Horsehead Lane, Derbyshire, S44 6XH.
01246 822324

Reading at Bolsover

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“It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject...” (DfE 2013)


To become fluent and confident readers.


At Bolsover Church of England Junior School, our reading curriculum is designed to ensure that all of our pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, to access all subjects of the national curriculum. We want our children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers both in school and the wider world beyond Bolsover.


Reading is prioritised in school to allow our pupils to access the full curriculum we have on offer. We ensure that our children experience a wide range of texts that promote fluency, understanding and develop regular reading habits.


In school, texts are chosen to reflect a range of genres, authors and experiences and we place an emphasis on regular reading and reading for pleasure, both in school, and at home. Through a progressive use of language-rich texts, children’s ability to work with more complex language and vocabulary is developed as they progress throughout our school.


At Bolsover Church of England Junior School, we use a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes, and non-fiction texts that develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Engaging texts are key to the planning and delivery of reading and writing at Bolsover and they are used to drive the sequence and delivery of the curriculum. We want our pupils to join in discussions about books that are read to them, and those that they read, recommend books to others and make comparisons across texts.


We are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. Our rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum develops pupils' fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading.


At all stages, reading attainment is assessed, and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils. For those pupils who still require input to develop their early reading skills, there is a sharp focus on ensuring that they rapidly gain phonic knowledge and language comprehension necessary to read through use of Read Write Inc and additional phonic lessons. For those who need to embed their phonetic skills, reading books connect closely to the phonics knowledge pupils are being taught.


Through discrete phonics sessions (using Read Write Inc sessions and interventions), for those who still require developing their phonetic skills, one-to-one reading with an adult during B.E.A.R Time and whole-class teaching through shared reading, we teach our youngest children how to decode the written word, whilst building a greater understanding of comprehension as children develop through listening to books being read aloud, investigating them together in guided groups, or working together as a class on shared activities. During the school day, pupils read widely and often, at different points in the day, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age.  We develop greater understanding through detailed exploration of whole books, short texts, art work, videos and music, encouraging children to play an active role in the reading process through an understanding of what makes a ‘good comprehender.’


All adults in school are reading role models who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading, and children have access to a wide variety of reading materials through the school library, visiting authors, book fairs and the carefully selected texts used in the teaching of English. Through the use of Accelerated Reader, staff are able to more easily track the progress of children throughout the year, ensuring that each child is supported and challenged to read at their appropriate level, whilst also celebrating progress both in class and on a whole school level.


To foster and promote a love of reading at Bolsover, we: 

  • have a library that is at the heart of our school. This is an inviting space that has new books updated frequently. Pupils can visit the library at break or lunchtime, and during curriculum time, during their weekly timetabled session.
  • have additional phonic books (using RWInc Book Bag Books and, for the older children, the anthology volumes containing  more age-appropriate texts), for those that require it, that link with pupils' phonic knowledge and what they are learning during their daily phonic sessions.
  • create inviting reading areas in classrooms (linked to each class author) and the corridors which are well-organised and contain a range of quality texts and vocabulary.
  • link our key texts to our half-termly topics to engage pupils in the topics they enjoy learning about.
  • have daily R.A.T (Reading Aloud Time) where pupils get to hear quality texts (that includes stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts) read aloud. We also use online videos of other authors and guest-speakers reading out aloud.
  • have daily B.E.A.R (Be Excited About Reading) time in which pupils read as a class, or in small groups with an adult, that involves reading progressively challenging texts or extracts (such as reports, comics or newspaper reports) and using their reading skills.
  • have Accelerated Reader that allows pupils to completed quizzes after reading a book and earn points.
  • encourage author and guest-speakers to visit school. In recent times, we have had Peter J Murray and Vashti Hardy come and visit and talk about their books.
  • host Family Reading Events where parents are invited to read with their child/ren and develop their our knowledge and skills of reading with their children.
  • display a “recommended reads” section in the library that has texts recommend by a range of staff in school.
  • work closely with the local library (Bolsover Library), visiting often and engaging in their Summer Reading Programme.
  • have a purpose built, outdoor reading area where pupils can read for pleasure during their free time. 
  • engage with national and international events such as World Book Day and National Storytelling Week. 
  • hold annual Scholastic Book Fairs that are incredibly popular with our pupils.
  • run competitions throughout the school year involving reading and set by our Bolsover (BBR) Reading Crew.

Click on the above, underlined links to find out more about them. Keep reading below to find out more about Shared Reading, B.E.A.R and R.A.T Time.


Subject Leader

The subject leader for reading in school is Mrs Carrington. They can be contacted on 01246 822324, or via our school email at Our English nominated governor is Mrs Pamela Hall who can be contacted via the same contacts above.


The National Curriculum Aims

The National Curriculum for Reading (English) aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage


You can find the full National Curriculum programmes of study for English at Key Stage 2 by clicking here.


Subject Policies & Guidance

Reading for Pleasure at Bolsover Policy

English Policy

Information about Reading Books and Reading at Home



Building Bolsover's Readers (BBR) Crew

Click on the link to find out more.

