As our children move from the Foundation Stage into Key Stage 1, Year 1 staff continue a creative approach to the curriculum. Literacy and Numeracy lessons often link to topics. We aim to encourage the children to become more independant to help with their work and to build their confidence. School trips, link to the topics, are taken once or twice a year to places such as Askham Bryan Wildlife Park and the Theatre Royal.

Reading at Barker's School of Excellence

September 2017


Reading is a great strength at our school and this is mainly due to the excellent partnership between parents and school.

Our aim is to encourage and develop a lifelong love of books and reading in our young learners.

A child’s journey to become a reader starts with him/her listening to stories and sharing books. This is an invaluable way of showing that books are there to be enjoyed, as well as building children’s vocabulary. Through sharing books parents are modelling the reading process and showing children enjoyment and learning that can be found from reading.

Once children begin to learn to read, parents should hear them read, but also continue to devote time to reading to them so that children will experience a wide range of books and enjoy that precious time with you.


How are children taught to read at school?

Children are taught to read at Barker's School of Excellence in a range of different ways:

  • daily Read, Write, Inc. phonics lessons or reading and comprehension lessons

  • weekly guided reading sessions with his/her class teacher (when children work in a small group with other children of a similar reading ability and read and discuss stories, poems and information texts)

  • whole class shared reading of big books

  • listening to class stories and poems

Children are regularly assessed in phonics, reading and comprehension to ensure that all children are making progress and that texts and activities are well matched to each child’s ability.


Reading Books

Children are also sent home reading books each week. These books are colour banded; each band contains a range of titles, texts and publishers. Children are placed in book bands for reading based on regular teacher assessments. Children can choose 2 - 4 books from the relevant colour band each week, supported by a teaching assistant. The number of books chosen depends on the child, length of text and/or the ability of text. Once the books become more challenging we recommend only taking 2 books per week.

Where possible it is important that children read books more than once at home to develop fluency, confidence and comprehension skills. It is also important to discuss the story, characters and plot and make predictions about what will happen next.

Reading Records

This year we have reintroduced Reading Records to enable us to further monitor which books children take home. We ask that you sign your child’s reading record when your child has read and that you record the titles of any other books that your child is reading, for example library books or any books from home.

The reading record is solely intended for use as a record of which books your child has read, teachers will not be writing/responding to comments in the reading record. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your child’s reading please speak to his/her class teacher.



In addition to reading books, each class has a well-stocked library of fiction and non-fiction books that children are encouraged to use to develop their love of reading. Each class has a recording system which the children are trained to use. Children can bring home books that they wish to read themselves or that they would like an adult to read to them. Children can change their books as often as they like, during playtimes or afterschool with parents. Children can also change their library books during Afterschool Club from a selection of library books in the hall. We also have a non-fiction reference library (outside Mr Hodgson’s office) for use solely in school. Children use these books to support their learning in the classroom.


Reading is fun!

Most importantly we want children to enjoy reading and develop a love of books. If your child is tired or reluctant to read please do not make him/her. Perhaps read to him/her instead or try reading a sentence or a page each. Remember little and often is better than one long session.


Hopefully you will find this information useful, please contact your child’s class teacher if you have any queries. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership in the year ahead.



Information for Year 1


The transition from Reception to Year 1 can be a difficult one and all the staff are working hard to make sure that your child still experiences some aspects of the Reception ‘format’ whilst tackling the required targets for Year 1. We have high expectations for your child’s behaviour and for the effort they put into their work. Most of all, as Year 1 staff, we want to make sure that your child enjoys their time with us and that they leave us equipped with all the skills and knowledge to face the challenges of Year 2.

Start of the day

School doors open at 8.50am. Children are expected to be in their classrooms by 8.55 when the bell goes for registration. The doors will be locked at 9am. Whilst we can deal with brief questions in the morning, the best time to discuss matters with class teachers is 3.15, when staff will have more time to speak properly. If your child goes to X-Club after school and you wish to make an appointment with the class teacher, please email the school office.


Your child has a designated day on which they will change their reading books. Up to four reading books are sent home each week. Home reading books are designed to help practice the skills children have developed in class and their phonics groups. Please practise these books regularly during the week to build up your child’s confidence, understanding and fluency. You may like to ask them questions about the text, e.g. What has happened in the story so far?, What do you think will happen next?, Which character is your favourite and why?


Each week you are invited to help your child select a book from the class library on the day that they change their reading book .Each child has a library card for you to record the name of the book borrowed and the date. If your child is in X-Club, there are library books available to choose from there. When books are returned, please tick off the title on the card.

Home links

Each week a letter will be sent out to let you know what your child has been learning about in school. It offers suggestions and ideas to help support your child. Any related information, artefacts or work can be put in the home links tray in your child’s classroom. 


P.E. takes place twice a week and sessions are delivered by outside sports coaches and the class teacher. Children need to have a P.E. kit in school, comprising of a pair of black shorts, a white t-shirt and black pumps. All P.E. kit, including pumps must be clearly named.

Book bags

Although children will only need their reading books on their allotted reading day, children will need to bring their book bags every day. Often letters/school information is given out and book bags are the best way to store them. Some children have a charm to help them to identify their bag. Please limit your book bag charms to 3 as they become impractical for the children to use independently.

Lost Property

Lost property is stored in the corridor opposite Classroom 3. A large amount of lost property found is unnamed. Please make sure that your child’s property is clearly named with permanent ink or name tags.


For health and safety reasons the wearing of earrings in school is not permitted.

Year 1 Fund

To help pay for the practical activities we do such as baking, making play dough and various creative projects, we would be very grateful if you could make a voluntary contribution of £1 each week. Children can bring the money in weekly and put it in the money box available in each classroom or alternatively you can set up a standing order from your bank, please see the office for a form.

Year 1 Creative Area

Please send in any small cardboard boxes, tubes or unused wallpaper for use in our Creative Area.

Parent/Grandparent Volunteers

We always welcome volunteers, but please check with the class teacher for availability. As part of ‘Our People Who Help Us’ topic we would welcome any of these people to come and share some facts about their job.

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