Stithians Community Primary School

Stithians Community Primary School

Inspiration - Understanding - Value - Responsibility

Stithians CP School, Church Road, Stithians, Truro, Cornwall, TR3 7DH

01209 860547



At Stithians C P School, we endeavour to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all our children become fluent, confident and enthusiastic life-long readers, enabling them to enter secondary education equipped with the skills to succeed and reach their full potential. We believe that reading underpins many aspects of learning and therefore encourages engagement with key texts and media across our curriculum. Through books and a love of reading, children explore far more about the world they live in and learn to appreciate the wonders it offers. We therefore encourage and enable the exploration of a wide range of genres, authors and cultures, which in turn develops our readers into thoughtful, generous and caring individuals who live and breathe our ethos.


At Stithians C P School, we have a systematic approach to reading which endeavours to ensure that all children make sufficient, or above, progress across their time in our care. We follow the National Curriculum programme of study, to ensure that the children are achieving attainment relevant to their appropriate age, but we do not believe in putting a ceiling on a child’s ability and therefore always strive to challenge children to achieve the best that they possibly can.

Phonics and Reading: Early Years and Key Stage 1:

PHONICS - (for more information see 'Useful Documents' below.

In Early Years and Key Stage 1, the development of reading begins with the systematic and rigorous teaching of daily phonics, using Bug Club Phonics. These 30 minute sessions are planned and resourced using the Bug Club Phonics approach to ensure that teaching is consistent and that all children receive the same high quality, systematic approach to phonics. In these lessons, children quickly build a knowledge of phonemes and graphemes, as well as an increasing recognition of sight words. Summative assessments are used at least every 6 weeks, to ensure that children are working at the correct phase, but formative assessment is applied daily by the phonics teachers to ensure the children are continually receiving their 'next step' learning.

At the end of Year 1,children will complete a statutory Phonics Screening Test-


For those children who did not pass the phonics screening test in Year 1, additional small group interventions will take place in Year 2 before they are tested again.



Reading books in EYFS and KS1 are consistent with their assessed phonic stage and allow children to apply their phonic knowledge in school and at home. As part of Early Reading practice, children are exposed to their phonetically decodable book through weekly guided reading sessions. These are carried out by trained reading teachers and assistants. Additionally in Year 2, whole class reading sessions and smaller group sessions are used to explore a text or relevant piece of media and enables the practise of key reading skills. This approach depends on the time of year and ability of the children.  Parents and children can access their child's books online through Activelearn and their Bug Club account.  These accounts will be updated weekly by the class teacher with one or two books directly related to what they are learning in school.

Children are also encouraged to take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book. This book allows other reading strategies to be employed and children are exposed to a greater range of vocabulary and genres. It also serves to meet their interests and preferences.


READING at home  - things parents can do to help.

As young children continue to develop and get older, one of the most important aspects of their development is language development. Every parent is eager for their child to come home reading fluently, but that skill starts many years before. Reading at home with your children helps them to strengthen their language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Research shows that there can be up to a “million-word gap” for children who are not read to at home versus those who are. The study found that children who were read 5 children’s books a day at home had heard over one million words more than those who were not read to at home. That million-word gap, has a huge impact on a child’s ability to comprehend and understand vocabulary words. 

Here are some suggestions to help make a reading routine at your home and build successful readers no matter what age they are:

Whether you read one book or five that night, whether you read to your child, they read to you or they read to themselves, carving out time to dedicate to reading helps to teach children that reading is important and a priority in their lives.
Reading with young children can be a challenge for those who do not concentrate well.Try to find a quiet spot that allows them to not be distracted. Curling up in your lap in a favorite chair or in their room is a great way to help focus children on the book as well as show them you care. 
For older children being in a comfortable and quiet spot allows them to immerse themselves in their book with little or no distraction.
Try going to your local library to check out a book or a bookstore to buy some new children’s books. Involving children in locating books gives them a sense of ownership and allows them to voice their preferences and practise making good choices.

