• Reading at Stramongate School

Reading at Stramongate School

Reading is one of our top teaching and learning priorities. We recognise the central importance of reading in allowing children to access the curriculum and to generate a love of reading.  We use the Little Wandle phonics scheme, a  ‘phonics first approach’ to teach children how to read. Alongside this we encourage a ‘reading to learn’ focus as children master the art of how to read. This develops the children’s ability to understand what the text is about and gives a purpose to their reading.

A really useful webpage with explanatory videos and resources for parents to help explain what phonics first teaching is all about can be found at:


The Reading Scheme

At Stramongate School our younger readers use Collins Big Cats Phonics books that feature an exciting mix of stories and non-fiction to foster a love of reading in all children, matched to the Little Wandle progression. This ensures our reading books are closely matched to the children's phonic abilities. As children become more accomplished readers they move onto our central, core reading scheme and these books have been Book Banded by colour to allow children to select their Home / School Reading Books.

Children are monitored via the Home /School Reading Diary or Reading Journal and are also encouraged to read a variety of real books from Home, School and public libraries. We make use of the Cumbria Schools’ Library Service to supplement our stock of reading books through their Project Loans service plus visits to the local library.

Some children will make use of more tightly structured reading books, located in the ‘Braincell’, where our Inclusion Team are based. Our Inclusion Team also has access to diagnostic tests and reading intervention resources should they be required. We constantly monitor reading progress through a variety of formal and informal checks and also by listening to what parents are saying about their child’s progress. Children who are finding the art of reading that bit trickier, are given more individualised support.

The School Reading ‘Diet’

Over the course of a normal week the children will typically:

  • Read with the class teacher in a group during Practise Reading (For Reception Year One and Year Two this can be as many as 3 times a week!)
  • KS2 children engage in whole class reading approaches
  • Read different types of texts during literacy and other lessons
  • Listen and share class stories;
  • Read 1:1 daily with an adult, should this benefit their stage of learning;
  • Take an active part in phonics sessions, until confident in this approach;
  • Have access to the class library and;
  • Be encouraged to read at home as well.

Promoting a Love of Reading…

As well as ‘Learning to Read’ and ‘Reading to Learn’ we try hard to promote a real passion and enthusiasm for reading in all its forms. To support this approach, we hold an annual Book Week which coincides with World Book Day involving story tellers, library visits, an ‘Extreme Reading’ photographic competition, dressing up as a favourite book character and lots more! Some of our Year 6 children organise a weekly, lunchtime Book Club.  Staffs promote and give access to reading material in all subject areas including computer / tablet-based reading.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings before School starts, parents and children are given early access to the classrooms where they can read quietly with their child and also support the children with their out of school tasks. Links are made with our partner Secondary Schools to ensure that reading development continues after Y6 via visits to the Learning Resource Centre at Queen Katherine School.

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Let's READ, READ, READ :-)