St John's C of E Primary School


Our reading intent, implementation and impact can be read here

At St John’s we use a structured reading scheme to ensure that children are supported in making progress with their reading skills, while also developing a love for reading.

The books selected for both the phonics scheme and the reading scheme provide opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and cultural capital. They ensure progression in developing the skills needed for reading, while promoting reading stamina and a life-long love of reading.

 Reading scheme:

The books within the following scheme require children to use a range of skills for reading including phonetic understanding, sight word recognition and using illustrations and familiar characters to help them decipher unfamiliar words.

Children following the reading scheme will be assessed half termly using ‘PM Benchmark’ to help determine which of the colour books bands is suited to their reading ability. ‘PM Benchmark’ assesses word level reading, as well as comprehension and inference skills.


Within this scheme there are a range of publishers including:

  • Oxford Reading Tree

  • Ransom Reading Stars

  • Rising Stars Reading Planet

  • Collins Big Cat

  • Oxford Project X

 Reading Bands

Once your child has completed the ‘Little Wandle;’ phonics book scheme, they will start choosing and reading books from the Purple book band. Children will move through the following book bands based on teacher judgement, which may be informed by ‘PM Benchmark’, 1:1 reading sessions, guided reading sessions and ‘PIRA assessments’. Once your child is secure on Lime books, they will become a ‘free reader’ and they will be able to choose from a range of banded books (Brown, Grey and Dark blue), library books and their own books from home. 



The purple reading books require:

  • Children to read a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry with growing independence.
  • Children to read silently and rapidly. You should still listen to them read aloud too.
  • Children to use punctuation to keep track of longer sentences. 
  • CHildren to solve most unfamiliar words by blending less common digraphs and recognising alternative spellings to read longer and more complex words.
  • Children to predict content/layout/ story development. 
  • Children to become more aware of literary effects and the formal language of non-fiction. 
  • Children to begin to consciously use reading to extend speaking, writing, vocabulary and syntax.



You can support your child read Gold books by:

  • Asking them to find parts of the text which describe a character or place and talking about the words used in the description. 
  • Asking for regular updates as to what is happening in the book so that you know how the different chapters or sections link. 
  • Talking about how much they enjoy a book, or a type of book.
  • Encouraging them to look for more books of the type they enjoy.



Your child is now reading longer books with fewer illustrations, so they continue to need your help to ensure they are getting the full meaning and enjoyment from the text. They may prefer to read one chapter or section at a time, rather than reading the whole book in one session. They will now be:

  • Sustaining interest in text for longer periods of time, returning to it easily later. 
  • Using text more fully as a reference and as a model, and find information in texts more flexibly.
  • Noticing the spelling of unfamiliar words and relating this understanding to known words. 
  • Showing an increased awareness of vocabulary and precise meaning.
  • Express reasoned opinions and interpretations about what is read and compare texts.


Although your child is now taking off as a reader, it is still important that you read with them and talk to them about their reading. This reassures them that their reading is still important to you, as well as giving you an opportunity to share an enjoyment of books. 

Children will be able to:

  • Recognise text type and predict general content, returning easily to the book after a break.
  • Read silently, altering speed to suit material.
  • Return to the text to make different interpretations.
  • Make use of blurbs, glossaries and indexes to locate information quickly and accurately. 
  • Express reasoned opinions about what is read and compare texts with other books they have read
  • Sustain meaning over many phrases for comprehension due to complex sentences..


Free Readers


Although your child will now be enjoying reading independently and is less likely to read aloud to you, to support their reading you can:

  • Make a time where you both read together.
  • Make time for a conversation at the end of each reading session. You should ask your child questions which make your child go back to the book to find answers.
  • Model skimming and scanning to find the information.
  • Continuing to read aloud to your child at bedtime. This shows them the importance you place on reading


As above

Dark Blue

As above.

Books on this level give increasing opportunities for children to develop their skills of inference and deduction. 

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for Pleasure

Please watch our video about why it is so important for our children to be reading and our aims for reading. 


Reading activities

Activities for you to support your child at home