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Great Bentley Primary School

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At Great Bentley, we are passionate about English, as we believe it lies at the heart of the curriculum. Using quality texts, children are encouraged to develop a love of reading and writing, as well as learn the skills they need to communicate effectively.

Reading is fundamental to children's learning across all areas of learning. At Great Bentley, we believe it is our duty to ensure that all children have the right to leave our school as fluent, confident readers. 

Reading is embedded within the school curriculum to teach children this pivotal skill; from initial letter sounds, and 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.


Tuesday 7th February 2023 - Librarian Cake Sale Update

WOW! A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated/baked/bought cakes from the librarian cake sale last week. After counting up all the money we are ecstatic to say we have raised £247! This is a big help to help us reach our goal of buying new seating for the library. Well done to our librarians for helping set up the event and run it on the day. As seating is going to cost us quite a bit of money, over the next few months the librarians will be coming up with their next fundraising event – watch this space!


Reading Vending Machine has Arrived!

Some of you may have noticed our new arrival in the school foyer this week. Our reading vending machine has arrived and the buzz around school has been very exciting! A few of our librarians and our PTA members Rebecca and Alison officially opened the reading vending machine.

We want to say a HUGE thank you to our PTA but also to our school community who support the events the PTA host and therefore enable them to raise money for items such as these! We also thank Penguin Random House for the donation of new and current books to stock our reading vending machine.

The children are very excited to start earning tokens to be able to have a brand new book to keep! Not only can the children earn book tokens through our reading challenge scheme but also by being nominated by the adults in their classroom for working hard on developing their reading skills across the curriculum.



This half term a child from each class has been recognised for their dedication to reading and is the first child to be awarded a golden token to put into the vending machine! Well done to:

Freya in Reception - Freya has been nominated for completing the most quizzes using Bug Club!

Poppy in Year 1 - Poppy always uses her phonics to work out information and instructions. She will always try to read independently before asking for help and reads with beautiful expression. 

Arthur in Year 2 - Arthur has made lots of effort to sound out and blend his words as he reads. He enjoys talking about information from the books he has read. He likes reading non-fiction books that allow him to enlighten the class. 

Ivy in Year 3 - Ivy loves her reading and reads a wide range of genres. Ivy uses what she reads to inform her writing therefore making her writing vibrant, interesting, and full of rich vocabulary words.

Sienna in Year 4 - Sienna enjoys reading and always has a book on her desk and picks it up whenever she can! She has shown some super descriptive ideas in her writing, which clearly shine through from the reading she does.

Amelia in Year 5 - Amelia is a fantastic reader who reads for pleasure and reflects her talent for reading in her wonderful writing. 

Ben in Year 6 - Ben has read a plethora of genres, which has impacted his writing. Ben uses really rich vocabulary and great sentence structure in part due to all his reading at home!

Well done to all our winners this half-term!



This half term a child from each class has been recognised for their dedication to reading and are the first children to be awarded a golden token to put into the vending machine! Well done to:

Maximus in Reception - Maximus has been nominated for his enthusiasm for reading and applying his phonics in his writing.

Harper in Year 1 - For making great progress with her phonics. Harper is using her phonics to segment and blend new words and use them in her writing! Her reading is always getting better and better because of her wonderful attitude to learning!

Hudson in Year 2 - Hudson has taken a great interest to read independently and to question new vocabulary. He has been keen to move up in our reading groups and shown his understanding through discussion within class. 

Daisy in Year 3 - Daisy has been working really hard on improving her fluency and comprehension of texts. She is developing a love of reading which has been a pleasure to watch! Daisy has made great progress in her reading and thoroughly deserves a book token to continue to foster her love of reading.

Jemima in Year 4 - Jemima has been nominated for a book token this term as she is quietly and consciously reading on a regular basis and she is excited to not only receive her silver badge award but to continue reading.

Jacob in Year 5 - Jacob has been nominated this half term for developing a love of reading this year which has been a joy to see!

Poppy M in Year 6 - Poppy's enthusiasm for reading is evident in the description in her writing, her regular reading at home and her commitment to the library. 

Well done to all our winners this half-term!



This half term a child from each class has been recognised for their dedication to reading and are the first children to be awarded a golden token to put into the vending machine! Well done to:

George in Reception - George has been nominated for the book token as he has been a super reading machine this term and has been eating up books and his enjoyed reading using our bugclub app!

Grace in Year 1 - Grace has been nominated for her growing confidence in reading and thoughtful ideas in our guided reading sessions. Year 1 love hearing her ideas and her fluency is improving all the time! Well done Grace!

Brooke in Year 2 - This half term, Brooke has read constantly. She continuously tried to read on her own, and if she does not understand something, she will ask for clarification. Brooke always gives her best efforts in everything she does and enjoys visiting the library to borrow books. Within one hour of performing for parents, Brooke became the lead role in our nativity, demonstrating how her confidence has increased throughout. This term, her self-esteem and confidence have developed and Year 2 are very proud of her.

Harry in Year 3 - This half term, Harry has continued to develop his love of reading and often comes into school after picking a new book at the library to tell us in class a range of interesting facts! Harry is working hard on his fluency and comprehension alongside developing his love of reading. Well done to Harry!

William in Year 4 - William has been nominated this half term for his conscientious reading over the course of the Autumn term! 

