The Importance of Reading at Stalmine Primary School


Reading is a fundamental life skill. Alongside oracy, writing and numeracy, reading is key to allowing children to succeed not only in school but in life.


When teaching reading at Stalmine School, we want our children to develop the skills to allow them to leave school with the ability to read and comprehend texts that challenge, engage and support learning. We teach children to select strategies to engage with, understand and appreciate what they are reading.


When supporting and fostering a love of reading at Stalmine School, we want our children to leave knowing a range of authors from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and cultures who can take our pupils on a tour of our world and beyond through the pages of their books.



Early Reading at Stalmine: Building Foundations for a life-long love of Reading

The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework sets the standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five in England. Development Matters, the non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage, can help schools and providers meet the learning and development requirements set out in the EYFS.


Our intention is that all our pupils become successful, fluent readers and writers by the end of Key Stage One. We believe that this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with regular, daily opportunities for developing reading skills. The teaching of phonics is a key strategy that is used to help our children to read, write and spell independently. Our Policy is based on recommendations from DfE: The Reading Framework; Early Reading and the Inspection Framework; EEF: Phonics.

No later than July 2022, Stalmine will be using a Phonics Scheme validated by the DfE. In the transition period, Stalmine Primary will continue to use Letters and Sounds whilst we ensure we have the right scheme for our pupils which will ensure the high quality teaching of phonics and provide our pupils with the skills necessary to successfully decode texts and become fluent readers.

Our phonics sessions are supported with Rising Stars: Rocket Phonics reading books and closely match the sounds taught within the phonics sessions in school. 


Rising Stars: Rocket Phonics progression document

Stalmine Reading Book Bands

Phonics: Home Reading

Early Reading: Expectations for Home Learning


Parents are encouraged to read daily with their child. Regular reading at home gives the opportunity for younger children to use segmenting and blending techniques learned in phonics sessions. Parents are encouraged to attend a Phonics session, early in Autumn term. This ensures correct pronunciation and strategies to be used at home.

Two home reading books are provided. The first is a fully decodable reading book for the child to read, develop fluency and blending, practising the GPCs taught. Decodable reading books link with the sounds taught in phonics sessions and will not go beyond that. The second is a non-decodable book to be read to the child by an adult. The focus with the second book is to develop an enjoyment of books, widen vocabulary and to encourage ‘book talk’.


Whole School Reading: Talk for Reading


There are 3 elements to any reading curriculum: reading culture (reading for pleasure); learning to read; learning to comprehend. None of these can be taught in isolation. Positive reading behaviours are modelled by all staff.  Class novels are chosen carefully to link with childrens’ interests and to explore new worlds and new cultures. At Stalmine, texts in English, reading lessons and curriculum lessons are carefully chosen to encourage a life-long love of reading. Pupil views are regularly collected and shared with staff. Our reading ambassadors review books and recommend to their peers. Time and space is provided in all classes to read together and independently.



You can read more about Stalmine's Approach to the teaching and celebration of reading here: