At Bishop Martin we strive to develop a love of reading. Our reading curriculum shows the  objectives from the National Curriculum but a love of reading is developed from more than just meeting these objectives. 


We have two libraries in our school, one for infants (2-7 years) and one for juniors (7-11 years). The books in these libraries are carefully chosen and organised using colour banding systems and alphabetic ordering. Our children have access to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles which are matched to interest and curriculum topics. Each classroom also has a class library where children can relax and read for pleasure. We aim to make our libraries bright, attractive places to encourage reading for enjoyment.


Our libraries and class libraries


Colour banded at ability levels



Our infant library



Our junior library



Our infant library     



Our junior library


Celebrating the work of famous





Reading development

 Every year we celebrate World book Day with a range of engaging and inspiring events such as book fairs, fancy dress days and author visits.


     Damian Harvey visit 2015     

Damian Harvey visit



Book fair


We encourage parents to share books with their child from an early age. We promote home reading through the Book start packs which are given to nursery and reception children. Every child in school has a home reading book and a home reading diary where parents are encouraged to log the reading activities and make comments where appropriate. 



At Bishop Martin teachers and support staff in the EYFS (Early years Foundation Stage) unit and in KS1 (Key Stage 1) plan daily phonic activities using materials from LCP and Phonics Bug.  Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way - starting with the easiest sounds, progressing through to the most complex - it’s the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It’s particularly helpful for children aged 5–7.

Almost all children who have good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. Phonics is taught in phases. Phase 6 is the expected phonic ability for a pupil at the end of Year 2.

Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia.  Children are taught how to:

  • identify and discriminate between different sounds in the environment, vocal sounds, body sounds and instrumental sounds
  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as “sh” or “oo”;
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.  Children can then begin to use the knowledge of sounds within words when they are writing. Children will learn to say the word they want to write, break the word into ‘chunks’ (segment) and then write each part down, using the letter-sound links they have been taught. This process is developmental and we group the children according to their phonic ability. Some children may not have developed good phonological awareness when they reach the end of KS1 and will need additional support in KS2.


Phonics screening

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. Children are assessed in June when they are in Year 1. A score of 32/40 means that the child is working at the expected level for a Year 1 child. Children who score below this are working below the expected level. Staff will work closely with children who do not meet the required standard and they will be re-tested the following year.

Click here to download a phonics information sheet. 

Click here to download a reading at home information sheet.



Shared reading/guided reading/independent reading

In daily English lessons teachers plan reading activities where the whole class will focus on a shared text. The text will be linked with topics and carefully selected to ensure that the children can learn from the structure and content of the text. Teachers also plan workshop sessions during each day where groups of children work on tasks which are planned to help the children to meet reading and writing targets. During guided reading sessions, teachers work with small groups, again using carefully selected texts, to help the children to develop their reading skills. Comprehension skills are developed through a wide range of tasks which may be group, paired or individual tasks.

Click here to link to the National Curriculum Website for further information on the English National Curriculum.


Book Recommendations


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


See below for some useful information to help with...





Click on the image below to see the Top 100 Best Children's Books.




Click on the image below for games and activities to help your child with spelling.




Click on the image below for information to help you support your child with grammar.