Our Reading and Phonics Scheme

At Bourton Meadow Academy, our school approach to Reading and Phonics is below:

  • Our Phonics Scheme is called sounds-write 

Please see some websites that you can use to support the phonics taught in school:

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk  http://www.galacticphonics.com


  • Our Reading Scheme: we follow Big Cat Progress


Our Reading Philosophy

At Bourton Meadow Academy, we are committed to promoting the enjoyment of reading as we believe the ability to read and comprehend is the key to success and fulfilment in all areas of learning. We provide children with the strategies they need to develop proficient skills in both word recognition and language comprehension to help them become successful readers. Alongside both processes, we promote an appreciation of how reading a variety of texts, genres and authors unlocks hidden treasures to allow escapism into new worlds and beyond. Reading is a self- extending process – the more children read – the better they become.

Reading instruction

Year group


Foundation 1

  • Introduction to listening games
  • Introduction to letter names and sounds 
  • Listening to stories
  • Looking at wordless picture books with an emphasis on asking questions
  • Introduce and reinforce new words with objects
  • Singing and reciting rhymes

Foundation 2 – Year 2

  • Daily, systematic phonics lesson, in ability groupings, following Soundswrite and Letters and Sounds programme
  • Weekly, guided reading sessions reading a colour banded book suitable for your child’s reading ability
  • Books sent home to support your child with reading practice at home
  • Access to Reading Eggs at home

Year group


Year 3 –

Year 5

  • Weekly spelling lessons to boost spelling strategies and boost vocabulary
  • Weekly, guided reading sessions reading a colour banded book suitable for your child’s reading ability
  • Shared reading where children read the same piece of text and then answer questions independently/all together
  • Access to Reading Eggspress at home

Year 6

  • Revision of comprehension papers, matching question stems with answers
  • Weekly, guided reading sessions reading a colour banded book suitable for your child’s reading ability
  • Shared reading where children read the same piece of text and then answer questions independently/all together
  • Access to Reading Eggspress at home

F2 – Y6

  • Class novel read for 10 minutes each day
  • Weekly library visits


Guided Reading / Reading Scheme

Teachers use the Collins Big Cat reading scheme to support their guided reading sessions. These sessions are supported by a colour band book system which starts in Foundation 1 and goes right up to Year 6. Once a week your child will read in a group to practice word recognition alongside developing language comprehension through answering a range of questions including literal, inferential and evaluative to develop their comprehension skills. Follow up sessions will include vocabulary boost work and independent tasks related to the book read in the group session.


Skills coverage

In each guided reading session, every child is assessed against the set of key skills detailed below.

  • Draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts
  • Identify/Explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts e.g. characters, events, title
  • Identify / explain the sequence of events in text
  • Make inferences from text
  • Check reading makes sense
  • Read words accurately and fluently

Children will be assessed throughout guided reading sessions and when independently reading to an adult against the key skills to ensure they can draw upon relevant information to support answers.

Vocabulary Exposure

We are dedicated to eliminating any gaps in vocabulary, early on, by introducing new and interesting words with the support of visual prompts, concrete resources and /or relatable contexts to help children build upon what they already know.

Each colour band book has a vocabulary boost session that teachers will use within guided reading.

Reading cueing systems

Listening to children read independently or within a group enables staff to identify which cueing systems the children are using, or not using and support them to develop accordingly. Ultimately, cueing systems enable children to self-monitor which in turn helps to develop fluency. Staff can also use the cueing systems to calculate accuracy, error, and self-correction rate which is one-way staff can identify whether each child is reading a book at an appropriate level.

The three cuing systems are: Meaning, Structure & Visual – please see MSV cheat sheet to support your understanding of each cueing system further or ask a member of staff.

Reading support

From time to time, some children will require additional support with their reading. This may mean they become a target reader where they will read to an adult daily. Other support is available and will be discussed with parents/carers if required.

Reading peers

From Foundation 2 – Year 5, targeted readers are given a reading peer from Year 6 to read with daily. Each term, all readers and peers come together to share favourite books and learn about new authors.

Reading models

With any aspect of reading, across all curriculum areas, teachers model reading with enthusiasm and fluency to ensure children are surrounded by good examples of reading practice. Staff will use gestures, actions and facial expressions to help children make sense of new words.

Reading Assessment

Teachers have access to Big Cat Reading Assessment tool which enables them to record children reading their colour banded book to give feedback on their accuracy and whether they are ready to move onto the next colour band.

From Year 1, children will also sit a reading assessment paper each term to measure their comprehension skills. Their marks will be shared with you at parents’ evening and via their school report.


Reading Reward

In Key Stage 1, children are given a BMA B-CAT bookmark. Every time they read at home, parents are asked to initial their child’s bookmark. For every 20 initials, children will earn a trip to the Reading Reward Station to select a prize to reward their efforts.

In Key Stage 2, children are given a BMA B-CAT book mark where they will record the title of each book they read. When they have completed a book, they will need an adult to initial the bookmark, in the space provided. For every two books children complete, they will earn a trip to the Reading Reward Station to select a prize to reward their efforts.

Reading for Pleasure

To ensure we promote our reading culture at Bourton Meadow Academy, teachers will share their favourite childhood book and the book they are currently reading via their classroom door

Monthly reading assemblies, will offer staff and children the opportunity to share favourite books they have recently read and give them a practical review

Children will have a weekly visit to the school library to choose a book for pleasure

Reading Homework

Each child has a login for Reading eggs (Early Years / KS1) or Reading Eggspress (KS2) via https://readingeggs.co.uk/ We recommend children spend at least 20 minutes each week.

Each month, children are rewarded with the certificates they have earned online. Along with prizes for the children with the highest number of awards.

Reading visitors

Each year, Bourton Meadow Academy welcomes a range of visitors to help us celebrate our reading culture. We have enjoyed visits from a number of authors, illustrators and for two years running The Really Big Pants Theatre company… where children got the opportunity take part in workshops, create their own masterpieces, and enjoy asking lots of questions along with attending book signings. Some of our children even got the place names, they invented, published on a map of one of the author’s stories. How fantastic is that? We will continue to have reading visitors to promote reading

World Book Day

At Bourton Meadow Academy, every year, we celebrate World Book Day. We follow a theme and encourage children to dress as a favourite book character whilst taking part in lots of focused reading and writing activities throughout the day which we then celebrate in a whole school assembly.

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