St Martin's Church of England Primary School

‘Faith and Endeavour - Living and Learning together’


Reading at St Martin’s CEP School

Aims of our reading curriculum


At St Martin’s CEP School, we highly value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling all of our pupils to become lifelong readers. Reading takes them into imagined worlds far beyond their own experience and makes possible endless opportunities to explore new areas of learning, thinking and ideas. The power of reading is immense, and we want children to be able to take full advanatge of the benefits, pleasure and enjoyment that it has to offer.


We believe that reading is the foundation for success across the curriculum and  

at St Martin’s CEP School, we intend to:


  • Enable children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers
  • Develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types, for both pleasure and information
  • Teach children the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with a good understanding of what they have read
  • Encourage a love of literature and enjoyment of reading for pleasure
  • Use discussion in order to learn, enabling children to be able to elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas clearly


Reading in School


At St Martin's CEP School we use "REading VIPERS to support children with their reading comprehension skills. All children will be working on VIPERS during class reading, whether it is reading as a class, in a small group, or one-to-one with an adult.

All children are heard to read on an individual basis multiple times during the week, working on individual targets, specific to each child at their level.


Phonics is taught daily throughout EYFS and KS!, following the "Letters and Sounds" Programme for teaching. This continues into Year 3 to support the children as they transition into KS2. ( See below for more information)


Home reading books


In EYFS & KS1 the children take home books from the Phonics Bug scheme. These books are carefully selected and levelled and they progress through the phases in the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme that we use in school. Each child reads fully decodable books that practise sounds learned in the phonics phase that they are working within at school. As the children move through KS1, they also begin to access the Accelerated Reader books/system.


Throughout KS2 the children use ‘Accelerated Reader’, which is a computer program that helps teachers to manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Each child picks a book at his/her own level (ZPD level, which is determined by a termly STAR assessment at school) and reads it at their own pace. When they have finished the book, the children take a short quiz on the computer or iPad. (Passing the quiz demonstrates that the child has understood what was read.) Accelerated Reader gives the children and staff at school feedback based on the quiz results, which is then used to help each child to set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. It is also extremely useful to help staff to identify children who need additional support with their independent reading. Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.



Reading for Pleasure


At St Martin’s CEP School we have many exciting initiatives to ensure that our pupils develop and maintain their love of reading. These include:


  • Every class has a range of texts which are carefully chosen in order to expose children to a wide range of genres and authors. These are read to the children by their class teacher on a daily basis.
  • Rocket Reading Rabbit – The EYFS and KS1 classes have a ‘Rocket The Reading Rabbit’ reading mascot who visits a different child’s house each evening to share a bedtime story with their family.
  • Author visits – Authors are invited in to share their books – a super opportunity for the children to become inspired by real authors and to ask questions.
  • Library visits – Children are taken on trips to the local library. They are also encouraged to take part in school holiday competitions/reading initiatives run by local libraries.
  • Word Millionaire rewards – Children who have achieved Word Millionaire are celebrated in whole school worship, as well as earning their special ‘Golden Word Millionaire Badge’.
  • Book Week/World Book Day – A new theme every year with school wide activities and events, including book themed dress up days.
  • Book recommendations – Children are regularly encouraged to recommend books to other children by sharing book reviews/recommendations. 
  • Daily story time in every class – A rich variety of stories and texts are available in every class.
  • Snuggly Story Time – Storytime in pyjamas with hot chocolate and biscuits!
  • Parents being invited in for ‘share a book’ sessions
  • Book related home learning challenges, including writing book reviews/recommendations for their peers, quizzes etc.




Letters and Sounds is a six-phase programme designed to help teach children to read (decode) and spell with phonics.


Phase One (Nursery /Reception)

The aim of this phase is to foster children’s speaking and listening skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.


Phases Two, Three and Four (Reception / Year 1)

Phase Two is when systematic, high quality phonic work begins. During Phase Two to Four, children learn:

  • How to represent each of the 42 sounds by a letter or sequence of letters.
  • How to blend sounds together for reading and how to segment (split) words for spelling.
  • Letter names e.g. through alphabet songs etc.
  • How to read and spell some high frequency ‘tricky’ words containing sounds not yet learnt (e.g. they, my, her, you).

The Letters and Sounds Programme suggests an order for teaching the letters, and a fast pace of one Set per week. It recognises, however, that children’s personal experience of letters varies enormously. Most importantly, it progresses from the simple to the more complex aspects of phonics at a pace that is suitable for the children who are learning.


Phase Five (Year 1/ Year 2)

Children learn new ways of representing the sounds and practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.


Phase Six (Year 2)

During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.


 Year 1 Phonics Screening


At the end of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment to make sure that children have learnt phonics to an appropriate standard.

There are 40 words in the screening check which children are asked to read on a one-to-one basis with their teacher. The check is made up of 'real words' (eg. 'mud') and 'non-words' (eg. 'splog') and children need to apply their phonic knowledge to read all words. Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening are supported through carefully targeted interventions, followed by then being able to resit the screening check in Year 2. These children are further supported in KS2.




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