Every child reads and is read to every day. This is because we recognise that reading is the gateway to learning; therefore, your child must read at home and in school. Reading is the skill prioritised above all others, and all children are expected to develop reading fluency with a good understanding of what they have read. Ensuring high levels of motivation for reading encourages children to develop the habit for both pleasure and for information.  

Records of children's reading aloud at home should be entered into the home/school planner and signed by an adult. We also encourage independent readers to sign their home/school planner after reading to themselves and add a thought or question based on what they have read. Furthermore, a Reading Ambassador from each class is selected once per half-term to choose a book to keep from our Book Vending Machine. These children demonstrate a passion, excellent attitude and regularity for reading; they help promote reading in class and across the school. 

We also conduct half-termly reading surveys, which track the children's attitudes and engagement with reading for pleasure. From this, class teachers select three focus children to support their reading-for-pleasure journey and work with them to develop their love of reading. We track these focus children and review their progress at the end of the half term.


At Beam County Primary School, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child's understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to express themselves effectively. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading. We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using a range of evidence-based strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics (Little Wandle), a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud daily. These are essential components as they offer the opportunities to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

Children must be motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, their fluency and stamina increase their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children's motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure benefits not only reading outcomes but also wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children in developing both word reading and comprehension skills. Hence, we endeavour to build a home-school partnership through our coffee mornings and workshops, which gives parents and carers the confidence to support their children with reading at home.

Our school and class libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the beautiful world of books. They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction, encompassing the latest reading trends and classic texts. They should be part of every child's primary school experience and the children's cultural capital.

Books are chosen carefully to represent pupils' lives and allow them to experience new topics and themes.

By pressing here you can see an outline of most of the books covered in our curriculum. 

Little Wandle

At Beam, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds for our phonics programme, as it has successfully supported thousands of schools to grow confident readers who enjoy Reading for Pleasure.

Please press here to find the full Reception and Year 1 teaching programme overview to see what your child will learn and when.



Please find below Mrs Harle's informative Little Wandle phonics and reading presentation to parents and guardians (November. 2023).

Phase 1 - Reception Autumn 1
Phase 2 - Reception Autumn 2
Phase 3 - Reception Spring 1

Reception - Autumn 1 (04.09.23 - 20.10.23) - Phase 2 grapheme

Press here for a guide to see how your child is taught to say their sounds in Reception.


Reception - Autumn 2 (30.10.23 - 23.12.23) - Phase 2 grapheme

Press here for a guide to see how your child is taught to say their sounds in Reception.


Reception - Spring 1 (04.01.24 - 16.02.24) - Phase 3

Press here for a guide to see how your child is taught to say their sounds in Reception.


Year 1 Sounds

Press here for a guide to see how your child is taught to say their phase 5 sounds in Year 1.


How to write capital letters

Download a guide to how children are taught to write capital letters

Year 1 

How to Say Phase 5 Words
Reading at Home


Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.


There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

1.  A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

2.  A sharing book. Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.


Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.


Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!