No matter the age, interact with the book by asking questions. If you have a book that happens to have more words on the page then they will concentrate on, engage the child by asking questions about the pictures and what they think may happen next. Try asking open-ended questions to hear your child’s thoughts on what the book is talking about versus questions that can be answered with a simple one-word answer. 
As you read with a child, explain to them how to handle and book and how to read it. Point to the words as you read them aloud so that children can learn that you read books moving from left to right one line at a time. Teach them how the title of the books tells us what it is about and how to turn the pages softly.Taking care of books properly is an important skill for a young reader to have!
More than anything, reading should be fun! Choose books on topics that your child is passionate about. If they are into robots, dinosaurs, princesses, trains, or animals, find books that fit those topics. By picking a book topic that interests your child, you will have very little issue in engaging them for short periods of time to look at the pictures and follow along as you read!

Remember that the goal for family reading time is to enjoy spending time together while your child accesses a wide variety of books and new words. Even from a young age, children continue to hear and pick up new vocabulary words daily! Reading with you nightly is a key component in making sure your child has the literary foundation needed to be successful in school and in life.

Reading in Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, the children who have not completed the schools chosen SSP programme are assessed regularly, by experienced phonics teachers, to ensure that they have Phonics teaching pitched at the appropriate level. Children who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2 are monitored, to ensure that they have opportunities to reach the age related level of attainment.

In addition to Guided Reading lessons, whole class reading forms the basis of reading teaching in Key Stage 2 and is delivered as part of ‘Writing for Purpose’, our approach to English from September 2021. These sessions have a key book, piece of text or engaging media at their core and develop key comprehension and reading skills, through exploration as a whole class. These sessions allow all children, including less confident readers, to access, discuss and understand texts etc above their reading level, building their knowledge of vocabulary, context, genre and purpose, to name a few. Differentiation within the sessions ensures that all children are planned for and challenged to get the most out of the text or key media they are studying. Teachers use their discretion to decide which children should be exposed to these sessions and which children may need tailored 1-1 or small group reading instead.

Reading from Year 2 onwards is supported using age/ability levelled books. Children are assessed on this programme once they have completed our chosen SSP programme. Teachers assess children on their comprehension skills on a regular basis, through the activities/tests, which then gives the individual a targeted ‘reading range’. This range gives children the opportunity to choose a book that interests them and that will also continue to support them in their reading progress. Pupils take reading books home from our ‘Reading Nook’ and library to practise the skills they are learning in school. These books are banded according to language and comprehension level. If children are consistently succeeding in the level of books they are reading, then they are encouraged to read books that are higher within their range. The class teacher will continuously check, through reading lessons, to ensure children are reading within their correct range.


Reading Opportunities in school

We are very blessed to have opened a wonderful new library, which the children can access during school time. Each classroom also has an engaging and inspiring reading area, where classroom books are displayed and are accessible to children. As a school, we regularly update these areas with new/rotated books, to keep them fresh and engaging for the children. We have worked hard over the past two years, and are continuing to fund-raise, with the support of the PTA and our school community, to invest in quality texts for all these areas.

Come and take a peak at all our classroom reading areas

Click the photos to get a better look at our wonderful library and the librarians who take care of it.

Our 'reading nook' is a lovely place to search for your next book

As reading underpins many areas of learning our curriculum is linked to key texts, which drive both the core and foundation curriculum. Children learn to make links, explore in depth and discuss confidently their ‘Killer Facts’ and key content through engaging with a variety of authors, illustrators, books and texts, linked to the overriding theme of the topic. This changes half-termly or termly and is adapted to engage the interest of the children each year, especially important in ensuring interest and engagement for our reluctant readers in Key Stage 2.

We encourage a love of reading through daily whole class story time, where books are carefully selected to engage and excite our children. We also encourage the children to partake in different reading focused weeks. Displays around the school inspire and express a strong and positive reading culture.

We believe in offering a wide variety of opportunities to our pupils and therefore endeavour to engage with a variety of activities throughout the year. We hold an annual Book Fair, celebrate World Book Day and celebrate a Literacy focus week, with a key author visit where possible. 


The impact of Reading success in our school is measured through the following:

  • Pupils will be able to decode and recognise enough sight words at the end of their Key Stage 1 programme of study to be able to confidently and fluently read a text at their level
  • Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all reading lessons
  • Pupils will enjoy reading across a range of genres
  • Once children have progressed through our chosen SSP programme, pupils will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors
  • Pupils will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non disadvantaged)



information to follow

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