Quick Links

St Cuthbert's Church of England Primary School

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search



Reading at St Cuthbert's

At St Cuthbert's we use a variety of texts to engage children in reading. The children read a variety of 'real reading books, RW Inc guided reading books and our reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. The children especially enjoy reading the 'Project X' titles.



Phonics sessions are taught daily in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 using the 'Letters and Sounds' Phonics Programme. We also teach the children a variety of songs and actions to help them learn the phonemes. The children are taught following a six phase programme and follow the same lesson structure each day for 20 minutes. Children are regularly assessed and are streamed into different ability groups. We use the 'Ready for Sounds'assessments to identify children who may need additional phonics support. All phonics sessions follow the same four part teaching sequence.


Teaching Sequence


  • Revisit and review- where previously taught sounds are revised
  • Teach- new sounds or tricky words are taught.
  • Practice- reading and writing letters and words with the new sound in.
  • Apply- read and writing caption and sentences with the new sound in.


At the end of Year 1 your child will complete a phonics assessment which is made up of real and nonsense words. This assesses how well children can use their knowledge of phonics to read words. You will be told your child's result at the end of Year 1 and if your child has or has not met the benchmark grade. If your child doesn't achieve the benchmark grade then further intensive support will be given in Year 2. This year our pass rate was 81%.

Reading At Home Makes a Difference

A video that really shows the importance of reading at home. Take 10 minutes each day to sit and enjoy a book with your child as it really does make a big difference in the long term.

The Power of Reading

Suggested ‘Reading List’ For KS2

At St Cuthbert’s we are keen to develop all children’s passion for reading and always happy to give advice and answer questions related to reading. Reading widely makes a huge impact on children’s writing and is directly related to future achievement. Here are some suggested reading lists. Please let us know if your children have any favourites and we shall be pleased to add them to our lists.

Keen and able reader

These suggestions include some longer novels that keen readers will enjoy. We have included some classic and modern classic suggestions. Also, don’t forget that picture books can continue to provide a challenge even for the most able reader and there are many non-fiction and poetry books that may inspire too.

Beginning to read (7-9)

  1. Ian Beck, Tom Trueheart series (Oxford University Press)
  2. Jeff Brown, Flat Stanley (Egmont)
  3. Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington (Harper Collins)
  4. Elizabeth Beresford, The Wombles (Bloomsbury)
  5. Roald Dahl, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, George’s Marvellous Medicine and others (Puffin)
  6. Eleanor Farjeon, The Little Bookroom (Oxford University Press)
  7. Rupert Kingfisher, Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles (Bloomsbury)
  8. Dick King-Smith, The Sheep-Pig (Penguin)
  9. Astrid Lindgren, Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter (Oxford University Press)
  10. Roger McGough, Imaginary Menagerie poetry (Frances Lincoln)
  11. Michael Morpurgo, Kaspar, Prince of Cats (Harper Collins)

Moving on (9-11)

  1. David Almond, Skellig (Hodder)
  2. Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, Oxford Children’s Classics (Oxford University Press)
  3. Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising sequence (Random House)
  4. Kevin Crossley-Holland, Arthur, The Seeing Stone (Orion)
  5. Geraldine McCaughrean, The Death Defying Pepper Roux (Oxford University Press)
  6. Philippa Pearce, Tom’s Midnight Garden (Oxford University Press)
  7. Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials trilogy (Scholastic)
  8. Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines series (Scholastic)
  9. Louis Sachar, Holes (Bloomsbury)
  10. Shaun Tan, The Arrival (Templar)

For enthusiastic readers

Suggestions for this group include some quick reads, which deal with interesting issues for children to think and talk about. They have good plots which move the story along at a good pace. Some series are included here as familiarity can help to build children’s confidence. The list also includes some illustrated fiction, which may be more appealing for children who have not yet developed the stamina to read pages of unbroken text. Poetry may also be a good choice for some children as it offers bite-sized chunks that children can dip into, at the same time covering a wide range of subject and to suit different tastes. There are also plenty of picture books appropriate to this age group which will help children to develop deeper levels of understanding beyond the literal.

7–9 year olds

  1. Isaac Asimov, Robot Dreams science fiction series (Berkley US)
  2. Guy Bass, Gormy Ruckles: Monster Boy series (Scholastic)
  3. Jeff Brown, Flat Stanley (Egmont)
  4. Steven Butler, The Wrong Pong (Puffin)
  5. Lauren Child, Clarice Bean stories and picture books (Orchard Books)
  6. Babette Cole, Prince Cinders (Puffin)
  7. Sally Gardner, The Princess and the Pea and other stories from the Early Readers (Orion)
  8. Joanna Nadin, Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster(Usborne)
  9. Francesca Simon, Horrid Henry series (Orion)
  10. Rex Stone, Dinosaur Cove series (Oxford University Press)

9–11 year olds

  1. Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, Stone Me! (Barn Owl Books)
  2. Anthony Browne, Zoo picture book (Red Fox, Random House)
  3. Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon (Hachette)
  4. Roald Dahl, Matilida, The Twits and others (Puffin)
  5. Morris Gleitzman, Two Weeks with the Queen (Puffin)
  6. Alex Milway, Operation Robot Storm (Walker Books)
  7. Chris Riddell, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat (Macmillan)
  8. Michael Rosen, Even My Ears Are Smiling poetry anthology (Bloomsbury)
  9. Marcus Sedgwick, Flood and Fang and other books in the Raven Mysteries series (Orion)
  10. Ali Sparkes, Frozen in Time (Oxford University Press

Reading fanatics!

