Reading Challenge Letter

For Autumn’s ‘I Love Reading’ competition, we are asking the children to design an alternative cover and blurb (synopsis) to one of their favourite books. To create their cover, the children can use any artistic tools that they like, including:

  • pencils
  • pens
  • paints
  • recycled materials
  • computer software
  • collaging

To write their blurb, the children should use key events and information from the text to give the reader clues about what happens inside. Remember, the point of a blurb is to give the reader just enough information to intrigue them but not so much that they no longer need to read the book.

We strongly encourage all of our families to get involved and we cannot wait to see your entries!

‘An hour spent reading is one stolen from paradise.’    –    Thomas Warton

Reading Challenge Letter Spring 1

This half term’s ‘I Love Reading’ competition is focused on encouraging our whole school community to READ, READ, READ! We would like all of our families to design and make a poster that will inspire everyone to pick up a book and read. Your posters should attract attention by being bold, colourful and by highlighting the magic of books. To give your poster even more impact, you could chose to design it around a theme such as your favourite book, character or setting.

The most inspiring entries will be displayed around the school so make sure that you send them in! As always, we cannot wait to see what you come up with.

‘There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is best of all.’    –    Jacqueline Kennedy


Do you need ideas for books for your child? The links below contain some fantastic ideas.


At Caton Primary School, we encourage and provide pupils with opportunities to develop a love for reading from day one! The children, staff and volunteers promote a love of reading by sharing their thoughts and feelings about books with those around them each and every day.

We aim to:

  • Develop an interest in and a love of books, encouraging children to become independent readers.
  • Develop reading strategies and skills, accuracy, fluency, understanding and response to texts.
  • Develop the ability to use and manipulate a variety of texts, both fiction and non fiction.
  • Develop children’s experiences through a variety of texts including in print and digital media.

Phonics and Early Reading

What is synthetics phonics?

Synthetic phonics teaches the phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters) at the rate of four to six sounds per week. The sounds are taught in isolation then blended together (i.e. synthesised), all-through-the-word.

For example, children might be taught a short vowel sound (e.g. /a/) in addition to some consonant sounds (e.g. /s/, /t/, /p/). Then the children are taught words with these sounds (e.g. sat, pat, tap, at). They are taught to pronounce each phoneme in a word, then to blend the phonemes together to form the word (e.g. /s/ – /a/ – /t/; “sat”). Sounds are taught in all positions of the words, but the emphasis is on all-through-the-word segmenting and blending from week one.

Synthetic phonics involves the children rehearsing the writing of letter shapes alongside learning the letter/s-sound correspondences preferably with the tripod pencil grip. Dictation is a frequent teaching technique from letter level to word spelling, including nonsense words (e.g. choy and feep) and eventually extending to text level. We introduce letter names by singing the alphabet song and reinforce letter names alongside their phoneme.

If you would like to learn more about phoneme pronunciation, or how you can practise with your children, please watch the following videos. – sound pronunciation – teaching a sound – learning to blend

We follow Lancashire’s ‘Red Rose Letters and Sounds’ for the systematic teaching of phonics. From the beginning of Reception to the End of Year 1, children will be grouped during lessons to allow them to develop confidence, fluency and accuracy in reading. Once the children are secure within Phase 5 of ‘Red Rose Letters and Sounds’, they will progress to the Spelling programme delivered for Key Stage 1 pupils. The Red Rose programme has been carefully planned to allow plenty of time for children to practice and consolidate their reading knowledge and skills.

The Intent and Implementation of Red Rose Letters and Sounds

Reading Beyond Phonics


In Years 2 -6, children participate in guided reading lessons. During these lessons, children are exposed to an ambitious text chosen to develop their understanding. They are taught to identify key information so that they can read for purpose and gain independence, preparing them for life beyond school. At Key Stage 2, thee six main reading domains taught in school are:

  • V – identify and understand the meaning of vocabulary
  • I – identify key information to improve reading inference skills (e.g. find clues to understand how or why a character acts a certain way)
  • P – make accurate and plausible predictions about future events
  • E – explain how/why the author makes vocabulary choices, creates events and describes characters in a certain way
  • R – identify and retrieve key information from within a text
  • S – summarise key events and information from a text (Key Stage 2 focus) / sequence events and ideas from within a text (Key Stage 1 focus)

All children will have an individual reading book from the school’s banded reading resources. We aim to hear children read individually each day until they achieve fluency. Parents are asked to listen to their child read daily and ask questions about the book to check comprehension, making comments in the reading record book. We recommend spending some time questioning your children on what they have read to deepen their understanding.

We have a well-stocked library to support pupils in continuing their reading journey in Key Stage 2 and we expect all independent readers to also read daily. For those times when that’s not possible, we run a reading catch up club in school as we know what an impact daily reading has on pupils’ vocabulary and academic achievement.

Each class has a quality class novel which the teacher reads aloud daily to the class. Novels are carefully selected to expose children to a range of styles throughout their primary school career.

VIPERS question stems that can be used to improve your child’s reading at home.