Reading at The Bay


At The Bay C.E School, we believe that every child should be given the tools to become confident, independent and resilient learners. By using quality texts which are interwoven within our text-rich curriculum, we aim to do this by providing children with essential reading skills, teaching reading through synthetic phonics, whilst further supporting this from Early Years with phonetically decodable, accessible texts. As children progress through our school, this exposure to rich texts is continued through independent access to quality texts, and the use of a high-quality class text.  By planning English Learning Journeys and focussed Guided Reading around a quality text, children will make links between themselves and the wider world, and use this to ask further questions to guide their own learning. By immersing children into a variety of texts and text types, both within their year groups, Key Stage and their whole Primary School phase, children will not only develop a love of reading, but will also gain the grammatical, structural and linguistic understanding to use within their own writing. This will be further supported across the wider curriculum by having access to each topic in different contexts and narratives.


Across the school, each classroom has designated reading areas to encourage a life-long love of reading. This also includes a central library, which all classes have access to. Children are encouraged to read daily at home, and this is further enhanced by the successful ‘Every Child a Reader’ scheme. Reading records are shared with parents and checked on a regular basis by staff in school.

Alongside the Reading Records, The Bay works closely with parents and carers outside of the classroom in order to encourage a love of reading. From EYFS through to Year Six, there are workshops for parents to attend to explore reading from its phonetic roots through to the joy and connection of story reading. Aswell as our well stocked school library, links have been established with the local Library, and events such as ‘books for bedtime’, where children and parents are invited into school in the evening for hot chocolate and to have stories read to them, have further embedded the link between home and school. Parents are communicated with regularly regarding their children’s reading and offered support in how to help their children. This relationship feeds into the frequency and fluency of children’s reading, improving children’s confidence with reading and their access to a wide range of texts.

In Early Years and Year 1, emphasis is placed on ensuring children master early reading skills. Children are taught phonics through ‘Letters and Sounds’. This happens daily, and is followed up by related activities, both in and outside of the classroom. A variety of strategies are used and adapted in recognition of all learners as individuals. Within the learning environment, children are guided and given access to phonetically decodable books which match their current phonetic stage.

Guided Reading happens routinely, teaching children (at the appropriate level and phase) both decoding skills and skills needed to read as a reader, offering children the opportunity to discuss and explore different texts. Children are introduced to high frequency words, and these are communicated with parents.

From Year 2, children are further encouraged to use a range of strategies for reading, such as word recognition and spelling strategies. Guided Reading continues to be a focus for all children, and from Year 3 this mostly happens as a whole class, enabling all children to have access to age-appropriate texts and quality book-talk. This is alongside specific small-group reading sessions, targeted at specific and individual learner’s needs. Class texts are chosen to match with the Learning Experience focus that children are studying in the wider curriculum, and these form the basis of the majority of reading, writing and grammar teaching.

In the initial part of the teaching cycle, children are immersed into the text. Each learning focus is centred on reading skills and links in to developing skills for children to create a final piece of writing at the end of the journey. The text forms the basis of initial activities, which can take the form of written or practical activities. Central to the Learning Journey is reading the text as a writer, and using the text to support their development and new learning of grammar skills, as well as continuing to develop a writer’s voice. As the children complete the journey, they will have explored the text, alongside other deliberately well-chosen texts forms, and gained a greater confidence and ability to tackle more demanding texts.


The impact of our Reading Curriculum can be measured against statements of intent:

  • Children have the tools to be confident, independent and resilient learners – through exposing children to a variety of challenging, age-appropriate texts, and children will be challenged through enquiry-led questioning, as well as challenging their own thinking. By being exposed to a wide range of authors, genres and topics, children will have the experience and courage to tackle the unfamiliar, and through the targeted planning of learning journeys and deliberate links to the children’s wider learning, children will develop the skills to make their own links. By providing children with decodable texts and challenging (whilst guiding them) through texts which are more demanding, children will develop a transferable level of resilience.
  • Providing children with essential reading skills – In EYFS, key milestones have been identified across the year and are used to assess the children’s progress towards Early Learning Goals in reading. Throughout EYFS and Year 1, children are assessed routinely to ensure they are secure with each phase of phonics taught. Any identified gaps are addressed and children are given targeted support. Throughout the school, PIXL assessments are used to assess children’s progress against Key Performance Indicators and each National Curriculum Reading Domain. These assessments are used to create therapy groups (PIXL terminology) to ensure children make the necessary progress in all areas of reading.
  • Children will make links between themselves and the wider world, and use this to ask further questions to guide their own learning – By linking the texts alongside the school’s Learning Experiences – which will themselves be formed around an enquiry question based approach – children will be able to link their own experiences and understanding of the world together with their new learning within the wider curriculum and see how the text fits alongside this. Through encouraging wider thinking by posing an enquiry question, children will develop their wider thinking and be confident enough to pose their own questions and prompt investigations.
  • Children will develop a love of reading – Because each classroom has its own reading area, independent reading is strongly encouraged. Children are given time to do this in the school week, and the Reading Records are used to prompt and guide discussions between both children and their peers, and children and adults. Access to a variety of texts will encourage children to explore different genres and authors. Children will earn rewards through the Every Child a Reader scheme, which will boost their enthusiasm to read. Partnerships formed between school and home through workshops will further support this.
  • Gain the grammatical, structural and linguistic understanding to use within their own writing – Texts have been carefully chosen to support the children’s learning in all areas of the English curriculum. Through seeing taught grammatical structures used in real life, this will enable children to not only understand the fundamental rules of their usage, but how they add quality and richness to a piece of writing. As children will recognise this usage within texts, this will encourage their life-long learning and understanding, ensuring that once they have transitioned to Secondary School, they will continue to develop their understanding of previously taught grammar skills and knowledge.
What children say about reading at The Bay;

 “I loved the hot chocolate and listening to the story in my pyjamas!”

