Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
12 November, 2022

Developing good reading skills

Reading is key to unlocking the academic curriculum and is of fundamental importance when considering a child’s future achievement, wellbeing and successes in life. Current research by the Institute of Education highlights the benefits of reading books and newspapers, and visiting the library as having a significant impact on a child’s progress with reading. The latest reading framework from the Department of Education stipulates that schools must use systematic phonics to teach reading. Here at BISS, we use the Read Write Inc Literacy programme developed by Rush Miskin which provides a systematic and consistent approach to teaching of reading and writing. ‘Reading By Six: How The Best Schools Do It’, an Ofsted report, has highlighted the success of the Read Write Inc programme in being able to provide a strong start so that every child can read.


Reading Opportunities at BISS


When students pick up books, they build new connections, they learn new vocabulary and are introduced to new ideas. The more students read, the better their reading will be. When students are given the opportunity to choose their own books according to their interests, they learn to love reading. Sharing stories with children and reading aloud during carpet time, guided reading or library visits help students to develop a love for reading. A study by the Institute of Education finds that reading is key to success at school, highlighting that “children who read for pleasure perform significantly better at school in Maths as well as English.”

  •  EYFS and Key Stage 1 children are taught through a systematic synthetic phonics programme.
  • All children complete the PM Benchmark Literacy Assessments throughout the year. These assessments enable teachers to identify student reading levels, monitor students reading achievement over time and provide school data which can be analysed to create intervention groups which provide further support.
  • All children take home levelled reading books as identified by the initial PM Benchmarking Assessment. These levelled books are at the appropriate level for children to read and understand independently.
  • All children visit the school library on a weekly basis. This is one of the most loved activities throughout the school week. Children love the opportunity to share books with friends, to discover new authors and to make their own choices of books according to their own interests.
  • All children receive dedicated reading lessons which focus on core texts identified by class teachers. During these lessons, teachers use the Reading Dogs (Vocabulary Victor, Rex Retriever, Predicting Pip, Inference Iggy, Summaring Sheba, Arlo the Author, and Cassie the Commentator to build reading skills. PEEL (Point, Evidence, Explain, Link) strategies are also used to further develop understanding of texts.
  • Diversifying the classroom and school library has been a huge important step for us at BISS Puxi. We are proud of our huge selection of diverse and inclusive books which develop children’s understanding of cultural diversity, different types of families, neurodiversity, physical disabilities and real-life heroes. As an international school with students from all over the world, it is important that all children can see themselves represented in the stories they read. Reading diverse storybooks enables children to build empathy and provides a window into different cultures.

Reading With Your Child


Recommendations from The Children’s Reading Foundation:


When parents and caregivers read with their child during the elementary school years, they provide a valuable gift — the lifelong advantage of literacy!


Here are some reasons why it’s important to read together 20 minutes every day:

  • Young students need lots of practice and encouragement as they learn to read.
  • Reading aloud improves your child’s speaking, reading, listening, thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Experience with various kinds of books, like poetry or non-fiction, broadens your child’s knowledge and curiosity.
  • Vocabulary grows as your child hears new words and ideas in new stories.
  • Reading together daily creates a special bond that strengthens relationships; your child discovers that reading is enjoyable
  • Your child learns to read and then reads to learn.

Read together at least 20 minutes every day.