Reading at Great Bentley

"Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
Roald Dahl


Reading is fundamental to children's learning. We at Great Bentley believe it is out duty to ensure that all children have the right to leave our school as fluent, confident readers. 


Class time is put aside to teach children this pivotal skill; from initial letter sounds, comprehension of a text, all the way to looking closely at the author's use of language for effect. At the heart of this though is that children should enjoy reading.


To help children read, here at Great Bentley we use a number of techniques.


Picture books and phonic sounds

To help our emergent readers, we start with picture books to engage children in the joy of reading.

In class, we work from the Letters and Sounds document to develop children's initial reading; listening to sounds, rhyming (in songs) and clapping syllables through to learning the specific letter sounds that help build words.

When reading books, questioning children on what is happening and using the pictures as clues as to what the basic words might be saying, help develop the reading further.  


Coloured book banded books

As children progress with their phonic knowledge they move on to our coloured book band system to improve their fluency before being STAR tested for Accelerated Reader.


Accelerated Reader

Once a child has reached a certain level of fluency in their reading, they will be given a STAR test and a subsequent reading level. Children can then quiz on the books they have read to assess their understanding of the book.

Parent's guide to Accelerated Reader

Great Bentley Primary School

Plough Road, Great Bentley, Colchester, CO7 8LD

Telephone: 01206 250331 Fax: 01206 251744 Email:

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