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St Peter's Catholic Primary School

St Peter's Catholic Primary School


Learning to read is one of the most important skills your child will learn at our school, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.

We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

Please click here to access our most recent parent reading workshop for Reception and KS1. 

Early Reading 

We get children off to a rapid start in reading using our Phonics Bug reading scheme from the start of the Reception class. 

Phonics Bug is a programme which fully matches our 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme and gives children a firm, fun foundation in using phonics to read.  The scheme has both fiction books and non-fiction books, which are matched to the sounds the children will be learning from phase 2 to phase 5. The books are fun, varied and packed with humour, each book features a selection of decodable (can be sounded out) and phase appropriate 'tricky words', making them just right for children to read independently. 

Helpful notes for parents on the inside front cover of each book highlight tricky words and give you ideas for before and during reading, and the inside back covers include ideas for delving deeper after reading to check understanding. You can also find out more on how our reading programme works using the links below. 

Children will receive two Phonics Bug books per week while they are mastering phonic acquisition and decoding. 

Once children are working towards the end of phase 5, they will have become more confident and accurate readers with a good understanding of our complex phonetic code. They are now ready to move onto the next step of their reading journey and become Rainbow Readers 

Rainbow Readers 

Now that they are reading confidently, our focus moves to developing children's understanding of what they are reading.

'Rainbow Readers' bridges the gap between phonic based readers and the Reading Challenge. When children are Rainbow Readers they will be able to read a range of engaging texts that are appropriate for their level.

We use the National Book Banding scheme to ensure that children are reading at just the right level of challenge. Each Book Band level has its own colour; which is why the scheme is called Rainbow Readers. 

Children start their Rainbow Reader journey on Orange Level and progress through the following colour bands as they are ready:

  • Orange
  • Turquoise
  • Purple
  • Gold
  • White
  • Lime

The books in each colour band are a careful selection from various reading schemes including titles from:

  • Bug Club
  • Oxford reading tree
  • Treetops
  • PM Readers
    and others

Rainbow Readers will receive two books from their current level per week to read at home. 

Once children are reading confidently within Lime level they are ready for the final stage of their reading journey at St Peter's: the Reading Challenge 

Reading Challenge 

The reading challenge is our reading scheme for children who can read confidently and accurately at the National Book Band Lime Level and are now ready to broaden the range of texts that they encounter.

The Reading Challenge has been established for many years, but in January 2020, following feedback from pupils, parents, reading helpers and staff the reading diaries have a brand-new look. KS2 children were given opportunities to contribute their ideas for the Reading Challenge and they, and we, are thrilled with the result.

How the Reading Challenge works:
All the fiction books in our library have been separated into six levels which become increasingly challenging in vocabulary, length and subject matter. The books in each level were selected to provide an appropriate level of challenge to meet the curriculum expectations across different year groups.

The levels of the Reading Challenge are:

  • Emerald
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Diamond
  • Platinum (for Y6 readers only)

Children will move up to the next level once their teacher has assessed them and is satisfied that the child is secure at their current level. 

This may mean that they complete several Reading Challenges at each level but with hundreds of books to choose from in each level they won’t have to read the same book twice.
A new Reading Challenge begins at the start of each term. In order to complete the challenge, children have to read a set number of books from different genres and authors within their level before the end of that term.

Completing the Reading Challenge:

  • Children choose a book from their given level. Their reading diary will set out the types of books they need to read (e.g. book 1 - a famous author, book 2—a non-fiction text) but they may read the books in any order.
  • Children should read their book independently for at least twenty minutes, three days a week as well as aloud to an adult for 5-10 minutes every week and record this in their diary.
  • Children then independently complete the activity that matches the book choice and give the book a star rating.
  • Parents are asked to discuss the challenge questions that go with the book choice with their child before signing the book off.
  • Children can then choose a new book.

Children who have read their target number of books will be rewarded with a special certificate and a reward session with a choice of craft and fun activities during the final week of term.

Awards are also presented to the children who have most impressed their teacher with their effort in reading as well as the class with the highest proportion of children completing the challenge.

The Reading Challenge is the main reading homework for the term. If children are not completing their reading homework by reading at least 3 times a week then reading support at lunchtimes will be given.