This list includes suggestions for how you might move readers on whose reading focuses on one type of book, series, or author. It is a good idea to work from children’s own preferences, gently prompting them to make more challenging choices or perhaps to try something completely different.

7–9 year olds

Why not try?

  1. Beast Quest series, Adam Blade (Orchard Books)
  2. Ben 10 – try Shoo Rayner, Axel Storm: Cola Power and other books in the series (Orchard Books) or Elizabeth Singer Hunter, Secret Agent Jack Stalwart: Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur and other books in the series (Random House)
  3. Daisy books, Kes Gray – try Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking series (Oxford University Press) or Megan McDonald, Judy Moody books (Candlewick Press)
  4. Dr Seuss books – try Spike Milligan, Silly Verse for Kids(Puffin) or Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky (Miles Kelly Publishing) or Edward Lear, The Quangle Wangle’s Hat (Walker Books)
  5. Horrid Henry series, Francesca Simons (Orion) – try Ali Sparkes,S.W.I.T.C.H series (Oxford University Press) or Sue Mongredien, Oliver Moon series (Usborne)
  6. Not Quite a Mermaid series, Linda Chapman (Puffin) – try Sue Mongredien, Secret Mermaid (Usborne) or Liz Kessler, Emily Windsnap (Orion)
  7. My Secret Unicorn series, Linda Chapman (Puffin) – try Pippa Funnell, Tilly’s Pony Tales (Orion) or Monica Dickens, Follyfoot (Andersen Press) or Ann Sewell, Black Beauty(Oxford University Press)
  8. Poppy Love stories, Natasha May – try other dance and performing arts books Darcey Bussell, Magic Ballerina (Harper Collins) or Lynda Waterhouse, The Sand Dancers (Piccadilly Press)
  9. The Rainbow Fairies – try longer fairy books such as Gwyneth Rees, Fairy Dust series (Macmillan) or Amy Tree, Charmseekers (Orion)
  10. The Worst Witch stories, Jill Murphy (Puffin) – try other witch stories such as Kaye Umansky, Pongwiffy(Bloomsbury) or Helen Creswell, Lizzie Dripping (Oxford University Press)

9–11 year olds

Why not try?

  1. Alex Rider series, Anthony Horowitz (Walker Books) – try John Grisham, Theodore Boone (Hodder) or Andrew Lane, Young Sherlock Holmes series (Macmillan)
  2. Animal Ark series, Lucy Owen – try other animal series such as Linda Newbery, Barney the Boat Dog(Usborne)or Inbali Iserles, Cat Tales for example The Tygrine Cat (Walker Books) or Gill Lewis, Sky Hawk (Oxford University Press)
  3. The Chronicles of Avantia, Adam Blade (Scholastic) – try other series such as Julia Golding, Companions Quartet (Oxford University Press) or Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Puffin Books)
  4. Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey (Scholastic) – try Roald Dahl, Jiggy McCue (Michael Lawrence Books) or Richmal Crompton, Just William (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney (Puffin) – try other books in a diary format such as the My Story…series, various authors (Scholastic) which introduces different historical periods and events written in fictionalised diary format. Also try Pete Johnson, The Vampire Blog (Corgi, Random House) and Marcia Williams, Archie’s War and My Secret War Diary (Walker Books)
  6. Enid Blyton adventures – try other series such as Lauren St John, The White Giraffe (Orion) or Helen Moss, The Mystery of the Whistling Caves(Orion) or Eva Ibbotson, Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan)
  7. Foul Play series, Tom Palmer (Puffin) – try Rob Childs, Black or White(Frances Lincoln)
  8. Horrible Histories (Scholastic) – try My Story series (Scholastic) or Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles (Oxford University Press)
  9. Jacqueline Wilson books – try books by Cathy Cassidy for example Scarlett and Indigo Blue (Puffin) or Jean Ure,Skinny Melon and Fortune Cookie (Harper Collins)
  10. Roald Dahl books – try Andy Stanton, Mr Gum series (Egmont) or David Walliams, The Boy in the Dress (HarperCollins)

For children who can read but can’t be bothered – ‘Reading is boring’

Along with some recently published books, we have included some classic and modern classic suggestions. Don’t forget that picture books can continue to provide a challenge even for the most able reader, as well as introduce children to a wide range of artistic styles, and there a many non-fiction and poetry books that may inspire too.

