Plough Road, Great Bentley, Colchester, CO7 8LD

01206 250331

Great Bentley Primary School

Growing together - making a difference


Reading at Great Bentley


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 out 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, 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.



 How do we teach reading at Great Bentley?

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 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 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. 

Children who read for 20 minutes a day are exposed to 1.8 million words a year.

Children who read on average for 4.6 minutes a day are exposed to 282,000 words a year.

Children who read for less than a minute a day are exposed to 8,000 words a year.

So it would take a child who reads for less than one minute a day a whole year to read the number of words that a child who reads for 20 minutes a day would read in 2 days. 

Our School Library

This year we have worked hard to develop our school library. The PTA have kindly supported our school library by buying our new book cases and soft furnishing to make it a warm and welcoming place to read.

We have been developing the range of books we have available for all ages and interests with kind donations from Penguin Random House and parents/carers at Christmas. We have also fund-raised through cake sales and a sponsored readathon. We are continuing to fund raise to buy even more books to ensure a wide variety of genres and copies are available. If you are able to help our school library in anyway please do contact the school.

Great Bentley's Reading Bookworm Challenge!


Reading and Creative Writing Shed


Pictures coming soon...

At Great Bentley Primary School we are very proud of our reading and writing shed on the school field. Children can access this shed at lunchtimes and Year 6 children help support the use of the shed. The books inside the shed have been selected by the children themselves and it offers a space with reading buddies to relax and enjoy a book. A big thank you to the Friends of Great Bentley for supporting this venture.

Reading resources and online links

Below are some useful website links to support reading.  

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

Roald Dahl

"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."

- Dr Seuss

"There is no such thing as a child who hates to read, there are only children who have not found the right book." 

- Frank Serafini


Recommended Reads 


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Reading recordings:

Mrs Caffull and Miss Hull - "The Magic Finger" by Roald Dahl

Chapter 1 

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4 

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Final Chapter

Documents to support reading at home