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John Betts Primary School

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KS1 Reading

Early Reading

At John Betts, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.


We teach children to read through guided reading sessions. We use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge. These sessions are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: decodingprosody (i.e. the patterns of stress and intonation in a language) and comprehension.


Guided Reading and Home Reading Books are levelled so that children can progress through the books in levels of difficulty. Reading deliberately patterned, simple, repetitive grammatical structures helps children to achieve early success. This success creates confidence – an essential prerequisite for ongoing, successful learning. 


Reading is all about establishing meaning and appreciating the purpose and intentions of the writer.  As children progress on their reading journey in later KS1, VIPERS is used to support and improve comprehension of texts.


VIPERS Questions

Phonics and Early Reading Workshop

Reading Records – All pupils have a reading record. For young children this serves as a dialogue between the class teacher and parents about:


  • the book the child has read
  • what page they have got up to
  • how they read
  • how well matched the book was to the child's ability level
  • any words they have found difficult


For more fluent readers in Year 2, and for all readers from Year 3 onwards, the reading record becomes something else: a record of a child’s personal response, in writing, to the books they are reading.


Reading for Pleasure 

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)


Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books. Buddy readers are paired to children from older classes to foster a love of reading and interactions that encourage conversations around stories. Termly visits to the local library empower children to access reading resources outside of school.


School tours have now finished and will operate again throughout the autumn term in the next academic year 2024/2025 every Wednesday from 09.30-10.30. In September, please call the school on 02087482465 to book your place.