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Approach to Reading

Programmes used to support phonics at Dorothy Barley Junior Academy are:

Bug Club (home-learning support)

Rapid Phonics

Fresh Start


Pupils are also given the opportunity to take part in Fresh Start and Rapid Phonics depending on their age and reading fluency.


What is Rapid Phonics?

Rapid Phonics is a programme designed to support children who are not yet secure in their phonic knowledge. Structured lessons secure children’s phonic knowledge, focussing on their blending and segmenting skills and providing finely-levelled 100% decodable readers for children to practice and apply their new skills


What is Fresh Start?

Fresh Start is a teaching programme that allows children who may be working behind their peers to catch up. They engage with age-appropriate anthologies and embed learning through partner practice. Children are assessed regularly to ensure they make good progress. 


At DBJA we are a Destination Reader school


The principles of Destination Reader

  • Enable quality experience
  • Promote enjoyment
  • Increase reading mileage
  • Build firm foundations
  • Develop thinking and understanding
  • Make talk central


Why we use Destination Reader?

  • To foster a life-long love of reading.
  • To develop a consistent approach to the teaching of reading across KS2.
  • To read for purpose across the curriculum
  • To have a consistent approach to developing vocabulary
  • To provide a curriculum in line with the requirements of the revised National Curriculum 
  • To provide a robust assessment approach, centred on formative assessment. 


Word reading and comprehension

At DBJA, children access 45 minute whole class daily guided reading sessions using a whole class and group books/texts.

Monday to Thursday the children will read either a class age- appropriate book or an individual age appropriate book. During these sessions, teachers will read with the children completing a running reading record for each child. Pupils will be given opportunities to listen to, read and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. 


Throughout these lessons, there is a focus on a key reading strand (inferring, clarifying, questioning, summarising, predicting, evaluating or making connections). When they are secure with these strands, the children will combine the reading strands.


On Fridays, the children will complete a Big Picture lesson, which focuses on comprehension skills with seen or unseen books and texts. The teacher will model answering the four question types using the CLEAR (Code, Clues, Locate, Explore, Answer, Re-read) code.



Children are assessed weekly through Big Picture lessons and half-termly with PiXL and PiRA tests.

We also test the children’s reading speed termly to assess and improve their reading pace, stamina and fluency.