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Sunny Bank Primary School

Happy, Challenged, Successful and Proud


Hathaway Road, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 8EQ

0161 766 2121


Reading and Phonics     

At Sunny Bank, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong, passionate readers.

We believe reading is key for academic success and so to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading; we implement the following:

Children take part in daily whole class Guided Reading lessons, where they are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding of these. Each session has a focus on a different skill. These skills are known as VIPERS -Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence.

We have a range of reading books in our school. All children have a reading book to take home. Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum. Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading age. This is a comfortable place for children to enjoy reading and discussing the texts. Before children begin on accelerated reader, they have a levelled reading book that is changes twice a week. Once children begin accelerated reader they quiz and change as and when needed. Accelerated reader allows us to pitch the reading books directly at the child’s specific level and closely track progress.

Teachers plan time for children in Key Stage One and Two to be tested using the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. This gives the children an age appropriate reading level and the child selects a book from within that level. Once children have completed reading an AR book, they take an online quiz. When children have completed the quizzes and scored 80% or higher, they then move onto the next level.

Reading records across school allow for communication between home and school and helps inform both parties of progress. The child’s ZPD-Zone of proximinal development is record each time they get a new book or change ZPD. The children complete a star reader test each term to track progress. By the time children leave Sunny Bank they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.


At Sunny Bank we use synthetic phonics, we follow the Letters and sounds document. We learn letter sounds and blend them together to read and write words. Children have daily phonics sessions where they participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.

Teachers assess children regularly; these regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.


Attainment in reading is measured using termly assessments and the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.

Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year One and during the retest in Year Two.

We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.