School Logo

Bearbrook Combined School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


Reading at Bearbrook

At Bearbrook phonics is used as the main approach for the teaching of early reading. We have a structured synthetic phonics programme in place based upon Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds. All children up to Year 2 receive a daily phonics session in an appropriate ability group. Teachers use termly assessments in order to group children according to their phonics needs across each Key Stage. Whilst children are taught to use phonics as their first approach to reading, they are also taught high frequency words which don't follow the phonics rules.


All of our early reading books are colour banded. Children choose their own reading books from the band which is the right reading level for them. These books include books from different genres and from a range of different series, including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Floppy Phonics, Rigby Star, National Geographic and Jolly phonics.


All children are given dedicated time, in an ability group, to do guided reading with their class teacher. This is used to develop reading strategies and comprehension skills.


We launched 'Bug Club' across the school in December 2015. It is an online resources which the children can use both at school and home to read appropriate digital books. They also have to answer comprehension question which can be used to help teachers identify areas they need to focus on. 


Children are also encouraged to read for pleasure. Each classroom has a range of books that children are able to choose from and they also have the opportunity to use the school library to choose and take home books. There are separate fiction sections for KS1 and KS2. Our teachers also regularly read out loud to their class to give the children opportunity to hear and enjoy longer and more challenging texts.


We aim:

  • to enable our pupils to read confidently, fluently, accurately and with understanding.

  • to employ a full range of reading cues - phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual to monitor, correct and make sense of their own reading.

  • to foster an interest in words and their meanings and to gain an appreciation of books from a variety of genres.

  • to enable the children to find books interesting, to read with enjoyment and to evaluate and justify their preferences.

  • to develop a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading.

  • to develop reading skills in tandem with those of writing, so that they may function in society, as literate adults and readers for life.

  • to create reading opportunities across all areas of the curriculum, to make it more meaningful and relevant to the children.



All children are given opportunities to study a range of good quality and interesting fiction and non-fiction texts from a variety of genre. They will have the opportunity to read ‘real’ books and newspapers, big books, posters, ICT based texts, on individual computers and interactive Whiteboards, large texts, information booklets, banded guided reading materials and a variety of reading schemes.



  • Book fairs twice a year

  • Competitions based on books

  • Children responsible for library

  • Reading challenge in Y3/4/5 & 6

  • Book week across the school

  • Dressing up as character from a book

  • Daily guided reading, phonics and spellings

  • Reading buddies

  • Literacy unit focus on quality texts

  • Budget allocated to boost reading resources

  • Visiting authors

The book bands are used to organise the reading scheme and guided reading books.

When the children move beyond lime they are then able to select books from the library or classroom



Band Colour NC Level
1 Pink Foundation
2 Red Foundation
3 Yellow Foundation
4 Blue Year 1
5 Green Year 1
6 Orange Year 1
7 Turquoise Year 1
8 Purple Year 2
9 Gold Year 2
10 White Year 2
11 Lime Year 2


So please, oh PLEASE,

we beg, we pray,

Go throw your TV set away,

And in its place you can install,

A lovely bookshelf on the wall.


Roald Dahl, ‘Charlie and the

Chocolate Factory’