Romaine in Year 5 - Romaine has started to enjoy reading and has been reading every day with Mrs Elliot. Romaine is a great reader and Year 5 really enjoyed listening to him read out loud to the class in reading hour this week. Mrs Stacey hopes he is able to choose a book that he really loves.

Charlotte B in Year 6 - Charlotte has been nominated this half term for her love for learning which has transferred across into her creative writing (which she does in her own time!)

Well done to all our winners this half term!



This half term a child from each class has been recognised for their dedication to reading and are the first children to be awarded a golden token to put into the vending machine! Well done to: 

Felix in Reception - Felix was nominated for this award based on Felix's enthusiasm to accessing our bug club e-books, having reminded Mrs Whyte to allocate him more books to read online, as he got through the first three really quickly!

Benjamin in Year 1 - Benjamin always consistently works hard on his reading and developing his skills. He is careful when reading, using the phonics sounds he learns to decode unfamiliar words, and is able to explain a lot of details about what he has read. 

Lexi in Year 2 - While at school, Lexi will frequently visit the library because she enjoys reading a variety of books. She has excelled in learning new language and putting her all into each lesson to use her VIPER talents. Lexi's peers have observed and noted her constant curiosity. 

Ben in Year 3 - Ben has shown great enthusiasm for reading, reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction books over the past 7 weeks. He has used his learning in class to also inform their reading choices and learn more about topics such as Harriet Tubman from our history learning. Ben is the definition of a true bookworm!

Luca in Year 4 - Luca has worked hard on his reading this term and is showing interest in a rich variety of texts. He is constantly questioning what he has read and shows excellent comprehension. 

Evie in Year 5 - Evie is a real bookworm. She reads whenever she has the opportunity and I know she should be thrilled to have a vending machine token. Evie has shown a lot of resilience in reading lessons and even though sometimes she has found them tricky, she has been really successful in every lesson and is doing really well. 

Milly in Year 6 - Milly always reads at home - often daily and sometimes more! She is becoming an inspiration to others.

Well done to all our winners this half term!


 How do we teach reading at Great Bentley?

Individual reading in school

At Great Bentley Primary School, all children will read with an adult at least once a week (EYFS & KS1) and fortnightly in KS2 in school to develop their fluency. They will read a book from the school’s reading scheme or a banded ‘Bug Club’ book, appropriate to their ability, with either a physical copy or on a school iPad. 

Some of our children may receive more support in reading, some reading every day and some reading at least two times a week if they are working below age-related expectations. Our class teachers monitor each child’s progress carefully and children will move up book bands following a combination of evidence from reading skills lessons, reading assessments and your child’s improving fluency.

Our staff will initial in your child’s planner to inform you of when your child has read in class. We also provide more specific information about your child’s reading at regular parents’ meetings across the year. If you have any concerns about your child’s reading please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s teacher using the school office or by emailing your child’s class email address.

Picture books and phonic sounds

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

In class, we work from our own Phonics Scheme of Work in line with Bug Club, 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 words might be saying, all these strategies help develop reading further and provide children with further reading 'tools' that they can then independently use when reading.

See the 'Phonics' tab under 'Curriculum' then 'Phonics' for further information.


Coloured book banded books

As children progress with their phonic knowledge they move on to our coloured book band system to improve their fluency. Once they reach the end of our book band system they are a 'free reader' with a wealth of books available in our school library for all abilities, ages and interests. Our coloured book bands are:

Band 7 - Turquoise 

Band 8 - Purple

Band 9 - Gold

Band 10 - White

Band 11 - Lime

Band 12 - Copper

Band 13 - Topaz

Band 14 - Ruby

Band 15 - Emerald

Band 16 - Sapphire

Band 17 - Diamond

Band 18 - Pearl



Whole class reading skills lessons - Reading VIPERS

Our reading skills lessons take place explicitly once a week in KS2 reading hour lessons and daily in EYFS/KS1 through guided reading. Within these sessions our teachers model reading strategies during shared whole class reading sessions. These involve high quality, age-appropriate texts which are carefully selected by our staff. These are read to or with the children and provide an opportunity to teach children specific reading skills to widen their vocabulary and develop their levels of comprehension, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Questions are planned by teachers in advance to help children access a range of skills to help them to develop a greater understanding of a range of reading materials including fiction, non-fiction and poetry materials.

In our reading lessons, we use reading VIPERS to help support our pupils to understand what a good reader looks like and how to approach answering reading questions.

VIPERS is an acronym which stands for:






Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2).

All children work on VIPERS during class reading whether this is reading as a class, in a small group or one to one with an adult. We encourage children to orally talk through their answers before formally recording their answers. Children do this in a variety of ways such as discussing the answer first with their peers and/or an adult and then writing their best answer.

VIPERS question stems

It would be excellent if, as parents, you could also refer to these VIPERS regularly when you are listening to your child read at home. VIPERS questions can be applied to any text that a child is reading as well as with pictures, picture books and films! When any adult is listening to a child read, all they have to do is think of questions about the book, picture or film that cover some of the VIPERS and there are some great examples below of how you can create your own questions using the following question openers. If you have any questions or are struggling with this, please contact your child’s class teacher and they will provide some additional support materials to use at home.


Reading resources and online links

Below are some useful website links to support reading.