Phonics and Reading

We love reading!


At St. James’ we seek to develop a life-long love of reading alongside the skills needed to use reading to access all other areas of life. We aim to provide a wide and diverse range of books and experiences that will build and embed the foundations of reading. We seek to enable every child to ‘see themselves in a book’ and to be able to enjoy the creative, imaginative and inspiring experiences that can abound from immersing yourself in a good book, be it fiction or non- fiction.


Our  School-wide Expectations are:


  • A love of books and reading must be evident from the moment the St. James’ academy’s doors open.

  • An extensive range of high-quality books is available for all pupils irrespective of their age and academic ability.

  • Pupils are encouraged to borrow books from well-stocked class and whole school libraries.

  • Diversity and difference are embraced through the reading books available to pupils.

  • Reading and a love of books is promoted through displays, rewards, celebrations, competitions and discussions.

  • Teachers model expert reading to children and engage them with class books and stories.

Early Reading and Phonics in KS1

We have just started using the Twinkl Phonics scheme together with Rhino Reader books. We are thoroughly enjoying having these new books to inspire our readers and the books that come home will match the phonemes and graphemes that your child is learning in Phonics.

Rhino Readers - Decodable Reading Books - Full Set of 96 Books – Twinkl Educational Publishing

Shared Reading Books

  • We have a wide range of early reading books available which children will also bring home to share with you.  Teachers will guide children to these other appropriate books which they can share with an adult at home but which may also contain less familiar words and sounds. This provides an opportunity for shared reading for pleasure.
  •  Direct, focused teaching of phonics occurs on a daily basis for all pupils in Reception and Key Stage 1. 


Useful Phonics and Reading websites:



In KS1, we also use VIPERS to support whole class reading and to enable children to learn the key skills involved in reading and comprehension.

Reading in KS2

Key Stage 2 is all about further developing a love of reading and we have reading areas and a range of books in all our classrooms and library. Children are expected to continue to read on a daily basis although we know that they sometimes get so carried away with the excitement of a story that they forget to record in reading records! We encourage parents to read regularly with their children and to talk about the books that they are reading as much as possible.

Destination Reader in KS2

DR logo.png

Used in over 200 schools Destination Reader is a programme designed to improve children’s reading, whilst making sure no one child is left behind. We use Destination Reader in our reading lessons across Key Stage 2.

By developing a deeper understanding of what’s being read, Destination Reader actively engenders a love of reading which will endure throughout your children’s lives.

DR encourages children to immerse themselves in a text and take part in meaningful discussions and questioning with their peers and teachers about the text.

Our Library

We LOVE our library with its fluffy carpet and classic quotes on the wall and our classes all have a timetabled slot to visit. Children can borrow books and there is also a lunchtime book club and library club.





Other ways we promote our love of reading:





  • Book Swap

  • Reading Raffle – with a babyccino at Costa

  • Author visits

  • Books and biscuits with the headteacher

  • Read to the dog

  • Books and butties

  • World Book Day celebration

  • Story time with the House Captains

  • Class reading scrapbooks

  • Visits to Southbourne library


Support for Parents

We really want to work together as a school family to help all our children to be readers and we massively value all that you can do to support your children with their reading.

Take a look at our powerpoint for more information or check out the top tips on The Book Trust website.

And please, please ask if you need some more ideas!

Phonics & Reading Help for Parents –  click here to access the powerpoint.


Look out for our parent shelf on our Book Swap cupboard, coming soon!

Useful Websites for Recommended Reads:


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