Shared Reading

Every topic in school is driven by a quality key text that leads our English (both reading and writing) lessons. These texts are chosen to reflect a range of genres, text type, periods of time and provide a level of challenge for our pupils. 


During the week, teachers plan shared reading lessons that is a whole-class teaching session of reading skills (including a focus on a particular reading domain) using a section of the class text.

Most pupils in the class will read from the same text that will include new vocabulary, themes and experiences. For some pupils, they may need additional support, prior to the lesson in the form of intervention, to practice reading key words and understanding some of the vocabulary they will be introduced to. Other pupils may require a text that is differentiated to match their ability.


Following on from the shared reading session that week, the teacher will then plan writing opportunities that build on something that has happened in the text. For example, this could be engaging with the character, through a diary entry or recount, or involve writing their own stories based on the text genre.


Overview of Key TextsWhat key texts do we cover in school?

Currently, the key, quality texts that we are using in school to drive our topics and English lessons are as follows:


Below this, you will see a selection of key texts that may help your child deal with a range of areas following the Corona virus pandemic.


Find out what our pupils think about our quality key texts by clicking here

Bolsover Church of England Junior School - Reading - Pupil Voice 


B.E.A.R Time

Bolsover: Everyone A Reader (BEAR) time takes place daily in classrooms. This is when our shared reading sessions takes place.


During this time, the children read a shared text and answer questions focused on what they need (following assessment of the children) - focussing on the key reading domains they require from assessment. We use the same text throughout the week. Our sessions each week go through the following structure:


  • Day 1 - Vocabulary - we read the text to understand it. We then choose "tricky" vocabulary and work out the meaning of the words in context. We find synonyms to these words to help us.
  • Day 2 - Model - our teacher models a question about the text that links to a reading domain we need to work on as a class
  • Day 3 - Apply - we apply our skills by answering a range of questions linked to different reading domains
  • Day 4 - Review - we review our answers and edit/adapt to ensure our answers are complete. We write our answers in full sentences to ensure we are thorough and refer to the text to provide evidence.
  • Day 5 - Sentence Work/Practice - we apply the vocabulary from the week into sentences to show we understand the words. Or, we read and answer questions from a different text (that is the same genre/purpose) to apply our skills further.  


Over the course of the week, all children will have had the chance to read and answer questions with the class teacher. 


To support our staff with the planning and delivery of B.E.A.R we use Cracking Comprehension along with quality, key texts taken from our Overview of Key Texts (see above).

For further information about Cracking Comprehension, click here: Cracking Comprehension - Primary Reading Comprehension for key stage 1 and 2 (

R.A.T Time

Reading Aloud Time (R.A.T) takes place daily after lunch for 10-15 minutes. During this time, staff read to pupils in a way that excites and engages them, introducing new ideas, concepts and vocabulary.

The focus for this is on the children hearing quality literature (fiction and non-fiction) come alive. This will also include:

  • Telling stories
  • Reading and acting out rhymes
  • Reading poems
  • Reading and analysing non-fiction texts linked to current topics


At times, the teacher may utilise other people to read during Reading Aloud Time - this could include another adult in school, guest speakers or even online videos and clips of authors/poets reading their own works.


Progression of Skills - What do the progression in skills for reading at Bolsover look like? 


Assessment in Reading

A range of assessment techniques and tools are used by the teachers to generate information. Assessment is part of a process for making inferences (inferences are a combination of both assessment information and teacher judgement).

Assessment of reading takes place during each reading session. The assessments formed allow class teachers to provide ongoing next steps for the pupils so they can identify how to become a better reader. To support staff with their assessments in reading, we have progression grids which allow them to identify that age at which a child is working. The assessment of reading enables a clear progression to be seen from Year 3 to Year 6 and is broken down further for each year group into working towards, at the expected standard and working at a greater depth (at a higher standard).

Every term, we carry out summative assessments in reading using Rising Stars NTS Assessments tests. For this, pupils will complete a reading assessment that is then marked and feedback is provided. Using the MARK software, pupils marks for each question are inputted and gaps can then be identified. This is then used by teachers when planning the focus and sequence for their shared reading sessions along with interventions.

Pupils are involved in the assessment process in reading. A pupil’s perspective on assessment in reading, includes:

  • Taking part in self and peer evaluation.
  • Talking (partners) – the pupils do more of the talking in an AfL culture – importance of talk (partners).
  • Making decisions and choices about their learning.
  • Regular feedback - what’s good and how to improve.
  • Feeling confident to question, challenge and seek help.
  • Encouraged to think about and articulate opinions.


Useful links and websites for Reading

BBC Bitesize - Comprehension


Amazon Audible - Amazon Audible Stories, aimed at younger audiences, have have a range of children's stories that are available to listen to on a laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet. 


Oxford Owl - Some free, online books can be accessed on the Oxford Owl website. Use the username: bcoey6 and password: bolsover1


Love Reading Website - Direct your child to Love Reading. Ask them to explore the Book of the Month and previous books of the month. How many have they read?


Recommended Reading at Home:


Gallery - Evidence of Reading In School