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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

With God in Our Hearts We Love and Learn.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School



A St Joseph’s learner will develop a love for reading and become familiar with a wide variety of books, poems and plays from both their own and other cultures. They will read fluently with appropriate expression and good understanding and will enjoy recommending books to others.



Early reading begins with an introduction to Phonics in Nursery. Children continue their phonics journey throughout Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (where necessary). Please see the 'Phonics' tab for more information about Phonics at St. Joseph's. 


Reading in the EYFS

In Nursery, children become familiar with books and how to handle them. They are encouraged  to retell stories in different ways, for example using puppets or acting out the story. 'Story time' takes place daily.

In Reception, children are taught Early Reading strategies which include applying phonics skills, using the pictures, reading on, going back to a word and re-reading a sentence. Children will start to recognise sounds, learn to blend and then learn to read and understand simple sentences. One-to-one reading sessions take place regularly and reading skills are modelled by an adult on a daily basis.

Please see the attached documents below for more information about the reading approach in Early Years.

 Reading Approach Caterpillars Nursery.pdfDownload
 Reading Approach Butterflies Nursery.pdfDownload
 Reading Approach in Reception.pdfDownload
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Reading in KS1 and KS2

At St. Joseph's, we focus on both fluency and comprehension. The teaching sequence enables children to develop their ability to decode written language at word and sentence level, whilst learning to search for meaning in the text.

The comprehension reading domains are taught through the VIPERS approach:

V - Vocabulary

I - Inference

P - Prediction

E - Explain

R - Retrieval

S - Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2)  


Guiding Reading lessons take place daily in KS1 and at least three times a week in KS2. From Years 1-6, reading is taught as a whole-class session during which children are exposed to a variety of stimuli, including short films, extracts and whole texts. Children also read their school reading book regularly throughout the week with either the teacher or teaching assistant. 

Reading Scheme

The Oxford Reading Tree scheme is used throughout the school. This scheme has been developed with synthetic phonics at its heart and introduces the children to a wide variety of writing styles, enabling them to become confident readers. In Reception and Key Stage 1, your child will work their way through stages 1-11, progressing up to stage 20 in KS2. After this, they will move on to free readers to continue to develop their vocabulary and understanding of a broad range of texts. 


Reading in Class

We take great care in choosing exciting and high-quality texts to use in class throughout the school. These texts are carefully selected to inspire the children and promote a life-long love of reading. Each time a text is introduced, children are encouraged to find out more about the author so that they continue to make informed decisions about books they read in the future. Books that are currently being shared are displayed on each classroom door. 

Every class has a dedicated reading area. In this area, carefully selected books are displayed by their front covers so that children can make informed choices about books that they want to read.

Take a look at some of our reading areas below: 


We believe it is really important for our children to experience listening to adults read and therefore we make time at the end of each day to read in class. Staff members share with all children which books they are currently reading. This promotes reading within our school community and encourages children to make informed choices about what they will read next.

Throughout the school day, children are given lots of opportunities to read across a wide range of subjects. 

Have a look at the photos below to see us reading and enjoying a variety of texts during our school day:

Book Vending Machine

At St. Joseph's we are very fortunate to have our own book vending machine! This is used as part of our reading reward system. Children can earn a special raffle ticket for their efforts in reading and each half term we draw one or more lucky winners from each class who get a token to use in the machine! Below you can see our group of Year 6 librarians with the vending machine; a video of it being revealed to the children by our special guest visitor Pep the Poet; and the very excited winner of the first token!


Our school library is updated frequently with exciting fiction and non-fiction texts for your child to enjoy. Each class (from Years 2 to 6) has an allocated lunchtime library slot when they are invited to spend some time exploring the range of books on offer:

Monday - Year 2

Tuesday - Year 3

Wednesday - Year 4

Thursday - Year 5

Friday - Year 6

(Nursery, Reception and Year 1 have opportunities to visit the library during the school day).

Our team of Year 6 library buddies keep our library well-organised and are always on hand to recommend a good read!

In this area, there are lots of recommendations of books that children should read during their time at St. Joseph’s.

Mystery Reader

We regularly have Mystery Readers in school. Family members are invited into school to share stories with the children. Through providing this opportunity, reading is celebrated by the wider community. Here are some examples of how the visitors feel about this experience:

“It was such a pleasure to be able to go in to Class B and spend a little time with the lovely children. They were all so well behaved and excited, it was such a good idea and amazing to see the lovely environment that the teachers provide for the children to learn in.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with my son in his classroom and read to him. He was full of excitement and so were all of his friends.”

“It was an absolute pleasure to come into Frankie’s class and read Hairy Mclary From Donaldson’s Dairy to all the Busy Bees. Such beautiful well behaved children. I can’t wait to do it again.”

"Ivy really enjoyed reading to Class B. She was a little nervous at first but Mrs Jobburns and the class made her feel so welcome! She always asks if she can do it again. I was also invited to come and watch Ivy read, it was so lovely to see!"

Reading Buddies

Our reading buddy system, which sees children in Key Stage One paired up with a Year 6 pupil, is another way in which we develop and encourage a shared love for reading throughout the school.

Progression in questions stems from KS1 to KS2:


All year groups:
We use Purple Mash to support learning across the English curriculum. Children use their Purple Mash accounts for a range of activities, for example: fact files, non-chronological reports, mind maps, leaflets, posters, recounts and to complete quizzes to test their knowledge. 

Support in reading:

All children have the opportunity to read regularly during the week, however we know that some children may need more support in this than others. To help children who may need more support or who are on the SEN register we may:

  • offer 1:1 reading every day with an adult 
  • give them a reading buddy
  • give them differentiated books
  • give adult support during guided reading times

Where possible, this support will be given during guided reading lessons so children do not miss out on the full curriculum.