedded in writing and reading tasks in Literacy sessions, but embedded in the areas of provision and wider curriculum.
  • Children in year 1 will be taught a discrete phonics session daily for a 25 minute period. Phonics skills are also embedded in writing and reading tasks in Literacy sessions, but embedded in the areas of provision and wider curriculum. The aim in Year 1 is to ensure all children have completed Phase 4 and 5 and be ready to begin the Spelling Shed programme, which aligns with the English national curriculum, upon entry into Year 2.
  • Children in year 2 who have not passed the phonics screening test will continue to be supported in developing their phonological awareness. Children needing this support will work in small groups following a similar lesson structure using rapid phonics as a teaching resource.

In all year groups we aim to deliver wave 1 teaching, which is where all children follow the pace and program set out in the scheme. However, as a school who works closely with local universities and a very high mobility of pupils, we fully appreciate that children may join Brudenell throughout the year, with a broad range of phonics understanding. 

We use assessment to target and group all pupils who need extra support or a different starting point.  

Useful parent resources for our phonics scheme can be found here: 


Book Tasting

This activity is different to guided reading in that it allows children to choose their reading material based on a text type e.g. non fiction, poetry, picture books, mystery, graphic novels etc.  Within the guided reading time, the children look at, read and discuss their choices with other pupils and with that, the richness of book talk increases with children confidently giving reasons for their choices within the genre.   Guided reading may happen alongside the session with the teacher and teaching assistant.

Encouraging the Love of Reading - Reading for Pleasure

'Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child's future success.' OECD 2002

Reading for pleasure is surely the entitlement of every child and yet how can we foster a childs' desire and engagement?

It had become apparent that despite many reading interventions and a focus on reading comprehension in school, most children were not enjoying reading at Brudenell.

Based on research from the Open University working with 25 schools, a range of activities were created that would support teachers and parents to develop and nurture a love for reading in their children and many of these were implemented in school.

The significant benefits of devloping a reading for pleasure culture are:

*increased attainment in English and maths                                                      

*improved general knowledge                                                                                

*richer vocabulary                                                                                                

*supports exploration of identity                                                                          

*encourages imagination, empathy and mindfulness of others


Book Talk

Book Talk is the way that the culture of reading for pleasure is developed in the classroom and this is facilitated by having a range of books with multiple copies so that children are choosing and reading the same books. A conversation or dialogue is developed between the children and teaching staff about what they enjoyed/didn't enjoy about the book and if this happens regularly enough, a real culturshift occurs and reading for the sheer pleasure of it becomes the driving factor in the classroom.  Staff have chosen their range of books carefully to ensure maximum interest and engagement from themselves and their pupils.

Snuggle Packs

In January 2020, we launched our snuggle pack initiative whereby each class has a suitcase or back pack that contains a story/picture book with hot chocolate, a biscuit and a cuddly teddy.  On a rota, the pack goes home with a child for the weekend and they are encouraged to share the story book with their parent or older/younger sibling.  The reaction has been incredible with some fantastic responses, written in the notebook provided, from parents and children emphasising the importance of reading together for pleasure and many parents have commented on 'precious moments' they have shared with their child.

Mystery Books

This initiative has been running for a number of years now but has also been successful in encouraging reading for pleasure by providing quality books for the children taking part in the scheme at a very reasonable price.  For the cost of £5 for the year, children on the scheme receive a quality book every half term, just in time for the holidays.

The fact that they are a mystery for the years up to Year 3 encourages children to be adventurous in their choices and read something different.  Year 4-6 can choose their books but we provide a range of authors and not just the famous authors encouraging them to try new authors.

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