Our focus on teaching reading at East Bierley follows the statement learn to read, then read to learn. We aim to develop a real love of stories in their widest sense throughout school. We share stories through drama and storytelling, picture books, through our Collective Worship, in class story time, history story time and DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time as well as teaching explicit reading skills throughout school through phonics, guided reading in groups and as a class, paired and shared reading, English lessons and 1-1 reading.

Even when your child is reading, it is really important that you still share stories with them and enjoy the books they are reading too. Please listen to your child read, ideally every day, and discuss the book with them. It is good to reread books too.

Synthetic phonics is taught systematically throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1 using the Essential Letters and Sounds scheme. Where required this is also explicitly taught in Key Stage 2. Children read books that are phonically decodable and are pitched appropriately for them to achieve success. Rereading books helps to develop the fluency they need to develop as readers swiftly.

We are always delighted to have the chance to talk about reading at school.  If you would like to have books or authors recommended for your child, please speak with your child's class teacher or with Mrs Upham.  Many children already borrow books from Mrs Upham and seek regular recommendations for both classics and newly published books. For regular updates, please check out our Twitter feed where reviews and recommendations are regularly posted.

Rachel Wilshaw (Bradford Literature Festival) ‘I don't think I've EVER known a school quite as enthusiastic about reading. I love this school! @tompalmerauthor , were your ears burning? You have some massive fans at @eastbierleyPS ! #lovereading #lovebooks’ 

Jude Baker (Fiction Express) ‘...in talking about what local schools were 'super readers' Karen volunteered that your school is famed for its reading culture, and on looking at your school website, I can see why!’ 


Reading is a key building block for all areas of the curriculum and it is important we work together to ensure your child can read fluently and confidently as soon as possible. Following an update from the Department for Education around phonics teaching we have moved to Essential Letters and Sounds. This new phonics programme will support your children in making quick progress to become fluent and confident readers.

We still need your support to help your children make rapid progress. To do this, we ask that you read the decodable text we send home at least four times across the week. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them on their journey to becoming an independent reader. In addition to their daily phonics session and reading in lessons each day, we will listen to your child read and our school reading ambassadors will listen too. We will read different, appropriately pitched, decodable reading books in school.

We will change your child’s books once a week. This will allow your child to re-read each text several times, building their confidence and fluency. This is especially important as they begin to learn that the sounds within our language can be spelled in different ways.

For children, re-reading words and sentences that they can decode (sound out) until they are fluent (read with ease and precision) is a key part of learning to read. By reading texts several times, children have the greatest opportunity to achieve this fluency.

The texts sent home are carefully matched to the teaching taking place in school. Your child will be practising what they have been taught in school with you at home. We will only ask children to read books independently when they can decode these by themselves.

Any books that are not yet decodable for the children will be sent home as a sharing book. These books will be sent home for you to read with your child, helping us to instil a love of reading from the very beginning of their reading journey. These could be read together with your child reading the words they are able to decode or could be read to your child.

Reading and Phonics Booklets

These leaflets have been shared in class and parent meetings.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child's class teacher, Mrs Sneddon our English Lead or Mrs Upham.

Reading Booklet Reception 
KS1 Reading Booklet
KS1 Parents Reading Vipers
KS2 Reading Vipers

Reading Blogs



Follow the links below to find out more about our curriculum.