7–9 year olds

  1. Laurence Anholt, Cinderboy and other books from the Seriously Silly Stories series (Orchard Books)
  2. Nikalas Catlow, Tim Wesson, Robots v Gorillas in the Desert and other titles in the Mega Mash-Up series (Nosy Crow)
  3. Road Dahl, Dirty Beasts poetry collection (Puffin)
  4. John Foster, School’s Out poetry (Oxford University Press)
  5. Arthur John L’Hommedieu, Bats a fold-out information book (Child’s Play International Limited)
  6. Laura Owen, Winnie the Witch series (Oxford University Press)
  7. Jeremy Strong, My Brother’s Famous Bottom (Puffin)
  8. Mitchel Symons, Do Igloos have Loos? non-fiction (Random House)
  9. Ian Whybrow, Little Wolf’s Book of Badness (Penguin)
  10. Titania Woods, Glitterwings Academy series (Bloomsbury)

9–11 year olds

  1. Andy Briggs, and series (Oxford University Press)
  2. Steve Cole, Astrosaurs series (Random House)
  3. Anthony Horowitz, The Greek Who Stole Christmas and other books in the Diamond Brothers series (Walker Books)
  4. Cindy Jeffries, Heart Magazine: A Dream Come
  5. Jeff Kinney, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (Puffin) and watch a trailer for the film:Youtube
  6. Tom Palmer, Foul Play series (Puffin) Hear Tom Palmer’s free online reading of the first chapter of Foul Play: Tom Palmer
  7. Charlie Small, Gorilla City (David Fickling, Random House)
  8. Andy Stanton, Mr Gum series (Egmont)
  9. Andi Watson, Glister series (Walker Books)
  10. Jacqueline Wilson, Tracey Beaker series (Random House) a taster of the TV series: Series 1, Episode 1: Youtube

Can’t read/ struggling reader

The books on this list are quick reads with minimal text and often more illustration. Try picture books and wordless books as well as comics, graphic novels in cartoon style, and non-fiction. Rhyming stories have memorable language which will help readers develop confidence. Struggling readers may also particularly enjoy reading on-screen and humour is important too.

7–9 years

  1. Alan Ahlberg, Happy Families series (Penguin)
  2. Poly Bernetene, When Night Didn’t Comewordless picture book (Meadowside Children’s Books)
  3. Lynley Dodd, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy (Puffin) and view on screen at Youtube
  4. Dr Seuss, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton hears a Who (Random House)
  5. Nikki Gamble et al, Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales series, (Oxford University Press)
  6. Pippa Goodhart, Nick Sharratt, You Choose(Corgi)
  7. Roger Hurn, Mystery Mob series or Jane West,Magic Mates series (Rising Stars)
  8. Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad series (Harper Collins)
  9. Tony Mitton, Tough Trucks and other books in this non-fiction series (Kingfisher)
  10. Hilary Robinson, Nick Sharratt, The Big Book of Magical Mix-ups (Corgi)

9–11 years

  1. Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, Tomb Runner and other books in the I, HERO series (Franklin Watts)
  2. Alan Durant, Game Boy in the 4U2read series (Barrington Stoke)
  3. Michael Hardcastle, Goal-getter (A & C Black)
  4. Rod Hunt, Wolf Hill series (Oxford University Press)
  5. David Orme, Starchasers series (Ransom Publishing)
  6. Jeremy Strong, Living with Vampires in the 4U2read series (Barrington Stoke)
  7. John Townsend et al, Dockside series (Rising Stars)
  8. Cathy West, Starstruck series (Ransom Publishing)
  9. Jonny Zucker, Alien Battle in the Rex Jones series (Badger Books)


TIPS FOR BOYS – to encourage especially boys (but also girls) to develop independence in reading!

1. Praise

Boys need lots of praise. Often they see themselves as getting attention for all the wrong reasons. So, give your son lots of approval for all the right reasons! A good rule of thumb is to try to say three positive things to every negative.

  • When giving praise, try to be specific about what it is your son has done to earn the praise.

2. Talk

If you want to help your son to do better, it’s important to get him talking (and listening!) right from the start. You can help in several ways:

  • Show an interest in what your son is doing (even if the subject doesn’t interest you!) and ask questions about it.
  • Talk with him, rather than at him.
  • It’s important to be patient: listen with interest, keep the conversation going, ask questions and don’t leap in with an answer. Easier said than done!

3. Be independent

To help your son to be independent from an early age, you could encourage him to:

  • get himself dressed in the morning,
  • make a list of everything he needs for school that day,
  • make his own decisions about a few things in the week’s routine.

4. You can do it!

Boys often feel that mistakes equal failure. A boy’s response is to say that he ‘can’t do it’. To help your son feel that he CAN do it, give him lots of encouragement when he does something well. It’s also important to remember that mistakes don’t equal failure; it’s just the way we learn.

5. Read, read, read!

It’s really important to show boys that reading is an ‘ok’ thing for men to do. So, granddads, dads, brothers, uncles… you need to get reading too!
Reading together is important for boys of all ages as it helps them realise that it’s not only a skill for life, but also good fun too.

  • Read with expression.
  • Talk about the characters, plot and pictures along the way.
  • Ask him to guess what might happen next.

6. Reading isn’t just about books!

Encourage your son to read when you are out and about together. Try reading labels, signs, posters, instructions… the list is endless. Words are everywhere, so read them!

Children's Attitudes to Reading Survey