Stalmine Approach to Reading

First and foremost, Stalmine's reading curriculum places at it's heart, an ethos to promote a love of reading whether that be novels, comics, newspapers or reference and non-fiction books. Every class has a class novel or book, which we have taken from Pie Corbett's reading spine. This ensures pupils are able to hear a range of stories that ignite the imagination, taking them to new places and allowing them to meet new people from a range of different backgrounds and settings. 


At Stalmine, reading is taught and developed through:


  • Shared reading
  • Guided reading
  • Group reading
  • Individual reading
  • Quiet reading
  • Buddy reading
  • Story time
  • Read at Home/Take Home books
  • Phonics.                                      


Nursery, Reception and Year 1 are taught phonics as a whole class. The children in KS1 and early KS2 are also taught phonics in small groups according to their ability and learning needs. Children are taught sounds specific to their learning needs. We use a range of resources to teach phonics which allow children to progress through the phonics phases. Children’s progress is checked regularly and children move through the phases according to their progress.


Most of the English language can be read with phonics, but children also need to recognise and remember those 'tricky words' that cannot be sounded out letter by letter e.g. the or said. Early Reading is supported by our reading schemed, matched to phonics: Rising Starts Rocket Phonics. These are phonic 'decodable' books that help children to practise their early reading and we encourage children to draw on their own experiences, the setting of the story and the pictures to help them understand what they are reading about.


Comprehension skills are vital in making sense of what the words say and interpreting meaning. At Stalmine, we use a structured and levelled set of books, these books are very phonic-based at the beginning. As our pupils move through the school we incorporate novels and classic literature into our reading scheme as well as a range of factual non-fiction books. We want our pupils to develop a love of reading - this can only be achieved by ensuring our pupils have access to the highest quality texts across a range of genres and interests. 


We also have an additional range of books, such as short stories and traditional tales which enrich the children’s reading and are at the right level to help children gradually develop in skills and confidence. Children move steadily from early reading skills to more complex reading skills and do that at their own pace to ensure confidence and enthusiasm. Developing their comprehension ability becomes increasingly important as phonics knowledge is completed.

Even in Key Stage Two, there are levelled reading books that are aimed at moving older readers on and giving them controlled practice in reading. Children progress through the reading books as their reading ability improves and they become more confident readers, usually moving from the scheme to reading books of their own choice in Key Stage Two.


Children at Stalmine have access to a wide range of reading materials, providing all children with materials to both support learning and to foster a love of reading.

Every class has a reading corner. These reading corners are designed to promote an enjoyment for reading. Books will change regularly to reflect the topics being covered in class, as well as reflecting the age, abilities and interests of the class.

We also have a resource library to support learning across a range of topics from Space, to the Tudors and from Mountains to the religions of the world. 


Home Reading

Children have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books to help support and develop a love of reading. Books are carefully chosen based on the child's reading ability and as much as possible, their reading interest.


Stalmine uses both Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat as our main reading scheme. Both schemes are linked to our new assessment relating to Age Related Expectations. The 'Colour Bands' also correspond to the different phases of Letters and Sound.

See the table below for an overview.

For more information about Oxford Reading Tree and ideas of how you can support your child in reading at home click below.


Rising Stars: Rocket Phonics progression document

Oxford Reading Tree: Parents


Reading Scheme Overview

Stalmine Reading Book Bands