Reading at St. Cuthbert's


Welcome to our world of reading  



This page is here to support children's reading development and love of books both at home and in school. On this page you can access everything you need to know about reading with details on Reading eggs, Fast phonics, schemes of work in school, online reading resources, competitions and guidance on how to support reading development at home.


Philosophy - why is reading so important for children?


The importance of reading for children cannot be underestimated. When children read for pleasure it can benefit a child’s education, social and cognitive development, their wellbeing, and their mental health! 


There are multiple other benefits that reading can have on a child’s development, including:


Assisted cognitive development: Cognitive development refers to how we perceive and think about our world in reference to our intelligence, reasoning, language development, and information processing. By reading to children, you provide them with a deep understanding about their world and fill their brains with background knowledge. They then use this acquired background knowledge to make sense of what they see, hear, and read, which aids their cognitive development.


Developing empathy: When we read a book, we put ourselves in the story in front of us. This allows us to develop empathy as we experience the lives of other characters and can identify with how they are feeling. Children can then use this understanding to empathise in the real world with other people. Additionally, children will gain a greater understanding of emotions, which can help them understand their own emotions and those of others. This helps dramatically with their social development.


Gaining deeper understanding: A book can take us anywhere: to another city, to a different country, or even to an alternative world. By reading a book, a child learns about people, places, and events that they couldn’t learn otherwise. This gives children a deeper understanding of the world around them and cultures that are different from their own.


Listening to children read and providing them with exciting opportunities to explore the world of books is an essential part to their development and that is why we, at St. Cuthbert's, want to highlight the importance of reading and support children develop their love of reading both at home and in school. 





On Thursday 4th March 2021 we will be celebrating World Book Day. The theme this year is ‘books that make us HAPPY’. Books have the power to make us feel happy and we can associate our favourite books with nice memories and enjoyable times. Often, we have a feel-good book because of the characters in the stories. These characters become our favourite so this year we wanted to focus on what we all enjoy independently.

Everyone is invited to dress up and send their pictures into school- We will add some of the best outfits to our webpage soon.


Reading eggs and World Book Day!


Reading Eggs also has some excellent resources for storytelling and some of the Reading Eggs team (including authors!) have made some videos where they discuss their favourite books from the library resource and then read them to the children. Please use the link below to access these videos:



Book tokens

As part of World Book Day, the school are sending out ‘£1 book’ tokens both as a digital copy and as a paper copy. These tokens can be used to purchase a ‘£1 book’. For a list of books and recommendations on the £1 book list please use the link below:


Please use the following link to redeem your £1 digital book token:


Learning programmes in school and at home

In school we follow the coloured, Oxford Reading Tree book band scheme in the lower years and in KS2, we use Accelerated Reader so that children have the opportunity to develop through a scheme of books built to suit their reading age and aid them to progress as they develop their understanding of letters, sounds and more advanced written work. All children in KS2 have log ins for Accelerated reader where they can complete quizzes on the books they have read. 



Reading Eggs



We have recently subscribed to an online reading programme called ‘Reading Eggs ’ which is an umbrella name for 3 exciting reading tools to use at home: Reading Express for KS2, Reading Eggs for EYFS and KS1 and Fast Phonics for children working on their phonics skills. This is a highly interactive online reading programme that can be accessed both at home and in school.


The programme provides a comprehensive range of online reading lessons, activities and books that children in all year groups can access at their level to support their reading in a fun and active way. This reading programme covers the five pillars of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency.


Reading Eggs (also including the programme for KS2-Reading Eggspress) combines a progressive sequence of instructional learning activities with motivational elements: colourful animations, music and rewards to keep pupils motivated and engaged. Pupils can practice reading and spelling skills through games and quizzes as well as reading books online.


Please click here for a video demonstration of how to use reading eggs at home.


To find out more about the reading games please click here.




Fast Phonics

This is an online synthetic phonics programme that helps children become strong readers.

Based on solid scientific research, Fast Phonics uses the proven power of systematic phonics instruction to boost reading skills fast!

The programme includes 20 fun‑filled levels where children learn key phonics skills including letter‑sound recognition, blending and spelling. Each level is a Mountain Peak covering one set of letters with more than 20 exciting activities.

Please click on the picture below to watch a video on how to use and get the most out of the fast phonics programme at home.



Online Library

The Reading eggs programme also contains an ‘online library tool’ which is a fantastic resource for children to access books from a range of authors and genres. This works in the same way as a Kindle where children can read books on their electronic devices. For younger children, the books also contain a ‘read to me button’ so they have the opportunity to listen to stories as well as reading them. If your child has been assigned a specific book to read by their teacher, then this will appear when you click on to the Library tab.




Please log in to access these fantastic resources and the more lessons and games you play the more rewards received! Each week in our whole school assembly certificates are given out to children who have collected lots of eggs and completed different activities.


Below you will find handbooks to support you using both Reading Eggs and Fast Phonics and also an appendix which includes more details on how to use this programme!


Reading Competitions 

We are happy to announce that we will be launching the exciting reading competition ‘Get caught reading’ again this Spring term. It was such a huge success last year and some of the entries were so amazing that we wanted to do it all over again!


The learning council would love to see pictures of you ’getting caught reading’. We want to see, not only the most interesting and exciting places you have been reading but also your favourite places to read (this could be the cosiest place all tucked up in bed!). All the pictures sent in will be used for a display in our school library and anyone who enters will get a reward when returning to school!

Additionally, these pictures will also be displayed here on our competition page on our for everyone to see! We can’t wait to see where you get caught reading!


Please send all entries to: with your name and class. The competition will be running for the whole of the Spring term as we want to give you lots of chances to get caught reading and win a prize; every entry sent in will be added to this page straight away.


We can’t wait to see you reading at home- Good luck everyone and happy reading!



The Masked Reader 



At St. Cuthbert’s we love all things reading and want to celebrate the joy and most importantly the fun of reading different books! So as part of our World Book Day celebrations, we have created a ‘Masked Reader’ competition based on the ITV show the masked singer. The competition is as follows: listen to the different masked reader’s read their book extract and then you have to guess which member of staff is behind the mask! Because this might be tricky, every masked reader has given a little clue as to who they might be. The competition forms have been sent out on parent mail and are also available on SeeSaw.


Below is the link to the Masked Reader video to watch:

Reading for Pleasure



We know that academic attainment is important, but the benefits of reading for pleasure go beyond this and stretch throughout a child's life.  Children will want to read when they enjoy a particular genre or author and are exposed to more choice. When enjoyment is part of reading, the development of reading skills will come hand in hand. This is why the 'for pleasure' element of reading for pleasure is so important


Lots of us have our favourite books to read and reading for pleasure is so important, so each month we will be adding a 'book of the month’ to our school website to help inspire you and on this page you can also find access to websites full of book recommendations, reviews and links to buy books for everyone at home to enjoy!


Book of the month

Every month we will update this section with the book of the month for Ks2 and Ks1 with reviews of the books and links of where to buy them from. Simply click on the front cover pictures to take you to a place of purchase!



Book of the month: Arabel and Mortimer Stories by Joan Aiken


What is the plot?

 When Arabel's father, Ebenezer Jones, drives his taxi home late one night he comes across 'a large black bird, with a hairy fringe around its beak.' He takes it home and from that moment on, life is never the same again for the Jones family. Arabel's raven is called Mortimer - and he's one in a million. 'Nevermore!' he cries when astonished or upset, 'Down the hatch' he thinks before gobbling bowler hats, stairs, telephones. He dislikes flying except in emergencies, and with disaster-prone Mortimer around there are plenty of those.
There are six hilarious stories in this classic collection by the much-loved storyteller Joan Aiken and renowned illustrator Quentin Blake.

Why read it?

This is a fun and hilarious book with many great illustrations bring the stories to life!



Book of the month: The Ghost Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively


What is the plot?

James is fed up. His family has moved to a new cottage – with grounds that are great for excavations, and trees that are perfect for climbing – and stuff is happening. Stuff that is normally the kind of thing he does. But it's not him who's writing strange things on shopping lists and fences. It's not him who smashes bottles and pours tea in the Vicar's lap. It's a ghost – honestly. Thomas Kempe the 17th century apothecary has returned and he wants James to be his apprentice. No one else believes in ghosts. It's up to James to get rid of him. Or he'll have no pocket money or pudding ever again.

Why read it?

Do you like a spook? This is an iconic ghost story for children, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe is adored by generations of readers!

If you would like to purchase either of these books please just click onto the front covers and this will take you to a place where you can get these wonderful books at home.


The Teacher Reader

This excellent website has lists of books to work your way through for each year group in school. Click on the picture logo below to access the website and open up a world of books and recommendations.

 How many from the list can you read?



Additional links for amazing reading lists and recommendations:


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