Welcome to St. Peter's CE Primary, Heswall! We are an Ofsted-rated GOOD school (2024) and a GOOD in all areas (2023) SIAMS-rated school!

Reading in KS1 and KS2

At St. Peter’s, we believe our golden thread of PETERS Values should weave its way through our curriculum, including our subject of Reading and Phonics.


We want children to learn to read so that they can enjoy a wide variety of stories and poems, develop their acquisition and understanding of language, feed their imaginations and develop an awareness of authors and author styles. We also recognise that children need to read to find information which will support and enrich their learning and enable them to fully access our curriculum. We aim to develop a love of books and learning by providing our children with access and exposure to a wide variety of texts throughout their time at St Peter’s.

At St Peter’s, we are guided by the National Curriculum for English - Reading (2014). The National Curriculum for English- Reading consists of 2 dimensions:

  • word reading

  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

Based on this, we aim to ensure that all pupils have: 

  • discrete, daily phonics teaching from the very start of school

  • the ability to speedily decode familiar and unfamiliar words with the overall aim of automaticity 

  • the ability to read fluently and with confidence

  • good comprehension skills

  • access to a wide range and genre of books

  • an appreciation and love of reading 

  • an increased vocabulary and developed language skills

We intend for our children to be inspired and enthused by books so reading is embedded in all areas of the curriculum.



Phonics and Spelling

The teaching of phonics is key to the development of good reading skills, and consequently writing skills. Children learn the sounds within words to help decode them. In EYFS, they learn to recognise each letter and match it to its sound. They then move onto groups of two letters (digraphs) or three letters (trigraphs) that say a new sound when put together. They learn how to pronounce these sounds (phonemes) correctly so that they can segment and blend words correctly. Children are also taught to recognise common high frequency words and 'tricky' words as well as being able to spell these. We follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds to teach phonics throughout EYFS and KS1.

EYFS and KS1 children have daily phonics lessons and this learning is then consolidated during English lessons and reading sessions to ensure that children use phonics as the route to decoding unfamiliar words.  Books are matched to the children’s phonetic understanding. We ensure that any child who has not passed the phonics check by the end of KS1 has further phonics teaching into KS2. In Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) teachers use the ‘Read Write Inc’ spelling programme, introducing new spelling patterns, providing different opportunities to apply the spelling pattern. This is supplemented by tailored, specific spelling sessions designed to meet the needs of the pupils. Spelling is also covered where appropriate through our writing programme of study. Our provision for phonics continues in KS2 for those children who have not completed the Little Wandle phonics programme. Those children will move onto the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-Up programme, in order to give the children the skills, confidence and ability to decode and read texts.

Whole Class Shared Reading

Whole class shared reading is also taught throughout school and provides daily teaching of reading for ALL children with access to high quality texts, quality modelling of reading, opportunities to discuss vocabulary, punctuation and expression and all at a level higher than which they can independently read. Across school, we refer to this time as VIPERS and focus on 6 key reading skills.

  • Vocabulary

  • Infer

  • Predict

  • Explain

  • Retrieve

  • Summarise

Our whole class reading sessions in KS2 take place 4 x a week for 25 minutes. Within these sessions our teachers model reading strategies during shared whole class reading sessions. These involve high quality, age-appropriate texts which are carefully selected by our staff. These are read to or with the children and provide an opportunity to teach children specific reading skills to widen their vocabulary and develop their levels of comprehension, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Questions are planned by teachers in advance to help children access a range of skills to help them to develop a greater understanding of a range of reading materials including fiction, non-fiction and poetry materials.

Children read during these sessions in a variety of different ways. They may hear the teacher model fluent reading and then have time to reread the same extract themselves, they may read individually and feedback, work in groups, take turns in pairs or read aloud to the their peers. You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.

In our reading lessons, we use reading VIPERS (based on materials from ‘The Literacy Shed’) to help support our pupils to understand what a good reader looks like and how to approach answering reading questions.

Recording and Assessment during whole-class reading sessions

We encourage children to orally talk through their answers and ensure it is the best they can give before writing anything down. We also acknowledge it is good for children to also be able to formally record an answer. Children can do this in a variety of different ways such as discussing the answer first with peers and/or an adult and then writing their best answer, working individually and then editing their answer accordingly after discussion or orally discussing 1 or 2 of the questions and writing down the others working individually.

During this reading session teachers focus on specific children during the session, this may mean hearing them read individually whilst others are reading independently, in pairs or groups, discussing answers with those children and working one to one or within a group with them during a session whilst the others form an answer independently. Teachers can then assess these children based on NC expectations and how they are performing relating to the specific content domain.

Children are encouraged to provide evidence for their answer based on a text extract or a picture they have seen in the book. Where appropriate children are encouraged to use evidence from a range of different places within the text, following the APE (Answer, Prove, Explain) strategy. This is explicitly taught by staff and modelled to pupils using sentence stems to secure understanding.

Reading for Pleasure

To wider promote a love of reading we encourage visits to the local library, the library van and visiting books fairs. We participate in national days such as World Book Day and invite authors and story tellers into school. We take part in the reading challenges and summer reading challenges at the local libraries and also have Book Swaps where children can donate read books and exchange with other pupils.

Year group


Year 3

Phonics Interventions and Spelling 

Read aloud every two weeks with the class teacher

Whole Class Shared Reading sessions 4 x weekly – written response in reading journals

Whole Class Reader

Year 4

Read aloud every two weeks with the class teacher

Whole Class Shared Reading sessions 4 x weekly – written response in reading journals

Whole Class Reader

Year 5

Daily Independent Reading

Whole Class Shared Reading sessions 4 x weekly – written response in reading journals

Whole Class Reader

Year 6

Daily Independent Reading

Whole Class Shared Reading sessions 4 x weekly – written response in reading journals

Whole Class Reader


Our English Curriculum is high quality, mastery led and is planned to ensure progression. Our teachers measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Ensuring children are provided with a wide range of stimulating books, authors and genres using recommended reading lists for each year group.

  • EYFS and Key Stage 1 have daily phonics sessions and access phonetically decodable books, matching the sounds they have been taught.

  • Writing sessions and whole class shared reading sessions are led by high quality texts.

  • Encourage parents to read with children at home and discuss books.

  • Value parental input and communicate through Home School Diaries.

  • Summative termly data tracking through Target Tracker. 

  • Running records and NFER scaled-score assessments are used termly (or when appropriate) alongside teacher assessment.

The leadership team and English Subject Leaders check that this impact is being secured through monitoring the subject on a regular and frequent basis. The method of monitoring supports the ongoing development of the curriculum. This includes:

  • Staff subject knowledge, which is continuously developed throughout the year through training courses, moderation opportunities and lesson observations.

  • Regular staff meetings to discuss and evaluate the latest guidance and best practise within the subject. From this, new strategies and methods of teaching are shared and implemented. 

  • Analysis of year group data to ensure progress and attainment and identify any need for early intervention.

  • The monitoring of books and lessons against the non-negotiables, so that inconsistencies can be addressed.

  • Tracking of content against the long-term plan of the school, to ensure the full breadth of the curriculum is met.

  • CPD for leaders through the English subject leader meetings (SarahSquared)

The impact of this is to ensure that children at St Peter’s are fluent, confident and capable readers, which will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.