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Church Lane, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN5 7EZ


Barnburgh Primary School

Learning to shine together



“I opened a book and in I strode.

Now nobody can find me.

I've left my chair, my house, my road,

My town and my world behind me.

I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring,

 I've swallowed the magic potion.

I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king

And dived in a bottomless ocean.

 I opened a book and made some friends.

I shared their tears and laughter

And followed their road with its bumps and bends

To the happily ever after.

 I finished my book and out I came.

The cloak can no longer hide me.

 My chair and my house are just the same,

But I have a book inside me.”

Julia Donaldson

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it! 

Our priority is to promote and develop a love for reading. We therefore work hard to ensure that children are exposed to a range of texts in a range of settings. Children will NEVER be asked to read as a consequence of poor behaviour. Opportunities to read are seen as a privilege and a pleasure. 




  • We start teaching children to read from the day they join us in Early Years by ensuring that children have regular opportunities to hold books, to look at a variety of texts, to talk about books and to listen to stories and rhymes being read from books. Our youngest children learn that all print carries meaning and they begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters. The process of learning to read starts with the teaching of phonics. We teach discrete phonics lessons daily in Early Years; please refer to our 'phonics' page for more information about this.


  • As children move into Key Sage One they receive a more structured approach to their phonics lessons which continue being taught daily. In addition, our teaching assistants are skilled in delivering high quality TELL (Teaching Early Language and Literacy) phonic intervention for any children who appear to be struggling with learning to read.
  • A daily, 30 minute, Guided Reading session is introduced.
  • Teachers provide regular Shared Reading opportunities in lessons across the curriculum.
  • Every child will have the opportunity to Practice Read at least once a week.



  • Phonics will continue to be taught as an intervention to any children who have not achieved the expected outcomes in reading by the end of Key Stage One.
  • At the start of each week the children will be introduced to an extract of text. This varies between a piece narrative, non fiction and poetry. 
  • Reading sessions are delivered to the whole class as one group. During these sessions Teachers and Support staff will give the children an opportunity to read to themselves and also have the chance to Practice Read to an adult at least once a week. 
  • Teachers will continue to provide regular Shared Reading opportunities in lessons across the curriculum.
  • Children will have a Reading Journal where they will log their progress in reading. They will be taught different reading skills linked to the content domains every session and have the chance to demonstrate their understanding. 
  • Their progress is then assessed in a weekly assessment task. During this session the children are encouraged to work independently and apply the skills which they have been taught during the week.


            In KS1 the leveled reading books are drawn from a variety of different schemes, these include Oxford Reading, Rigbys Stars and Pearsons.                  All texts are appropriately pitched to each individuals child’s current reading and comprehension ability. Alongside this, KS1 also have the                    opportunity to select a book for pleasure from class libraries.

            KS2 continue to access the scheme and have the opportunity to select a book for pleasure from the class library. 


A right to read.

Through consultation with School Council, it was agreed that every class would adopt a 'RIGHT TO READ' charter. Every class contributed to the reading charter and every child and adult who works in our school is encouraged to support it. Please see below for our Right to Read Charter.

Reading to the class

Encouraging children to read for pleasure is about more than getting them to pick up a book; its equally important for children to appreciate a good story. Every half term the class will read a book together which will normally link to the theme of their topic.

Books for rewards

Reading will NEVER be used as a punishment in our school. In fact, the culture of reading is quite the opposite. We recognise the opportunity to read as a privilege and a pleasure. Through consultation with School Council, children made the decision to receive the reward of a book for their class book corner every time they achieve 50 house points. 

No schemes!

We do not rely on scheme books to promote a love for reading. Reading scheme books play a valuable role in helping a child learn to read. They do not, however, help to develop a LOVE for reading. This is generally due to their lack of plot or development of character. Therefore, children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 will always be encouraged to take a scheme book home but this will be taken alongside a book of their choice and the emphasis of interest will be placed on the chosen book rather than the scheme book. 

Book Fairs

We welcome travelling book fairs into school every term to provide families with opportunities to buy new books. 

Reading celebrations

Whenever appropriate we enjoy celebrating reading by joining in with national events such as World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day. In addition to this, we occasionally set reading challenges for children to participate in with their families such as Extreme Reads or Readathons. 

The class with the most children that read each week receive a reward on a Friday afternoon! Children that read three times a week, for a whole term will also be entered into a prize draw at the end of each term. 

