Learning to Read and Loving to Read at St Luke’s!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss


Reading is an essential life skill that is central to learning at St Luke’s.  We particularly want the children to develop a love of books which they carry with them into adult life. We aim for all children to be able to have a love of reading and a range of decoding skills by 7 and be enthusiastic, fluent and independent readers by 11.

How We Teach Reading At St Luke’s


Hearing Stories and Sharing Books

From reception,  we share our love of books with children through reading them quality stories and non-fiction. Each class has a book area where children can relax and enjoy reading quality texts. We ensure that these books represent  the diverse world we live in and challenge gender and other stereotyping.

Working out the Words

We help  children to become readers by  teaching them to use a range of reading strategies throughout their learning journey: These include daily, fun and active phonics sessions in the infants to learn to recognise the 44 letter-sound relationships  commonly used in the English language. These lessons use ‘Jolly Phonics’ to teach each letter-sound through stories , actions and pictures

(see ‘Resources for helping you child with phonics’ for further information).

Reading is not just working out each word. To help children to foster a love of reading, they need to understand what they have read. We teach them to a range of strategies such as using the punctuation and asking questions about what is happening .

This sheet usefully summarises the strategies we teach:

For further information on the essential role of supportive adults at home in developing their children’s reading please read ‘How to Help Your Child With Reading’ below.

Reciprocal Reading

From year 1, fluent readers start to learn Reciprocal Reading Strategies to aid comprehension through encouraging children to clarify for meaning, summarise texts, predict and question. They are encouraged to use the text to support answers and back up their inferences. The junior reading booklet ‘Continuing the help your child develop as a reader’ describes this in more detail (see link ‘How to Help Your Child With Reading’ below).

Loving books:

St Luke’s children love books! This is because:

·         They are taught how to choose, read and understand their texts

·         They can access  a wide variety of stimulating, quality texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry about  people from different cultures, backgrounds,  gender and ethnicity.

·         They are encouraged to recommend books to reach other

·         They have the chance to exchange books with their friends so they have free new reading materials during  termly ‘book swap’ events

·         They become independent readers and transfer these skills across the curriculum

·         The children also experience activities and events such as: Book Week, Adopt-an-Author, City Reads, library visits, theatre and puppet shows.

Quality Reading Material

St Luke’s children learn to read using a mixture of quality books from different reading schemes and ‘real’ books. They enjoy reading books which reflect the world and its wonderful diversity.

When Is Reading Taught?

·         Daily guided reading sessions or Reciprocal Reading sessions.

·         Whole class stories and readers.

·         The use of Reading Ambassadors and Peer Readers (see peer learning)

·         Through the partnership with grown-ups who support their children reading at home (see reading guidance below).

·         Through reading activities in other subjects.

·         Through the support of Reading Volunteers – each class from Reception to Year 5 have at least one reading volunteer reads to and with children.

How To Help Your Child With Reading

If you do one thing to help your child flourish,  read to them regularly at home as well as listen to them read !  Children’s experiences of reading at home have a huge impact on their reading skills and their enthusiasm for reading. Indeed, regularly reading and enjoying books outside school has a significant impact on personal development, emotional and social consequences and educational success (taken from ‘Research evidence in Reading for Pleasure’ DFE May 2012)

Here is a brief guide to reading with your Reception child at home:

Here is a brief guide to reading with your Year One or Two child:

Here is a brief guide to reading with your Junior child:

Here is a video explaining how to support your child once they have become a fluent reader:

Accessing free reading materials

·         Use your local Library ! It is free and your child is far more likely to want to read a book if they have chosen it themselves!

·         Do you have Amazon Prime? If so, you can access ‘prime reading’ for free which has a good range of children’s books that you can read via an app or a kindle.

·         You can now also access lovely reading material online:




Resources For Helping Your Child With Phonics

Here are the Jolly Phonics actions and images that help the children in the infants learn the 42 letter/sound relationships that make up the English language – have fun practising with your child at home!

Each year, we run a ‘Learning To Read’ workshop in the spring term. This is for parents/ carers of reception children as well anyone from the infants who feels that they need a refresher on how to help their child with basic reading skills. We also run workshops in the autumn term to explain our approach to phonics and how you can help in more detail.

Following the workshops, families are provided with the following information/resources to help them support their children:

Reception reading meeting

Phonics workshop yR

Phonic games ideas

Phonics workshop year 1

Want To know More?

Click below to read our Reading policy.