St John's C of E Primary School

Reading at St John's

Our reading intent, implementation and impact can be read here

Reading is given the utmost priority and woven into all aspects of the Early Years curriculum.  The systematic teaching of phonics ensures that children write and read well. 

We follow the DfE accredited systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) scheme, ‘Little Wandle,’Letters and Sounds Revised, which complements our whole school reading programme.  

Staff have been trained in the delivery of the SSP scheme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.  Daily sessions of systematic teaching of phonics are consistent, well-structured and pace-appropriate following progression in order; direct teaching is in frequent small cumulative steps to avoid cognitive overload. Four new sounds are taught each week.

Staff ensure the books our children read match the sounds they are learning. This enables them to develop phonemic awareness rapidly and embed phonic knowledge into long-term memory from working memory. Practice makes permanent.

Little Wandle Phonics Website Support your child reading at home
Autumn 1 Pronunciation Autumn 2 Pronunciation 
Spring 1 Pronunciation



Book Band characteristics can be read here


Reading for Pleasure

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



Book Bands used across the school

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.

Please see the ‘Book Band characteristics’ document for further information about how you can support your child’s reading within each book band.

Phonic banding

When your child first comes to school, they will be reading books that are closely matched to their phonetic ability. The colours used are the same that we use across the school. Some children may also benefit from consolidating their phonetic understanding by reading these books throughout their school experience, not just in Reception and Key Stage 1.

Lilac Wordless

Pink Phase 2 Sets

Pink Phase 2 Mixed

Red Phase 3 Sets

Red Phase 3 Mixed

Yellow Phase 4

Blue Phase 5a

Blue Phase 5b

Blue Phase 5c

Green Phase 5 Mixed


Within this scheme there are a range of publishers including::

  • Oxford Reading Tree

  • Oxford Tree Word Sparks

  • Oxford Tree Alien Adventures

  • Oxford Project X

  • Songbirds

  • Bug Club


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.

Once your child has been levelled as reading beyond ‘Lime’ they may become a ‘free reader’. They will be able to choose from a range of books that require them to practise their reading skills further. They may also be selecting chapter books.















If your child’s teacher assesses your child and believes that although they are reading beyond Lime, they would still benefit from choosing a levelled reading scheme book that bridges the gap between a reading programme and longer chapter books, they will choose a book from the following colours:




Dark Blue

Dark Red


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

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.