Book corners

A book corner can be found in every classroom. Teachers are encouraged to work with their class to make it inviting and engaging. The theme of the book corner will usually link to the class topic. Children will find a range of genres in their book corners which will also include books by a range of popular authors. Children are encouraged to select a book of their choice - sometimes they may select a book that is too easy and sometimes they may select a book that is too hard - what is important is that they have selected it for a reason. We encourage parents to share the books with the children by listening to them read, reading it to them and, most importantly, talking about it.



Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as 'sh' or 'oo' and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then 'decode' new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

Guided Reading:

A guided reading session consists of approximately six children focusing on an extract of text with a teaching assistant or teacher. The session lasts for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. It involves explicit teaching and children are given a clear focus for learning linked to one of the Content Domains. Guided Reading allows an adult to observe and assess a child's reading behaviour. It also allows quality time to provide immediate feedback to children.

The session begins with the adult introducing the text. A discussion will take place around the title, author and genre and pupils may be encouraged to predict what they think the text might be about. Following this the adult will prepare them for the text by focusing on 'tricky words' and reminding them about different strategies to independently decipher new or unfamiliar vocabulary. The adult will also set a purpose for reading in the form of a 'Key Learning Question'. This will be linked to a Content Domain.

Children are then given time to read independently. The adult has the opportunity at this point to move around the group and listen to individuals read

Following the independent read, children join together as a group to revisit the text. They highlight any words or phrases they found difficult and share their opinions on the text.

The adult will then encourage the children to respond to the text by asking for responses to the Key Learning Question. 

Shared Reading:

Shared reading is a reading experience that occurs when pupils join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by an adult. The adult explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression.

Practice Read:

We refer to the occasions where one child reads to one adult as a practice read. A practice read provides opportunities for children to practice the skill of reading out loud. We provide regular opportunities for all children to practice read. 

Hot tasks/assessment task:

Children are encouraged to complete the hot/assessment task independently. The teacher will mark a child's response to a hot task and assess what progress they have made across the sequence of learning. 

Focus Read:

The objective of a focus read session is to teach children the skills they need to respond to comprehension questions. The children are taught how to use the PEE approach which represents POINT, EVIDENCE, EXPLAIN.

When answering comprehension questions children need to assert the POINT they are making. The EVIDENCE is the quote or quotes that they use to support their POINT and the EXPLANATION is where they expand on their POINT.


Content Domain:

Content Domains are the broad headings under reading skills have been grouped for assessment. They are useful to teachers for assessing where gaps in learning exist. 

In the lead up to the book fair, the children across school were given the opportunity to join in with the Book Review Competition with the chance to win a £10 book voucher. The children in foundation stage were encouraged to draw a picture of their favourite character from a book and children in Key Stage 1 and 2 should complete a book review on their favourite book.  We had lots of fabulous entries which can be found on the school website on the reading page. The house captains were given the difficult job of looking through the entries and choosing a winner. All children who participated received 5 house points.

KS1 – Doncaster Book Awards –Year 1 and 2 were lucky enough to attend the KS1 Picture Book Special at the CAST theatre. They were treated to live illustrations by Liz Million and were introduced to some of the characters of author Jeanne Willis. The children are had a wonderful time and conducted themselves impeccably!

Granny Norbag - The children in KS1, Y3 & 4 were treated to an amazing visit from local author Malcom J Hogan. The children discovered what it takes to become an author and were introduced to the brilliant  characters from his 'Granny Norbag' book series. More information can be found on his website -

Doncaster Book Awards

Year 5 and 6 went along to the Doncaster Dome for a day full of reading related activities! In the morning the children were wowed by a Viking re-enactment group telling Viking Tales and listened to the inspirational words of author and BBC historian, Janina Ramirez. The afternoon session brought even more excitement, with Illustrator Liz Million showcasing her drawing skills live on stage all before David Soloman (Author of My Brother is a Superhero) inspired the children to read and write through discussing his books! 

Doncaster Book Awards

World Book Day

World Book Day Sponsored Read

A huge thank you to everybody who took part in the sponsored read for World Book Day. The school has been overwhelmed by Amazon delivery drivers bringing in the new books - over 200 hundred of them!

All the books have now arrived in school and are available for the children to read in their class reading corner. 

World Book Day Sponsored Read

Bring and Buy Book Sale 

Working with the School Council, over £150 was raised in order to purchase new books for our class reading corners - an amazing achievement! All unsold books were kindly donated to the British Heart Foundation. 

Bring and Buy Sale


The children in KS2 were treated to an amazing visit from local, award winning author Pete Murray. The children discovered what it takes to become an author and were introduced to the brilliant  characters from his 'Mokee Joe' book series. Pete had some very kind words to say about the children, all of which can be found on his blog -