St Luke's Primary

Reading Curriculum

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum at St Luke's and we encourage all children to develop a love of the written word. With this aim in mind, we have developed our Read Aloud Spine : a core set of books that are read aloud by teachers and loved by pupils as they move through the school. These books are selected from a wide range and include stories from a variety of cultures, as well as well-known classics and some more modern favourites.

Children of all ages love being read to, so we encourage children and parents to check if the local library has any of these on their shelves!

At St Luke’s we strive to ensure that children become confident readers by systematically teaching them a range of strategies that will enable them to read fluently and with good understanding. In becoming confident readers, children will be able to access information to support their development in all curriculum areas and develop an enjoyment of reading that will enrich their lives.

St Luke's Progression in Reading

Phonics at St Luke's

Children at St Luke’s are introduced to phonics through the St Luke's Letters and Sounds scheme in Nursery. The scheme is followed throughout Reception, Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2, where necessary.

All children in Reception and Year 1 participate in a 30-minute whole class daily session of focused phonics teaching and activities. Regular assessment, using Phonics Tracker, ensures children who are struggling to acquire sounds are allocated to appropriate support groups to close any gaps.

St Luke’s consistently scores above average in phonics in Year 1 - in 2018/19 93.3% of children achieved a pass in the Phonics Screen. Very few children do not secure a pass. Those who do not pass are usually successful in Year 2 and the limited number of children who do not secure a pass in Year 2 continue with the St Luke's Letters and Sounds scheme in Year 3 and beyond.

Where children are unable to decode a whole word using their phonics skills the words are taught as 'heart' words. Children use their knowledge of phonics to read the decodable aspects of the words and are taught to learn the non-decodable aspects by 'heart'.

Reading at St Luke's

At St Luke’s, we focus on fluency as well as comprehension. The teaching sequence begins with fluency, promoting children’s ability to decode written language at word and sentence level, while learning to search for meaning in the text. The comprehension reading domains are taught through the VIPERS approach.                         

V  Vocabulary 

I    Inference

P  Prediction

E  Explain

R  Retrieval

S  Sequence (KS1)

     Summarise (KS2)



Teachers use their phonics assessments in Reception and Year 1 to group children according to their phonetic knowledge. Stage-appropriate texts are chosen from the school's fully phonetically decodable schemes.

Support staff from across school are deployed to Year 1 from Autumn and to Reception from Autumn 2 between 9.00 – 10.00 each day.

Children take part in daily 30 minute reading sessions in groups of 6 with 1 adult per group following a set teaching sequence:

Each session starts with the sounds and heart words featured in the text

Monday: Vocabulary, Decoding and Prediction 

Tuesday: Reading with expression 

Wednesday: Retrieval Skills

Thursday:  Inference Skills

Friday: Dictated Sentences              



Children take their book home each Friday to share with parents and carers, who are encouraged to help develop their child's reading confidence and expression by listening to them read aloud and to ensure good understanding by discussing the themes and events in the book.

From Years 2 to 6, children take part in a 30-minute whole class reading session. A variety of stimuli, such as films, extracts and whole texts, are used to inspire children, capture their imagination and promote a life long love of reading.

Teaching sequence:

Monday: Introduce the text to the whole class, identify challenging vocabulary and complete prediction task.

Tuesday: Paired work on vocabulary

Wednesday: Individual work using retrieval skills

Thursday: Individual work using inference skills 

Friday: Individual work using explanation skills



As well as a daily whole-class reading session, children read in a small group once a week with a member of support staff. The groups are based on teacher assessment and summative data. When children have a secure phonetic knowledge, texts are chosen from our colour-banded scheme: these books are read and shared at home with parents.

Formative assessments are made by teachers and support staff through group work and whole class reading sessions. Summative assessments are carried out termly using NFER standardised tests. The assessments are both used to identify gaps in learning, to allocate children appropriate small-group support and to identify children who need further challenge.

St Luke’s consistently performs above the national average in reading. In 2018/19 88% of Key Stage 1 children achieved the expected standard and 41% achieved the greater depth standard. In KS2 92% of Key Stage 2 children achieved the expected standard and 28% achieved the greater depth standard. In 2018 and 2019 children achieved above average progress at the end of Key Stage 2.