Learning to read is one of the most fundamental skills the children will learn during their time at Fishponds Church of England Academy. Your child will not only learn to decode words on a page, but will develop a love of books and literature that will stay with them throughout their lives.  


The Teaching of Reading  

Reading is taught, developed and embedded across the curriculum. In the early years, children are taught to identify letters and sounds through a systematic, synthetic phonics programme. For more information about how phonics is taught, please follow the following link (Phonics Page). In Key Stage 1, phonics continues to be taught and used as a reliable strategy for reading unknown words. Other reading skills such as inference, information retrieval, summarising, predicting and vocabulary development are taught in guided reading sessions. In Key Stage 2, there is less emphasis on decoding (word reading) skills and more focus on understanding a range of texts, and embedding the above mentioned reading skills. In some year groups, guided reading is taught in smaller, focussed groups, whereas in others, the children are taught as a whole class.  


Reading Assistants  

At Fishponds Church of England Academy, we are lucky enough to have several specialised learning assistants who focus on reading. They take individuals and groups of children for sessions to improve elements of their reading. If your child is participating in sessions with a reading assistant and you would like to know more about supporting your child at home, please contact your child’s class teacher, reading assistant or Mr Jones ( Year 5 teacher and Reading Lead). 



When a child is confident with reading books at a particular colour band, they will be ‘benchmarked’ before moving up to the next colour band. A benchmark assessment is an informal check of the child’s decoding (word reading) and comprehension (understanding) and is carried out by an adult known to the child such as a teaching assistant, reading assistant or the class teacher. The child will be asked to read the book, retell the story, and then answer a series of questions about the book. This is a clear and efficient method of establishing whether the child is ready for the next colour band.  


Rainbow Readers

Some Key Stage 1 children may be put on Rainbow Readers level. This is a ‘free reader’ level for children who are beyond Lime level. Children in Key Stage 1 will then be kept on Rainbow Reader level until they begin Year 3. The purpose of this is to firstly allow the children the freedom to choose from a greater range of books, and secondly to ensure that the content of books they are reading is age appropriate.  


Reading for Pleasure  

Children are read to daily in school, and develop a love of old favourites and new discoveries through this. If you are able to, please read to your child as regularly as possible to support this at home. Please contact your child’s class teacher if you would like support in choosing books to read to your child. The Fishponds Library (insert hyperlink) is a two minute walk from our school, and there is no cost for borrowing books. Please call 0117 903 8560 or email for more information.   


Reading at Home 

Reading regularly with your child at home is one of the best things you can do to support your child’s learning. Your child will bring home books regularly at the level at which they are currently reading. Please listen to your child read and ask them questions about what they are reading to ensure they understand their books. The book band descriptors (insert hyperlink) give information as to which skills are needed to be proficient in each book band – use these descriptors to target your questioning when reading with your child. The book band tracker (insert hyperlink) will help you to keep track of which level your child should be on throughout their primary education.  


 Book Band Descriptors


 Book Band Tracker



If you require any support concerning reading, please speak to your child’s class teacher or Mr Jones  (Year 5 teacher and Reading Lead).