Our Aim:

Our aim is to develop children’s abilities to communicate effectively through speech and writing, to listen with understanding and to be enthusiastic and responsive readers with a love of books.

We strongly encourage parents to take an active part in the reading process, through the use of individual Reading Record and Book Review Books and through personal contact with the class teacher. We provide a rich language environment and a good selection of fiction and non-fiction books for the children to enjoy.

Our Approach to reading:

From entering Early Years, children are taught using Floppy Phonics, which is a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills, each day. This continues into Key Stage 2 where it is revisited and revised to assist with reading and to support children’s knowledge of spelling rules.

The children have at least two reading books each week (including library books) which are selected with guidance from their teacher. Children are able to access a range of reading books which are colour coded throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. These are matched to a pupil’s reading ability and children progress through the colours when their teachers are happy that they are decoding and comprehending with accuracy.  When children become independent readers, they are able to choose books of interest as appropriate. Year groups have incentives in place to promote regular reading that is challenging, yet enjoyable, for each pupil.

Children read with an adult regularly; this varies depending upon the age and ability of the child. Through independent reading, teaching of reading, shared reading and reading for pleasure, children are given regular opportunities to develop and extend their reading skills. Throughout the school years, they are taught a variety of skills to support their reading confidence. At St. Michael’s, teachers use Reading VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieval, Summarise/Sequence) to ensure that children are able to develop and embed key comprehension skills for reading. Many Reading lessons in school focus on one of these skills for pupils to practise and develop both their oral and written responses.  

Overall, we aim to give children the tools of learning, which they can confidently use in any situation they may meet.


“You can find MAGIC wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book!”

Dr Seuss

Alongside teaching pupils to learn the skills in reading, everyone at St. Michael’s values the importance of developing children’s reading for pleasure and are incredibly proud of our pupils’ perceptions and attitudes towards their reading. By taking regular trips to the library, running book fairs and inviting in authors and story tellers, a love of reading permeates the school and encourages children to be curious and active in their own learning beyond the school walls and KS2.


Our pupils will leave St. Michael’s Primary School having achieved a mastery depth in oral blending and segmenting so they can confidently and independently apply phonic knowledge to their reading and writing.


Phonics is the knowledge of phonemes and graphemes and how these are used to read and spell many words in the English language.

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in speech, for example the word cat has 3 phonemes:    c-a-t.

A grapheme is the written representation of a phoneme, for example cat has 3 graphemes: c-a-t, however fish also has 3 graphemes: f-i-sh. Graphemes can be represented using 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.

There are 44 phonemes is the English language and around 250 graphemes.


Phonics is taught though a highly structured programme of daily lessons across Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, using Oxford Reading Tree’s Floppy’s Phonics. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme with inbuilt rigorous revision to ensure the success of every child. Along with Floppy’s Phonics, resources including Phonics Play and Espresso are used in order to meet the recommendations of DFES Letter’s and Sounds.


Phase 1 – Secure on entry to Reception

Phase 2 – Secure at end of Autumn Term, Reception

Phase 3 – Secure at end of Summer Term, Reception

Phase 4 – Working within at end of Summer Term, Reception

Phase 5 – Secure at end of Summer Term, Year 1 (Reading Purple /Gold)

Phase 6 – Secure at end of Summer Term, Year 2 (Reading Lime or beyond)



Research shows that reading regularly at home, as well as in school, is the key to academic success. In Reception, your child will bring home high frequency words and early reading scheme books when they are ready. We encourage parents to assist their children with their decoding and basic comprehension. This can be done by referring to the illustrations or text in the book and asking the children about particular vocabulary or to make basic inferences and predictions.

As your child becomes more independent with their reading, we would advise you to encourage them to read a wide range of books and other reading material.  As a parent, you can ask questions about the story that your child is reading and this will help to develop their comprehension skills. We also recognise the importance of children, no matter what age, having stories read to them.

Find below a link to the Literacy Shed website where you will find examples of comprehension questions when reading with your child.

We fully appreciate your help with supporting your child’s reading and if you do have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher.