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The Brent Primary


At The Brent Primary School, reading is at the heart of all learning.

We provide children with exposure to a wide variety of high quality texts from a range of times and cultures. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of texts that form part of our literary culture. Through a language-rich environment, we inspire them to gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and words.

We foster children’s empathy in order for them to engage with texts on a deeper level resulting in a broader understanding and comprehension of what they have read.

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  • A whole book approach to English is employed in order to ensure access to high level language and opportunities to listen to teacher modelling reading and comprehension skills. The focus text is linked to the Ignite topic enabling children to build upon their cultural capital and make links between their knowledge from the curriculum and the way in which it is portrayed within a text.
  • An Opening Doors approach is used throughout the school to develop children’s inferential skills. Through using an initial image as a stimulus, all children are given access to challenging texts, further enriching the variety of texts taught.
  • Children regularly enjoy listening to and reciting poems together as a class where teachers build a strong emotional connection to language.
  • Reading books are graded according to Book Bands to ensure progression in the acquisition of reading skills. Children are assessed using Benchmarking so that progress can be monitored regularly.
  • Reading sessions take place three times each week, in Year R, these are 10 minutes and in Year 1 they are 20 minutes. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody – reading with meaning, stress and intonation, and oral comprehension – understanding the text.
  • Guided reading in Year 2 is taught daily for 20 minutes. It is taught in ability groups using the Little Wandle approach.  This follows a clear learning sequence of preread, read with class teach focusing on prosody and one reading skill, reading for comprehension, application of a VIPERS skill and inference from a picture. Books chosen for this are from the Little Wandle scheme and move onto our book coloured scheme when children are secure in Phase 5. This ensures sufficient challenge, in order to accelerate the acquisition of reading skills. Teachers ensure that books read cover a wide variety of genres, including non-fiction.
  • Guided reading in Years 3-6 is taught in a daily 25 minute lesson using a whole class approach. Lessons follow a set learning sequence embedding the different reading skills using VIPERS. Each skill is taught through teacher modelling and demonstration to ensure we develop pupils’ ability to use the text to support their understanding.
  • Brent Readers and Reading Recovery are reading interventions used across the school to support and enhance the reading of children who are below age expectations. Reading Recovery is specific to Year 1 pupils, and consists of daily 1-1 sessions over 10 weeks, which focus on reading strategies, comprehension and exploration of the text.  This ensures all children are enabled to become readers.
  • Reading for pleasure is encouraged throughout the school to embed a love of reading. This is implemented through: a class novel read aloud by the teacher daily, children sharing books across year groups, reading clubs and by teachers acting as a model for reading.

Supporting Reading at Home

At The Brent we expect children to read at home on a regular basis (at least 10 mins daily) as it forms a key component of our home learning expectations.  Even when children become fluent independent readers we will still encourage reading together and discussing the book to secure good comprehension skills. It is also important for you to model reading to your child so they see adults in their lives as readers. 

Please see the links below to further support your child’s reading at home

Questions to support reading at home

High quality texts to support reading at home

List of words from the National Curriculum that children should learn to read and spell independently which will further support their reading

 We also promote bedtime stories – your child is never too old for one!


Through regular opportunities to read aloud, children develop fluency and prosody which enables them to read texts to broaden their knowledge and understanding. Regular monitor of children’s reading during guided reading and benchmarking ensures children read texts matched to their reading ability and allows for progression through the graded reading scheme. Summative assessments give opportunities for children to demonstrate their ability to retrieve information, infer and evaluate texts in a more formal way.