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Reading & Phonics

Reading and Phonics at St Peter's C of E Primary School





At St Peter's we aim to INSPIRE our children to develop a 'LOVE' of reading. 

Reading is at the forefront of our curriculum; through daily teaching activities, we use a variety of engaging texts to inspire children to both read and write creatively. 


We thought carefully about how we all love to 'cosy up' and read a good book. This was our inspiration for creating our vibrant, creative reading areas in each classroom across school. Our children can take time out of the school day to enjoy reading a book of their choice.


 'LOVE for reading book'

Every child is encouraged to take home a book of their choice from their classroom reading area to read at home. 


Library Goals...

Our librarians have been working extremely hard to rejuvenate our library for all to enjoy! Our library will be open all day every day for children to enjoy reading with their peers! We also have a 'mini' library in the main reception area of school (by the office.) If you'd like to borrow books to take home for you or your child to read then please take a look! 



We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary across all subjects so that they are able to decipher new words and use them in conversation with adults and peers. Have a look at our VOCABULARY displays in our classrooms! 



Children can once again enjoy reading with their peers outside, even in the colder months, children can wrap up with a cosy blanket! Our new reading trolley will allow children to choose from a variety of books outdoors! 



Individual reading



In the Nursery children begin to take home 'Love for Reading' books: A book of their choice that they can take home and read with a family member or friend. As the move through their Nursery year they begin to take home Nursery Rhyme cards and in the Spring Term,will take home their own first reading book. 


As children move into Reception they will have already experienced the first set of phonics sounds and will be able to start to blend these sounds together to read words (how exciting!)

They will bring home a reading book  that will focus on the sounds they have learnt in phonics each week aswell as a tricky word book (to learn words that are a little trickier to read!)  Your child will also bring home their LOVE for reading book. 


In Year One and Two children will also bring home books which are aligned to their phonics learning each week. As children progress further with their reading they will move onto the books in our whole-school reading scheme which will help support the children'e fluency of reading. 


Coming Soon.... Lots of exciting books for your child to access online to help support your child's reading at home. Watch out for the link!!! 




Children in the Juniors will use the whole-school reading scheme to access a wide range of books to read both at home and in school. There are a variety of genres in the reading scheme including funny stories, fiction, non-fiction and traditional tales.



New for the Juniors this year we have an exciting, virtual reading programme that they can access at school and at home, see below for more details!


Oxford Reading Buddy:


Oxford Reading Buddy is a digital reading platform for schools that coaches children's reading and comprehension skills.Oxford Reading Buddy is designed to help children develop a lifelong love of reading.Oxford Reading Buddy automatically progresses children to the correct Oxford Reading Level, ensuring each child can always independently choose from a selection of books that are right for them. The automatic reporting also allows teachers to quickly check their pupils’ progress and areas for improvement.

Oxford Reading Buddy includes: 

  • Coaching eBooks that contain a personalised ‘Reading Buddy’ who models key comprehension strategies, supporting children as they read
  • An extensive eBook library, with hundreds of eBooks from loved and trusted Oxford series such as Oxford Reading TreeTreetops, and Project X, providing children with extra practice and consolidating their learning
  • Comprehension quizzes that are carefully matched to each eBook, as well as further quizzes for Oxford’s print books that teachers may already have in their schools, deepening and developing children’s comprehension skills
  • An in-built reward system, where children gain badges as they progress in their reading, building motivation into every step of their reading journey


Your child will bring home their own username and password to join (please ask your child's class teacher if they misplace it.)


Here's the Link:



Guided Reading

Guided Reading takes place four times a week in school. In the Infants, guided reading is taught in smaller groups whilst the Juniors are taught whole class. Guided reading is centred around comprehension - children's understanding of what has been read. At St Peter's we centre our teaching of guided reading around the use of 'VIPERS' for questioning:



VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.


The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc.  As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and children are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.



Phonics at St Peter's



What is Phonics?


A method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning to associate letters or letter groups with the sounds they represent. 


There are 44 main sounds in the English Language. Each sound is represented by a grapheme (the written representation of the sound.) 


Phonics terminology: 



What is ELS?

Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen phonics programme. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (written version of the sound) within the words and using these to read the words. Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent, independent readers and writers. 


Children will begin their phonics journey in Nursery and will continue until the end of Year One (those children who will need extra support with continue Phonics in Year Two.) 




Please see the Powerpoint below for more information about how we teach phonics:

Essential Letters and Sounds PowerPoint - for more information

How we pronounce the sounds in Phonics:


Phase 2 sounds:


Phase 3 sounds: