St Peter's CE School
St Peter's CE School

Phonics and Reading


At St Peter's we believe that reading changes lives.

As a school, we strive to ensure that all children become successful and fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. We believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a literature-rich approach that promotes a ‘reading for pleasure’ culture. We aim for all of the children at St Peters to leave school at the end of Key Stage 2 with a genuine passion for reading and to have obtained all of the skills they need to tackle any book of their choosing.



At St Peter's Primary, we intend:

  • for every child to be a reader
  • for early readers to have the skills to decode words, so they can read fluently as quickly as possible
  • for children to understand what they have read
  • for children to respond with curiosity about what they and others have read
  • for children to become enthusiastic and motivated to read for pleasure
  • to develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types
  • to develop children’s knowledge of a wide range of authors and illustrators




At St Peter's, reading is prioritised.


Daily phonics lessons are taught in Reception and Year 1 - we follow the 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' Programme because it is a systematic, synthetic approach, which is recommended as the most effective way for children to learn to read. Phonics learning is revisited throughout the day and connected to all curriculum areas, with the aim for all children to make rapid progress, so they become fluent readers as quickly as possible. During lessons, children are identified to participate in daily 'keep up' sessions for extra practise.



  • Reading Practice Sessions - (Reception to Year 2 Autumn) Children read in small groups, 3 times a week. They read the same book in each session with a specific focus on the skills of decoding, prosody and comprehension. The book is decodable and matched to their secure phonic knowledge. The same book is read at home throughout the week. 
  • Reading Shed- Children are able to read for pleasure during their break times in a cosy reading shed in the playground. They have access to a range of high quality books that are rotated regularly.
  • Chatter Books - Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 take part in book talk through 'chatterbooks'. A child is chosen to select a book from home they would like to share with their class. The aim of the lesson is to foster an intrinsic love of reading as well as developing their 'reading diets'. 
  • Storytelling - Children in Reception and Year 1 use story sacks to re-tell familiar stories or make up their own. These are available in book corners for children to access during continuous provision. 
  • Story Time - Children are read aloud to on a daily basis in every year group and this is timetabled in. This is for the children's enjoyment with the main aim of motivating them to read for pleasure. Additionally, it develops their knowledge and confidence to discuss a wide range of authors, illustrators, text types and genres.    
  • Home learning - Parents are expected to hear their child read five times a week even when they are fluent readers. This is then recorded in their reading diaries. 
  • English lessons - Planning is linked, inspired and supported by high quality, engaging and relevant texts.
  • Events- A range of regular events take place to engage pupils with the joy and wonder of a wide range of text types, so they are confident, enthused and motivated to read for pleasure. Events include reading challenges, regular visits to the local library, book fairs, gift a book events, Book Week, sponsored reads, book tasting events and author visits.
  • 1:1 reading with adults - Children who are not working at age related expectations in reading read to an adult on a 1:1 basis. we also have Beanstalk reading volunteers who come in and hear children read.




Right to Read Campaign

Thank you to everyone who came to our book tasting drop in.

Guided Reading - We use the Complete Comprehension scheme which is a whole-school programme designed to support children from their first steps in comprehension through to secure ownership and confident application of comprehension skills. Written by a team of expert authors, the series breaks down the complex process of reading comprehension into separate skills that closely match the curriculum requirements for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Each teaching unit targets one comprehension skill, which is introduced through a modelling session and then practised.


Key stage 1

When children move into Year 2, they continue to access small group guided reading sessions to support their decoding skills and reading fluency. Additionally, they participate in whole class reading sessions four times a week where the teacher uses an extract to teach a wider range of comprehension skills:


  • Word meaning
  • Retrieval
  • sequencing
  • inference
  • Prediction


Teachers use an age appropriate text each week from our ‘Complete Comprehension’ scheme. These texts are specifically chosen to improve pupils' vocabulary and to teach specific reading comprehension skills according to the long term plans below. Teachers expose pupils to a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry ranging across different topics, genres and authors. The week follows a structure to maximise children’s understanding:


Children in Key Stage Two access whole class reading sessions four days a week. Teachers select an extract to use over the week with a particular focus on a key reading skill:


  • Sequencing/Summarising
  • Retrieving
  • Defining
  • Predicting
  • Inferring
  • Comparing
  • Relating
  • Exploring


Teachers expose pupils to a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry ranging across different topics, genres and authors. The texts, either selected from our ‘Complete Comprehension’ scheme or other high quality texts, are age appropriate and aim to improve vocabulary and comprehension. Teachers may select texts to support pupils' wider learning, particularly within writing units supporting grammar, punctuation and language. The week follows a structure to maximise children’s understanding:


Day 1: Prediction/ new vocabulary/ reading the text

Day 2: Background knowledge of the text

Day 3: Teaching of specific reading skill/Children complete comprehension activity independently (specific reading skill)

Day 4: Children complete either a writing task or a speaking and listening task related to the text



The reading long term plans for each year group are below as well as a document which details the progression of reading skills at St Peter's:

Story Time


Story time takes place every day in every class. This is in addition to the books that they bring home. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. At St Peter's, vocabulary and language development is at the heart of all we do. 

A set of books and authors across a wide range of genres has been carefully chosen for teachers to read to their class. 



We use the government validated systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) called ‘Little Wandle: Letters & Sounds Revised’. The programme is designed to teach children to read from Reception to Year 2, using the skill of decoding and blending sounds together to form words. “The Little Wandle programme provides a full progression through all commonly occurring GPCs* (sounds), working from simple to more complex, and taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words.” 


Please access the Little Wandle website (link below) to find more information. The 'For parents' section provides videos of how to pronounce the Phase 2 and Phase 3 sounds and how we teach the reading of words.


Useful documents to support Parents at home

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RRSA STARS EQualities Eco-Schools Award RRSA RRSA Healthy Schools Silver Healthy Schools London
St Peter's is 'Outstanding in all areas' Ofsted June 2023