Reading at Saint John Southworth RC Primary School


At St John Southworth RC Primary School we believe that reading is the most important thing that children learn at school.

Reading is the key to future success.

Learning to read is like learning a code and the letters are the symbols for the code. If you know what the symbols mean you can crack the code.

Aims and Objectives for Reading

At St John Southworth we aim:

  • to employ successfully appropriate strategies in reading, including phonic skills, word recognition and the use of picture and contextual cues.
  • to develop reading comprehension skills
  • to develop increasing independence in (i) reading for enjoyment, and (ii) in selecting and using books and other printed material as sources of information develop the facility to discriminate critically in terms of what is useful, what has quality and what gives personal satisfaction.

To achieve these, we will endeavour:

1. To provide a range and variety of books which are easily accessible to teachers and pupils, which are up-to-date and in good condition, and are at an appropriate level for the children.

2. To promote the skills of decoding and comprehension by providing opportunities and experiences in the areas of phonic skills, picture and contextual cues and word recognition.

3. To foster the enjoyment of books and reading via strategies such as:

  • hearing stories and poems read aloud with followup activities where appropriate
  • encouraging voluntary reading
  • providing opportunities for uninterrupted, sustained silent reading appropriate to the pupils’ ages
  • involving parents and establishing home/school links
  • by organising occasional book fairs, book weeks, etc.
  • by providing a range of stimuli, eg video clips, DVDs, pictures to enhance and encourage learning.
  • by allowing opportunities for reading aloud to an audience
  • regular use of the library

4. To encourage pupils to select and read their own materials from a variety of sources for a variety of purposes, and to use retrieval systems confidently.

To establish a framework for pupils to express opinions on (i) the style, (ii) the content, (iii) the suitability, and (iv) the level of personal satisfaction.

5. To read for a variety of purposes in the shared, guided and independent parts of English learning.



Selection of Books

At Key Stage 1 the reading books are scheme based and are read sequentially by all children except (i) where a fluent reader may omit selected titles, and (ii) where a pupil requires consolidation before progressing to more difficult texts. Each child has guided reading scheme books, and a free choice book from the library. 

In Years 3 and 4 the books are graded according to maturity/difficulty level for guided reading. Group sets of novels are used as well as the reading scheme. In Years 5 and 6 the texts are novels and non-fiction books, graded for the different ability groups in the class. In addition to these KS2 children also have a class library from which they may choose a book of their own choice.

Across the school, children have access to the school library and are encouraged to make use of topic boxes for nonfiction material.