Headteacher: Julia Watkins

Tyne And Wear,
NE37 1HA


0191 9171665

Blackfell Primary School



Blackfell Primary School




Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. 

We recognise the importance of reading and aim for all of our children to become confident independent readers with an excellent understanding of what they read.  We believe that reading ‘opens the door’ to learning, enabling children to access a wider curriculum. Children who read a lot will go on to become lifelong learners.

  Our aim is as follows;

  • show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
  • rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently;
  • read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
  • acquire a wider vocabulary;
  • participate in the teaching of phonics knowledge, skills and understanding in a systematic and enjoyable way;
  • develop reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
  • develop a love of reading;
  • read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
  • through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually;
  • develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge

Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers

 All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.


We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. Your child spends a large proportion of time during the school day learning and practising reading. This may take a variety of forms:

  • Intervention programmes such as one-to-one reading with an adult

  • All children access a weekly  Guided Reading lesson with reading activities focused on supporting children’s development in comprehension and vocabulary. These sessions are at least 60 minutes long and are completed as a whole class session.

  • Whole class shared reading of a book or interactive on-screen text

  • Class/group discussions of class texts

  • Independent paired or individual reading

  • Independent comprehension activities

  • Visits to the school library to pick books to enjoy at home
  • Listening to stories read out loud daily 
  • Access to class reading areas to pick books to read for pleasure in class.


The Teaching of Reading

At our school, we aim to foster a lifelong love of reading in our pupils.  Adults at Blackfell lead by example, modelling enthusiasm for and engagement with books.  Reading is a life skill; hence it is a key focus for our children from Nursery to Year 6.  Our aims within our reading curriculum are:

  • To foster an interest in books and reading for pleasure, including enjoying a wide variety of texts, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry;
  • To ensure children can read with confidence, accuracy, fluency and understanding;
  • To ensure children become independent readers, transferring their skills across the curriculum;
  • To foster the imagination of children, their inventiveness and their critical awareness, as well as to increase both their written and oral vocabulary;
  • To prepare children for the next stage in their education.

Opportunities for Reading at Blackfell Primary School

Children read regularly in all areas of the curriculum and in every part of the school day:

  • Whole Class Text Study – English lessons are taught through a quality text chosen by the class teacher.
  • Children engage in a variety of reading activities through English lessons, each promoting familiarity with and deeper comprehension of the text. This ensures that learners can then embark on a sequence of work which results in a written outcome, often using the text as a stimulus.
  • Guided Reading – Teachers and support staff work with children to teach specific and targeted reading skills with a book that is sufficiently challenging. Such sessions promote decoding, fluency and understanding (comprehension).
  • Reading Across the Curriculum– Children read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning. We have a strong focus on ‘reading to learn’ across foundation curriculum areas, with children engaging in wider research, both online and through fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • Story Time– Across the whole school, books are read aloud and shared with pupils, helping children to hear fluent and expressive reading, and to nurture a love of books and reading for pleasure.

Our School Library

Children visit our school library on a weekly basis to select a book from a wide range of appealing and good-quality fiction and non-fiction texts.  We encourage children to take these books home to share with parents and carers.


Early Reading and Phonics: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (Revised)       

We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics. All our reading books are fully decodable and follow the sequence of our phonic programme. We ensure that the books children read are carefully matched to the letter-sound correspondences they have learnt, enabling them to confidently apply their phonic knowledge.  

Phonics is given high priority at our school, with daily phonics teaching in Early Years and in Key Stage 1.  Children in our Nursery classes take part in small group phonics sessions which lead to proficiency in the discrimination between varieties of sounds, ensuring a positive start to their reading careers. Our phonics scheme is delivered using the Letters and Sounds approach, implemented using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (Revised) – our chosen Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme.  Children are routinely assessed on their ability to recognise graphemes (letters), to blend and segment phonemes (sounds), leading to development of skill in reading captions and sentences.  We provide extra intervention where this needed through early identification of children who may need additional support.

Links to Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (Revised) Resource.

Full Progression

Reception Autumn 1 Phase 2 Sounds

Reception Autumn 2 Phase 2 Sounds

Reception Spring 1 Phase 3 Sounds

 Children have the opportunity to practise their reading in many other curriculum areas and have access to a range of genres. 



Reading in our school is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children.

Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are accessing books of the right level and are being challenged in their reading. At the same time, we provide books to ensure that children read for pleasure and learn to love reading.

 In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Phonics assessment;
  • Phonics screening results;
  • Book band colour – assessed using Benchmarking;
  • NFER scores;
  • Reading ages given through the AR program;
  • Guided reading assessment
  • Summative assessments each term;
  • End of Key stage SATs results.

The teaching of phonics in our school is systematic and all staff are regularly updated with any changes and training. Children are reading more for pleasure and on a more regular basis. The quizzes that the children take are improving their comprehension skills.


September 2023