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St Stephen's C of E Junior School

'Learning to change the World' 'Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God' - Micah 6:8
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Being Readers




At St. Stephen’s, we are `learning to change the world` and therefore reading is a top priority that lies at the heart of the curriculum.  We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe that curiosity, interest, knowledge and imagination grow with reading. Reading will allow the children to continue developing their understanding and appreciation of the world and believe they can change it for the better. Reading is a key life skill needed for future success and endeavours.


All pupils are taught to read fluently and expressively and encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop: knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live; to establish an appreciation and love of reading; to gain knowledge across the curriculum; and develop their comprehension skills. We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading which will prepare the children in their forthcoming secondary education and beyond. We have a reading leadership team comprised of Deputy Head, English Lead and Phonics Lead.  



We promote reading throughout the day in all lessons. Daily, we have an explicit whole class reading session where comprehension skills are taught and fluency skills recapped. Once a week, we also have a Book Talk reading session where we explore our key writing text through rich discussion and immersion activities. In all reading sessions, exploration and explicit teaching of vocabulary is key.


For children who require it, we run a range of different reading interventions including; Fluency, Inference Training and Phonics sessions which follow Letters and Sounds.


The main reading scheme used for phonetically decodable books is Oxford Reading Tree alongside KS2 targeted phonics catch-up books. Our main reading scheme for non-decodable books is Oxford Reading Tree. However to ensure breadth, our reading resources are topped with other schemes such as Big Cat.

Power of Reading:

Power of Reading is designed to enhance children’s enjoyment of literature and their engagement in the English curriculum. The project aims to capture children’s enthusiasm and raise achievement by developing teachers’ knowledge of literature and its use in the primary classroom. Central to the project is the use of high quality books and creative teaching approaches, such as role-play, hot-seating, freeze-framing, conscience alley, reader's theatre, story mapping, writing in role, reading journals and art activities. 


Each year, children are immersed in a wide range of carefully selected texts around which their learning, both in English and across the curriculum, is focused around. 

Individual Reading:

Those children receiving a phonics intervention will be sent home with two phonetically decodable books. One book will target a specific sound which has been identified to require additional practice. This sound and book will be practised and revised with their class teacher during individual reading. The other book will contain sounds that the children are familiar with. This is an opportunity for pupils to apply phonics knowledge and read fluently.  


Children who are on non-decodable books will move through the colour bands until they are secure with Lime. These children will then become `free readers` who are able to pick a book to read of their choice. This choice will be guided by their class teacher to ensure the books are appropriate and suitable for their reading level.


Identified children will have a colour band book (Grey- Dark Red) alongside the book of their choice. This colour band book will be read with adults in the school during individual reading.


PM Benchmarking is used to ensure children are on the correct reading level and pupil progress can be monitored and assessed throughout the year.

Home Reading:

We expect children to read three times a week at home with an adult and we encourage parents to share any comments about their child’s reading in their child’s reading record. In each reading record, there are question  prompts and ideas that could be asked to your child whilst reading. 


We monitor home reading every week and reward children on a Friday. Children who have read 3 times will receive 1 house point, 4 times 2 house points and 5 times 3 house points.


Please find the question prompts and an example of how to fill out our reading records below:

Parent Support and Workshops:

Please join us at our Parent Reading Workshop on Supporting Early Reading on Monday 27th September!