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"If you read, the world is yours!"  Michael Rosen


At St Hilda’s, we recognise that the ability to read independently and effectively for meaning is one of the most important skills that we can teach our children from the very earliest age. It allows access to all other areas of the curriculum and is a vital life skill. Therefore, we place the systematic teaching of reading at the very heart of our curriculum.


Through reading, our pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. They will develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We want our pupils to be able to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information, acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language and appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.

Choosing Suitable Books & Reading Schemes Used


When children start our school in Reception, they are given a reading book with no words (lilac book band). This is to support children as they learn how to look at books independently, how to handle them carefully and how to hold them the correct way up and turn pages. This also helps them to understand how stories are structured, make predictions about what might happen at the end and describe settings, events and main characters (using illustrations to support). 


After this, children move on to book band books with words. These books are carefully matched to children’s reading ability and support their reading of high frequency words alongside words that are phonetically decodable. Our reading is supporting by the following schemes:


  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Project X
  • Collins Big Cat
  • Rising Stars
  • Bug Club


Our phonic reading books are closely matched to children’s phonetic ability and follow the same order as our phonic scheme. For example, in Reception, the first phonic reading book sent home with the children will include the first six letters from 'Securing the Basics' (Phase 2) - s  a  t  p  i  n. The book will include sounds which have been taught previously in class and will be used to consolidate prior learning. Our phonic reading books are from the following schemes:


  • Phonic Books (including Tell a Story, Dandelion Readers, Catch-Up Readers)
  • Letters and Sounds Collection (fiction and non-fiction)
  • Collins Big Cat


Further details of how we teach reading across school can be found in our policy below. 

Reading at Home


The focus for home reading at St Hilda’s is to consolidate reading progress and involve parents/carers in their child’s learning. We provide the opportunity for children to self-select their own reading books within an appropriate reading level so that they can develop a positive reading habit, have views on the books, authors or genres they enjoy and are able to read for pleasure. 


In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, children will bring home three reading books - a book they know (based on their current reading level), a phonic reading book and a library book. In KS2, children will bring home two reading books - a book they know (based on their current reading level) and a library book. We expect that our children will read at least three times per week at home and that this will be recorded in their reading record book. 


The Book Trust have lots of useful information to support with reading. You can find the links below. 


Book Trust - Reading with your Child - 3-4 years

Book Trust - Reading with your Child - 4-6 years

Book Trust - Bath, Book, Bed Routine

Guided Reading & Talk in Reception


Children in Reception take part in at least one focused guided reading & talk session each week. During this session, a small group of children will share a book together. The book will be a banded book and be closely matched to the group reading ability. This will be at ‘instructional level’ and give them something of a challenge, whilst also ensuring that they will not be frustrated because the book is too difficult. There is a strong phonic focus in Reception with the class teacher modelling blending skills previously taught in phonics sessions. A list of high frequency words taken from the text will also be shared with the children on flashcards so they can spot them when reading. During the introduction, any tricky vocabulary or interesting words from the text will be shared so that children have a clear understanding of the meaning and can see the words in context. Our reading policy also details how reading is taught across school. 

Guided Reading in KS1


In KS1, guided reading takes place five times a week and is taught in a carousel alongside other independent activities such as Active Spelling, Teach Your Monster to Read, phonics games and comprehension tasks. The sessions have a strong phonics focus as our children learn to decode effectively. In Years 1 and 2, the children are introduced to the KS1 National Curriculum reading content domains as they begin to answer questions around vocabulary, retrieval, sequencing, inference and prediction. These sessions are 30 minutes long and are planned over the week to ensure that all of the content domains are covered. Our reading policy also details how reading is taught across school. 

Guided Reading in KS2


In KS2, guided reading takes place daily and is taught using a whole class approach. Each session is 30 minutes long and follows the same structure across the key stage. Sessions on Monday and Friday are linked to our class novel. Questions on Monday focus on recap, retrieval, explanation and author choice. Questions on Friday focus on prediction, sequencing and summary. Sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are based on shorter texts or extracts, sometimes linked to our topic but not always. These sessions, like Monday and Friday, focus on the KS2 National Curriculum reading content domains – particularly inference and retrieval. There is also a big focus on vocabulary during these sessions and lots of opportunity to talk. Below is our Reading Overview for KS2 detailing the texts we use to support our whole class guided reading approach. Our reading policy also details how reading is taught across school. 

World Book Day 2022

Check out our dedicated page for WBD this year! Why not join in and sing with MC Grammar or share a story with your family? We'll be adding lots more as we have fun on the day!



  • St Hilda's CE (VA) Primary School
  • Whittaker Lane, Prestwich, Manchester, Lancashire, M25 1HA
  • Email:
  • 0161 7986227