St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10


Children learn not just the mechanics of reading, but to become accomplished, comprehending readers developing the habit of silent reading and a love of reading for life. Each class has a designated reading area to help promote the love and high importance that reading holds in our school. They can enjoy exploring a wide selection of reading books, which helps them to develop an appreciation of our rich literary heritage.


This year, we are continuing to embed the ‘VIPERS’ reading skills into our curriculum so that children understand the different content domains, and can apply the skills they have learnt during both supported and independent guided reading activities.


Teachers have planned out their English sessions in line with their topics. They follow a three phase approach whereby children read a specific genre or text and become immersed in the texts; then they explore the language, structure and sentence types within a text; and finally apply what they know to write in response to what they have learnt independently. This has placed quality literature at the heart of our English lessons and has provided high-quality, cross-curricular opportunities. During phase 1, children learn to analyse, question and examine a text. They do this through ‘Active Reading’ where children use a range of skills to visualise, question, predict, clarify vocabulary and infer as they read.


From Nursery phonics is taught through the use of Letters and Sounds phase 1. Then children begin to learn set 1 sounds following the Nursery Read Write Inc. handbook. In Reception, children learn phonics through the Read, Write Inc. scheme, and this is then continued into Year 1, and Year 2. Alongside the Read Write Inc. scheme, red words, which can’t be decoded, are taught within phonics lessons. These words are planned out and coincide with the red words that children will need to recognise when reading sound appropriate books. This allows children who are learning to read to feel successful when faced with words that can’t be decoded and also allows them to apply their knowledge of known sounds. Children follow the ORT reading scheme and also have access to supplementary books. Across school we use a range of reading schemes and texts which incorporate fiction and non-fiction texts. Guided reading is also an integral part of our English curriculum, where groups of children engage with a number of carefully planned sessions working with a teacher, teaching assistant or independently, exploring the meaning of the books being read.


As well as daily Guided Reading sessions, a reading comprehension programme is used online called ‘Reading Planet’ which gives children the opportunity to apply comprehension skills independently. Children can also access this at home.


The Reading Leader system has been running for the last year, and has certainly ignited a love of reading amongst our children. Children who need support in reading, read with another child three times a week. The younger children look forward to sharing books and stories with older children, and the older children enjoy helping their fellow pupils learn to read. It is wonderful to see our children of differing ages coming together over a good story. This is peer support: run by the children for the children.


Story time happens throughout the school daily where a quality story or poem is shared with children at the end of the day. This is a time for all children to engage in a story telling session with an adult. The texts used are carefully selected from Pie Corbett’s reading and poetry spine to ensure children are exposed to age-appropriate, exciting texts. This is a time that children look forward to and treasure. Through this, children are able to talk about a range of authors and poets.

RWI reading book expectations from Early Years to Year 2

How to read with your child in Reception and Key Stage 1

This will explain a bit more about the different types of books that your child will bring home to read at home. It shows you how to read the phonics books w...

Reading at St John's

What are reading VIPERS?

How to work out the meaning of unknown words when reading.

How we word zap words when we're reading actively.