Reading at Harriers Banbury Academy

Intent, Implementation and Impact



At Harriers Banbury Academy, reading is the beating heart of everything we do. We believe that every child should leave school as literate learners who have a passion for reading for pleasure. By carefully designing our reading curriculum to reflect our vision and values, we offer a bespoke provision that meets the diverse needs of all our learners.

Our reading curriculum is designed to:

  • Develop a love of reading with a genuine interest in reading for pleasure
  • Expose pupils to rich vocabulary so they can eloquently express their own emotions, thoughts and ideas
  • Develop abilities of decoding and comprehension so all pupils can interpret and apply knowledge in a range of contexts



To ensure that all of our pupils can read well, they read daily through a range of systems and approaches including:

Systematic teaching of synthetic phonics

  • Early years and Key stage 1 have daily phonicssessions using the Sounds Write scheme. The initial code is taught in Early years, with the extended code introduced in the summer term. This is then continued in Year 1. Our year 2 pupils all continue with phonics throughout the year. Children are taught both as a class, in the first instance, and then grouped according to ability.
  • Phonics is taught in Lower key stage 2 daily in small intervention groups for those pupils who need more support.
  • We have daily phonics boosters in year 1 from January onwards to support pupils with their development.
  • Sounds Write is a synthetic and linguistic phonics programme as it teaches from sound to print: it starts from the sounds in our speech and teaches that English spellings represent those sounds. It teaches all the key elements of conceptual understanding, factual knowledge, and the three essential skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation necessary for learning to read and spell.


Reading in the Early Years

  • Every chance is taken by teachers to include opportunities for reading in all areas of continuous provision. All areas have words for pupils to read, some in print form and some handwritten with pictures to support pupils.
  • Reading opportunities are provided both inside and outside to encourage independent reading. Children have continuous access to the reading area to enjoy a range of stories.
  • 1:1 reading takes place weekly for pupils with an adult.
  • Reading books are taken home weekly. This includes a book that is linked to their current phonics learning and a reading book for pleasure that the pupils choose themselves.

Key stage 1 and Key Stage 2

  • Reading lessons are based on the content domains from the National Curriculum programme of study (2014) that are assessed in the National KS2 reading test. These domains are plotted out in the reading long term plan for each year group. Further objectives from the National Curriculum Programme of study (2014) are also plotted out to ensure a broad and rich reading experience.
  • Guided and shared reading sessions happen daily including the teaching of reading strategies, such as echo reading, paired reading, DEAR (drop everything and read!).
  • A class novel is shared every day with the class, usually at the end of the day. These stories are for purely pleasure and guided by the interests of the class.
  • All pupils in Year 4 have a Lexia login to support their phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Each year group has an area dedicated to reading for pleasure in their classroom for pupils to access, as well as an area for pupils to respond to books by sharing their likes, dislikes, patterns and puzzles.
  • Children are listened to in a variety of ways at Harriers Banbury Academy. In Key Stage 1, pupils are listened to weekly by teaching staff. Children who fall into the bottom 20% of their class for current reading attainment will have the opportunity to read with class teachers, teaching assistants and our volunteer readers. During 1:1 reading sessions adults will model the correct prosody for the pupils and also support pupils answer questions about the text they are reading so that they can improve their comprehension.
  • All pupils are screened using the Salford Sentence Reading Test every long term. From this, teachers will know their reading accuracy and comprehension age.

Classroom libraries

  • Each classroom has a library of no more than 45 books – an area dedicated to reading for pleasure. Teachers have taken a lot of time to develop these into areas that pupils will want to go to spend time choosing and relaxing with a good book.
  • Books in these areas have been carefully chosen to reflect the interests of the pupils in the class, and also can offer something different – something they might not ordinarily choose.
  • Teachers rotate the books available to pupils termly to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to choose from a varied diet of picture books, chapter books, non-fiction, poetry and graphic novels.

Just Reading (Terms 1 and 3)

  • This project has been introduced to our pupils recently, as a tool to allow pupils to enjoy texts that they wouldn’t perhaps choose themselves. These texts are pitched high, for challenge and complexity. We read a modern text in our first term and a classic text in the third. The challenge the books offer pupils allows for greater development in oral comprehension, reading accuracy and vocabulary.
  • Children have a 30 minute daily reading session.
  • Sessions start with a recap of the story so far and pre-teaching of any words that they might come across in the next chapter. Children are then read to by the teacher, following the text, whilst the teacher uses their finger to track the reading. The session ends with a class discussion about the chapter read and the teacher writing a summary which is then displayed in the class for the duration of the book.

The Library Bus

At Harriers Banbury Academy we have a wonderful school library bus which is loved by pupils and staff alike. It is well stocked with a wide range of non-fiction, fiction, comics and graphic novels. Pupils can use this space at lunchtimes to either read on the bus or on the decking area outside. Each class visits the bus weekly, in which the pupils can change their library book and enjoy a story in the comfort of the library.


  • Reading ages are tracked 3 times a year using Salford Sentence Reading Test
  • PiXL reading assessments will be used 3 times a year
  • Phonics screening tests will take place in EYFS (internally) and in Year 1, retakes in year 2.
  • Pupil voice shows that pupils have a love of reading and enjoying the class English texts.


Where next


19th – 20th March 2024: Ofsted Inspection Dear Parents and Carers, We are pleased to share positive comments from our recent Ofsted inspection and celebrate…

Harriers Banbury Academy is a GOOD school

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