“I always get excited when my name is read out for the Every Child a Reader draw in assembly.”

“I loved reading ‘Stone Age Boy’ as it linked really well to our project.”

Click here for year 1 reading overview

Click here for year 2 reading overview

Click here for year 3 reading overview

Click here for year 4 reading overview

Click here for year 5 reading overview

Click here for year 6 reading overview

Writing and Spelling at The Bay


At The Bay CE School, we believe that spelling is an integral part of children’s writing skills and understanding within all subjects. It is a communication aid which children will use throughout their lives and is essential for children to become strong, confident writers.

By embedding understanding of spelling patterns and rules for the children, we aim to equip them with the confidence and resilience to challenge themselves with a wider range of vocabulary within their writing in order to express themselves with clarity. Encouraging the children to develop a love of language will provide the tools to become proficient communicators, ensuring they are ready and equipped with the necessary language skills for Secondary education.


In EYFS through to Year 2, spelling is taught through designated daily Phonics sessions, based on the Letters and Sounds scheme. Children are taught specific phonemes and graphemes and given time to practise and apply these new skills. There is regular revision of previously taught skills to allow children to embed their understanding, and, for those who need it, there is extra provision put in place to ensure children are secure with initial spelling rules.

In KS2, Spelling is explicitly taught during the daily English sessions. Using the Spelling Shed Scheme, alongside No-Nonsense Spelling, children focus on a specific spelling rule. Through guided and independent investigations, children learn how to apply these rules and continue to build on these throughout each year.

Within class, Spelling is taught through a variety of strategies applicable to all learning styles:

  • Look, say, cover, write, check
  • Identifying root words and creating frames to build upon these words e.g. ‘hear’ hears heard hearing
  • Making links between words and their etymology (the historical origin of the word) e.g. Biology – the historical meaning of ‘bio’ is life (Greek) and ‘ology’ means ‘the study of’ (Greek)
  • Developing skills using dictionaries to find different words and locate the appropriate spelling and definition
  • Pictorial representations, such as word pyramids and drawing pictures around the word

  • Other games and activities, such as Rainbow writes, silly sentences and breaking words up into syllables.

Because we follow the Spelling Shed Scheme, children are all given individual logins to the web games, and are set weekly assignments to complete alongside quizzes.

Weekly homework is set based around the particular spelling patterns that the children are learning in class.

For those who need it, alongside the age-appropriate spelling patterns, they are given opportunities to revisit previously taught spelling rules in order to catch-up whilst still accessing year-group spellings.


The impact of our Spelling Curriculum can be measured against statements of intent:

  • Support children’s understanding across all subjects – when children have the confidence to use and accurately spell a wider range of vocabulary, this will enable them to access, understand and apply subject specific academic vocabulary. Alongside developing their Literacy skills, this will support them throughout their education, including Secondary, as they are exposed to a wider range of vocabulary required within each academic area. This will continue to support them as life-long learners.
  • Children will become strong, confident writers – By understanding fundamental spelling rules, children will be able to apply these in their independent writing when faced with new vocabulary. Having the experience, understanding and exposure of the features of language, including morphology and etymology, children will have not only the required age-appropriate skill required for each stage of writing, but will feel confident enough to attempt more complex spellings within their writing.
  • Children will be able to express themselves with clarity – Having the skills to use a range of more complex vocabulary within their writing will allow children to express meaning much more precisely. Within all genres taught in English, children will be confident enough to attempt more defined vocabulary to ensure clarity of meaning for the reader. Alongside this, children will begin to apply their understanding within subject-specific vocabulary.
  • Children will be equipped with the necessary language skills for Secondary education – To continue accessing all subjects across the curriculum, children will need to have secured (learnt and applied) a wide range of vocabulary by the time they enter Secondary School. This will ensure they have a wide enough understanding to learn and use subject-specific vocabulary, alongside understanding a wide enough range to comprehend academic-style texts. By delivering an effective spelling curriculum, children will have secures those early rules and concepts which will provide the stepping stones from Primary through to Secondary education.

What children say about Writing and Spelling at The Bay;

“It was fun describing my funny bones skeleton!”

“I love playing the games on Spelling Shed and am getting better.”

“I like it when we write as if we are one of the characters from our class book – we are able to express different emotions.”

Click here for the writing progression 2020-2021

Click here for the Introduction to Debbie handwriting programme

Click here for the joined alphabet example

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