Reading in Nursery

When children start nursery, we focus on developing their aural skills through sound recognition activities such as rhyming games, songs and nursery rhymes. As part of the environment, children have access to and are encouraged to use the indoor and outdoor reading areas. There are dedicated story times throughout the day. Pupils are given opportunities to perform their own stories to their peers. From the summer term, they begin working on set 1 sounds from Read Write Inc.

Reading in Reception

In the Autumn term, children in reception learn their sounds through daily phonics sessions in school. These sounds will be sent home to practise at the end of the week. The children will also receive a storybook to share with an adult once a week from the school library. As they begin to blend the sounds they have learnt, they will bring home green words which include the sounds they know. Further on in the year, once children can blend words confidently, they will bring home books that match their Read Write Inc groups.

 Reading in KS1 (Years 1 and 2)

In KS1, children have the opportunity to take home a reading book which they can share with an adult. These books match their phonic ability and the group they are in for Read, Write Inc. The children can change their book twice a week and are able to choose their next book for themselves, fostering ownership over their learning and a love of reading. Once children have reached the end of RWI, they move on to the Accelerated Reader programme. This allows children to pick a book that challenges them and once they have read it they can answer a quiz to check that they have understood what they have read.

Alongside their reading book, children also choose a book that promotes reading for pleasure. They visit our school library once a week and choose their own book to take home. This may not match their phonics ability but is instead designed to focus on the importance of storytelling and allows children to experience a range of different books.

 In order to support your child in reading you can:

  • Share a book with your child every night.
  • Practise the spellings sent home once a week.
  • Encourage your child to read their own book using the skills they have learnt in school –  If your child gets stuck model sounding out the word but let them have a go at blending.
  • Talk to your child about what they have read and if they liked the book.
  • Encourage reading at any time e.g. signposts, leaflets, packaging etc.
  • Visit a library and share other books as well as those sent home from school.

Reading in Key Stage 2

At Key Stage 2, children are exposed to a wide range of reading genres and higher order thinking activities during our daily stimulating reading lessons.We teach children a range of reading strategies to build and improve their comprehension skills through engaged discussions. Class readers have been carefully chosen to link in with their Primary Years Programme (PYP) topic for the term. Teachers model how to answer questions accurately unpicking the text and identifying key details within whole class teaching. Our weekly lessons focus on improving the following reading skills:

  •          Fluency
  •          Dictogloss
  •          Inference
  •          Retrieval
  •          Comprehension

Pupils in Key Stage 2 are expected to read five times a week at home and we use our Buster Club reading challenge to help motivate and reward pupils for reading at home. We have a well-resourced library on site with a wide range of interesting books which encourages reading for pleasure. Pupils are expected to change their books once a week.

Parents can support their children’s reading by:

  • Reading with them daily
  • Encourage children to choose what books they read that are age appropriate 
  • Show interest in their reading
  • Reward and praise when they read


Dartford Primary Academy has been a part of the exciting school initiative Buster’s Book Club for the last 3 years. The aim of Busters Book Club is to encourage your child to read more and that this extra reading should be of literature that they really enjoy. The initiative sets children an individual home reading target depending on their year group and then challenge the children through inter-class and inter school events that culminate with an annual record attempt. 


How Busters Book Club works: 

In your child’s contact book you will see a special bookmark which we want you to use to tell us how much your child read on each Wednesday. We need you to write the date and the number of minutes of reading on the bookmark, then sign or initial it – nice and easy! Every Thursday we will look at the bookmark and add up the scores to see which class has the most reading minutes. 

Your child’s target:

As your child moves through the school their reading target will grow. In Year One they should aim to read (or share a book) for 10 minutes. In Years 2 and 3 the target is 15 minutes and in Years 4, 5 and 6 it is 20 minutes.

Each week the Readers of the Week Award will be announced in our celebration assembly. The winning class gets to keep the Buster’s Book Club trophy for the week, they get a certificate to keep in the class for the year and they also have a chance to win special prizes each week. There are different inter-school competitions that our school has a chance of winning as well. These prizes can include visits from storytelling professionals and tickets to local attractions. We are also going to have a Star Reader of the Week draw at the end of each term. Each week every class teacher will award one child the Star Reader of the Week Award. They receive a badge (starting from bronze and working their way through silver and gold) and they get their names put in a draw for special prizes at the end of the term. 

Your child’s ability to read is critical to their educational success. We want your child to be as happy and successful as they can be this year, and being a confident reader is key to this. 

What can you do to help? 

  • Encouragement and praise is paramount
  • This should be an enjoyable activity
  • If a quiet time can be found for reading, this will help your child meet their reading target
  • Look for interesting new words and make a booklet or a list
  • Use phonics to work out new words 

Accelerated Reader- Please click here to find out more information.