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 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. 


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 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 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. 

Coloured book banded books

As children progress with their phonic knowledge they move on to our coloured book band system to improve their fluency.


Reading Recommendations 

On our school reading display the children have their own space on which they can recommend books to their peers. Our aim is that children will encourage each other to read and develop a love of reading. 


Reading and creative writing shed

We are currently in the process of establishing a reading and writing shed on the school field which the children can access at lunchtimes. This will be resourced with books selected by the children themselves and offers a space with reading buddies to relax and enjoy a book. The Friends of Great Bentley are currently fundraising to help support this new venture. 


Share a story

The benefits of reading and sharing stories with children is advocated by authors across the globe.

Below is a link to the CBeebies share a story page - where you can choose a story that is read by a famous personality. 


Bedtime Stories


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Great Bentley Primary School

Plough Road, Great Bentley, Colchester, CO7 8LD

Telephone: 01206 250331 Fax: 01206 251744 Email:

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