Together everyone achieves more.


"If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book." 

JK Rowling 

Reading News! 

World Book Day 2024

What an AMAZING World Book Day. We have all been blown away by the amount of effort that everyone has put in to make today so successful!
We've had camera crews, storybook cafes, reading buddies, celebration assemblies and a whole host of fantastic reading-related activities throughout all of school.
A huge well done to everyone, especially out best dressed winners and the pupils (and staff) who were brave enough to read live on national TV!
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At Kerr Mackie we strive to develop an innate love of reading in every child. To nurture a curiosity and wonder where the next page might lead them. We have a reading community, where children feel confident to share their knowledge and love of books with their peers, staff across school and in the home. We are committed to ensuring our pupils have the skills to become fluent readers, developing a comprehensive understanding of words, language and texts as they move through school. Kerr Mackie is a school where children do feel supported during their reading journey but also challenged, exploring the edges of their capabilities. Pupils are provided, from a very young age, with the strategies to read, ensuring we create a love of reading from Early Years.


St Wulstan's - Reading at St. Wulstan's

Reading Vipers

We use the term ‘VIPERS’ in all classes from Year 1 to Year 6 through the school. Pupils are explicitly taught each skill through a range of high-quality texts and genres. The consistent approach when using terminology helps ensure pupils have a strong understanding and teachers have a specific focus in reading lessons.


Early Years and Key Stage One


In Nursery, a child’s reading journey has already begun through exploration, curiosity and oracy. They develop their listening skills and apply them to Phase 1 phonics. Staff embed phonics into their daily curriculum so that children are well prepared for Reception. A child in Nursery will use phonics skills to hear and join in with:-

  • Environmental sounds.
  • Instrumental sounds.
  • Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
  • Rhythm and rhyme.
  • Voice sounds.
  • Oral blending and segmenting


In Reception children build on the skills previously taught in Nursery. They develop their phonics through a daily 30 minute session. All staff in school are trained to deliver phonics through the use of Floppy’s Phonics and Letters and Sounds. Children are grouped across the year according to their phonics level so learning is bespoke to their needs.  Assessment is rigorous and ongoing so that pupils make rapid progress through the programme. Children have a homely reading corner where they can begin to apply their phonics independently and explore a wide range of exciting reading books. We have a large selection of story boxes with different puppets to enable children to retell and create their own stories, sparking their imagination.

Year 1 and Year 2.

In Year One and Two children have a daily 25-minute phonics session following the Floppy’s Phonics teaching programme. In addition to this children also have daily reading sessions and English lessons. All of these build on a child’s development of early reading and the application of phonics. Reading sessions consists of 3 skills based sessions where children learn a new reading domain, identify it within a text and apply it in a range of contexts. Formal reading comprehension exercises, such as VIPERS are also introduced once a week. To promote a child’s love of reading, every child will have access to the school library, where they can choose an age appropriate book to take home and read independently or through discussion. During class story time, children develop their listening skills and participate in question and answer sessions. This exposes our children to higher level stories that can develop their vocabulary and creativity.

Key Stage Two

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

Reading sessions are centered around a high-quality age specific text which is chosen by the class teachers from an approved list. The texts often link closely with an overarching topic within their Year Groups. Specific reading skills are then explicitly taught and practiced. While the reading skills are being taught, the reading content is relevant, inspiring and purposeful and becomes the driver for developing wider subject knowledge. To achieve best practice in KS2 children will access the library once a week to promote a love of reading, through discussions, independent reading and other activities. Four sessions per week are focused on developing skills through whole class teaching and one session per week using the VIPERS reading approach.

Implementation at home

How we ensure home reading books match your child’s ability.

Your child’s reading ability is regularly assessed in school through a variety of methods. These include tests (PIRA), listening to them read, assessing their fluency skills, asking them questions and discussing a variety texts. These different methods are used to calculate a reading age. Reading ages indicate the ‘difficulty’ of a text a child is able to understand. From this information, we then match your child with appropriately challenging books.  Your child’s progress is regularly monitored in class and the teachers ensure that the books they take home are always challenging.


In KS1, the books your children take home are not only linked to their reading age but also to their phonic development. The books will link to sounds and blends that they have covered as well as their reading ability.

We use reading scheme books both as guided texts to read with adults and as books to send home. In addition to books from the reading schemes, children will also be able to select ‘age appropriate’ books from their classroom and the school library.

 Developing a Love of Reading


What is a ‘Love of Reading’ and why is it important?


‘Reading provides a growth of knowledge, a pleasurable hobby to escape from our busy lives and the development of critical thinking. Developing a love for books in the early years will set your child up for reading readiness and help lay the basis for your child's success inside, outside and beyond school.’


How do we develop a ‘Love of Reading’ at Kerr Mackie.

Every classroom has an engaging and exciting reading corner where children can select a book from a vast range of high quality, age appropriate texts. The recent addition of the new school library enables children to explore and select a book they would like to read either in school or at home. Our reading community gives children to opportunity to explore, find and share their books with their peers and staff through discussions, shared reading opportunities and group sessions.

  • Pupils will enjoy reading across a range of genres
  • Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all reading lessons
  • Pupils will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors
  • Pupils will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading and home, and contribute regularly to home-school records
  • The will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils.

All our reading scheme books are ‘banded’ in reading ages. The reading schemes we have in school cater for reading ages up to 11 years old. If your child has reading age greater than 11 they will be able to select ‘free reading books’. The ‘free reading’ books have been carefully selected by the staff and are regularly reviewed to ensure they are appropriately challenging.