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Approach to Reading

Current reading schemes used at Dorothy Barley Junior Academy are:

Bug Club

Rapid​ Phonics

Fresh Start


The reading areas of focus are:


Word Reading

Pupils will continue to have a range of opportunities to develop reading for enjoyment and information

Children will learn that reading enhances their cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual knowledge.

Pupils will learn to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.

Pupils will read a wide range of books


 Comprehension Reading

30 minutes daily guided reading sessions (2 teacher led groups, 2 times a week):

Pupils will develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding.

Pupils will be given opportunities to listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books

All classes will read whole books aloud

Pupils will be given guidance about and feedback on the quality of their explanations and contributions to discussions

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


What is Reciprocal Reading?

Reciprocal Reading was developed in New Zealand in the 1980s. It is a known and successful approach to reading.


Reciprocal reading in our classes.

Reciprocal reading is a group approach to reading. Each child reads with their teacher twice a week and this enables the children to develop confidence in using a variety of reading strategies.

The reciprocal reading strategies can also be used in shared reading where the teacher can demonstrate and model the approach and how they can make a prediction or find the answer to questions.

Adopting reciprocal reading strategies as a common approach has allowed us to ensure that children develop a language for talking about and investigating texts and sorting out difficulties.


Reciprocal Reading helps children who:

  • Can read but struggle to understand
  • Can't explain their understanding to others
  • Read very slowly because they are focusing on accurate decoding so never get the flow of the text nor grasp its meaning
  • Read too fast and don't pay attention to what they are reading
  • Only read for plot events not the details within the writing
  • Lack confidence when reading new or unfamiliar texts
  • Have a limited reading repertoire - who read only very undemanding texts or only texts by the same author for example
  • Have impaired understanding through limited understanding of vocabulary
  • Read text avidly but never question the meaning of words or what they have just read
  • Find it difficult to cope with specialist texts from different curriculum areas


The emphasis is on active engagement and on children taking ownership of the texts they read. To this end children are trained to perform the following roles:


The Leader: Decides who will do each job, introduces the text and makes sure everyone is joining in.


The Predictor:  Encourages all learners to make logical predictions and use information from their wider knowledge, and personal experiences to predict what will be in the text.


The Questioner: Asks questions which encourage full understanding of the text; allows the group to analyse the text and help the group to evaluate the text.


The Clarifier: Helps the group to identify confusing words, sentences and ideas. They then encourage the group to reach a shared understanding of the text.


The Summariser: Helps the group to identify the most important ideas in the text using known summarising strategies.


What is Rapid Phonics?

Rapid Phonics is a programme designed to support you children who are not yet secure in their phonic knowledge. It ensures snappy lessons which  secure children’s phonic knowledge, their blending and segmenting skills and provides  finely-levelled 100% decodable readers for our children to practice and apply their new skills


What is Fresh Start?

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