Reading at Eastfield

Reading lies at the heart of the English curriculum at Eastfield and we endeavour to foster a lifelong love of the written word and English language. The National Curriculum English objectives are delivered through a bespoke, carefully planned and sequenced progression of high – quality texts and written genres. By the time pupils leave us at the end of Key Sage 2, pupils have received purposeful exposure to at least twenty high quality texts, which include picture books, classics and a variety of poetry. Our genre studies are carefully crafted to ensure children are equipped with the necessary skills to be confident and competent readers, who can express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through written work. Additionally, the curriculum places a strong emphasis on promoting a love of books and reading for pleasure. The English skills of reading, writing and oracy are also intertwined into the wider curriculum. At Eastfield, we take every opportunity possible to enhance the cultural capital of our learners and equip them with the knowledge and experiences needed in the wider world. Texts are chosen to introduce children to cultural diversities, develop empathy and promote curiosity. We spend time learning about a different modern or classic author each half term. Pupil led learning generously provides opportunities for children to apply their skills through activities such as scientific enquiries, debates, speeches, presentations and creative outcomes

We aim to cultivate this reading culture from the very beginning of a child’s learning journey with us and value the role of parents as partners in this vital task. Children in the early reading stages and reading phonics phase books should be heard reading as frequently as possible at home. Daily practise of phonetic decoding and comprehension skills is invaluable to your child’s reading progress. Please record any reading completed at home by writing a comment in your child’s reading record.  Pupils are heard reading frequently in school both on a 1:1 basis and in small groups. We also value reading for its impact on vocabulary development and comprehension skills. We read aloud to the children daily (in 10 minute bursts). Furthermore, we value the impact reading has on vocabulary development and use this as a vehicle to teach vocabulary. 

We select books from a range of published reading schemes and categorise these in Phonics phases and reading bands based on the level of challenge within a book. (e.g. Vocabulary, text size, sophistication of ideas, widening range of genres, longer and more complex sentence structure, increasing precision of language, widening amount of characters and themes which become more developed, increase in metaphorical or technical language etc.) Schemes selected by the school include: Big Cat Collins, Bug club Pearson phonics, Songbird Phonics , Usborne Phonic Readers, Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Orchard colour and many more. 

When beginning their reading journey, pupils will be issued with a phonics reading book. This book will closely match the phoneme your child has been working on during their phonics sessions in school. By matching their reading book to the phoneme or group of phonemes your child has learnt that week, it gives them additional opportunities to apply their segmenting and blending knowledge and consolidate their learning. These books can be easily identified by the Silver star in the corner of the front cover.

Each week, your child will be allocated an additional phonics eBook through our Bug Club library. Again, this book will closely correspond with the phoneme your child has learnt in school.

Phase 1 – Lilac/ Pink.

phase 2 – Red

Phase 3 – Yellow

Phase 4 – Blue

Phase 5 – Blue/ Green

Phase 6 – Orange

As children secure their early reading knowledge and skills, they will move on to reading bands designed by PM Benchmark, with colour bands ranging from Turquoise – Brown. Each child is assessed through the PM benchmarking reading assessment resource before progressing to the next level. Children are provided with the opportunity to change their books on a weekly basis in school. 

Bands are colour coded and are in the following order:

Band 7: Turquoise 

Band 8: Purple 

Band 9: Gold 

Band 10: White 

Band 11: Lime 

Band 12: Brown 

After band 12, pupils become a free reader and are able to choose unbanded books in the classroom and school library. This is an assisted choice to ensure pupils read a wide variety of genres such as plays, non- fiction information texts, poetry, short stories and chapter books. 

In addition to individual reading books, we hold a range of books for use as Guided Reading Texts within lessons. Guided Reading sessions and whole class reading sessions are carefully planned and questioning is used to assess and extend children’s learning. Guided Reading sessions expose children to a wide range of texts and aim to challenge their thinking and develop vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarising skills. (VIPERS)

To learn more about each of our VIPER reading skills, and the types of questions you can use to support your child with these skills at home when reading, click on the key stage links below:

KS1 Reading Vipers Questions

KS2 Reading Vipers Questions


Throughout their time at Primary school, pupils are required to complete national statutory tests:


In year 1, pupils’ phonics ability is tested using the statutory Phonics Screening Check in June. This is conducted on a 1:1 basis with a Teacher. Children are required to decode and read 40 words. Most of these are real words but the test also contains some pseudo (nonsense) words too – these pseudo words have an alien picture next to them. Pupils who do not reach the threshold receive intervention and are retested at the end of Year 2. Results are reported to parents. 

To view an example of phonics screening materials please click the link below: 

In year 2, pupils will take their Key Stage 1 SATs (standard assessment tests) through the month of May. Alongside Maths, grammar, spelling and punctuation test the pupils will be required to sit two Reading comprehension papers. Pupils’ scores help to support teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1. The test requires pupils to demonstrate the following skills: 

  • Vocabulary knowledge
  • Identify or explain key aspects of fiction or non- fiction such as characters, events, titles and information. 
  • Sequence events in a text they have read.
  • Make inferences
  • Predict

To view and example KS1 reading test, click the link below: 


In year 6, Pupils will take their Key Stage 2 SATs during the second week of May. During this week pupils will take a reading paper. The test requires pupils to demonstrate the following skills: 

  • Explaining the meaning of words
  • Retrieving key information
  • Make inferences 
  • Predict
  • Explain and make links between words and themes
  • Make comparisons within the text

To view and example KS2 reading test, click the link below: 

Support for Parents

We know that supporting your child to read at home can be tricky and sometimes a little daunting. Click on the links below for some helpful tips!

7 Top Tips To Support Reading At Home

7 Top Tips To Support Reading At Home – For Key Stage 2

Looking for books?

Check out these book recommendations for each year group:


Year 1 Age 5/6

Year 2 Age 6/7

Year 3 Age 7/8

Year 4 Age 8/9

 Year 5 Age 9/10

 Year 6 Age 10/11