It’s not the number of books you’ve got that matters, it’s how much you love them that counts.

Young children beg for their favourite stories and poems to be read to them over and over again. “Please read Room on the Broom. Do your funny voices. Please, please, please!”

The more you read it, the more they love it.  They copy your emphases, silly voices, crazy actions.  You won’t have to beg them to read at home, they’ll beg to borrow the book.

At St John's Primary School, we are passionate about reading and we feel that reading is at the centre of our curriculum. We believe in the importance of developing children’s phonics skills as early readersmoving onto comprehension skills when children are ready. We understand the importance to develop children’s love of books and reading. For more information on our phonics programme see the phonics section on this website.

Our School Leadership Prioritises Reading

We prioritise reading at St John's. We are committed to a 'Whatever it takes' approach to reading, so that every child in our care will become an accurate decoder and a fluent reader.  The headteacher meets regurlarly with the Early Reading Lead - Miss Henton, to discuss priorities in training, analyse data and look at ways forward. She often visits phonics lessons to check consistency across school. The headteacher gives the Reading Leader and staff the time and opportunity for training. We use the Read Write Inc. Phonic programme, all staff are trained in using this programme and monitored by the Reading Leader regularly. 

Love of Reading is Promoted

We are a reading school! The love of reading is promoted widely across school. Our drive to make every child a reader, starts with talking and vocabulary. We are a 'talk a lot' setting and drive a rich vocaulary from an early age. Children experience the magic of story, every day at St John's. Staff are passionate about reading, which inspires children.  Reading corners have been developed in each classroom to promote a love of reading. 

Each year group has a favourite 5 books.  These are carefully chosen texts that year group teachers believe every child must hear before they leave that year group. 

Please find details of each year group's favourite 5 below.  

Copies of these texts can be found in class reading corners where children can re-enact the stories, or borrow them to re-read.



Favourite Five Stories.PNG

Research shows that reading for pleasure has a positive impact on children’s attainment in reading assessments. Children who read for pleasure have enhanced levels of text comprehension, an increased knowledge of grammar and show improvement in their writing. They also have more positive attitudes towards reading than peers. The advantages of reading for pleasure go beyond academic achievement:

‘Other benefits include an increased breadth of vocabulary, pleasure in reading in later life, a better understanding of other cultures, better general knowledge and even ‘a greater insight into human nature’.

Reading for Pleasure: A research overview, National Literacy Trust, 2006

At St John's Primary School we promote reading for pleasure. We do this in the following ways:

  • Every teacher is an advocate for reading and often recommend their own favourite books to children.
  • Reading and books are at the centre of the curriculum.
  • Every term, each class studies at least one book as part of their English Lessons. This is an age appropriate text that is rich in vocabulary and content.
  • We plan time in for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day.
  • We arrange visits from authors and poets.
  • We have a group of reading volunteers who come in and hear our children read regularly
  • We celebrate World Book Day every year with new exciting themes each year.
  • We invite parents into school for a 'Stay and Read' session twice a year. 
  • Class teachers read a ‘core text’ to their children daily. This gives children the opportunity to listen to new vocabulary and get lost in stories.
  • We have trained our teachers in how to read a story to promote engagement and excitement. We film and peer review ourselves as part of our professional development.  

KS2 Reading Curriculum

  • When children have securely moved off the RWI programme they will begin their comprehension lessons. These are daily and during these lessons, children are taught how to retrieve information from the text, discuss the meaning of new vocabulary, answer inference questions, predict what will happen next and sequence events.  
  • In English, units of lessons are organised around motivating books and texts. The texts might be from a specific book, a play or poem, or a specific genre such as journalistic writing. A good-quality text provides opportunities for children to meet objectives drawn from across the National Curriculum for English. Whole class teaching and individual reading provide opportunities for learning and reinforcing a love of reading.  Whole class texts are chosen from a range of recommended reading lists and are recommended high quality texts that are age appropriate.
  • Reading fluency is something we are keen for our children to have during their reading. During the reading lessons we develop fluency by using a variety of strategies including 'jump in' where the teacher pauses and the children say the following word. We teach and monitor fluency as part of our ongoing assessments throughout KS2. If children are not fluent, interventions are put in place. 


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St John The Baptist Primary School
High Street, Penistone, Sheffield S36 6BS

Infant Site:

Chapelfield Lane, Penistone S36 6FS