Reading at SASM

Reading plays a vital role in a child’s cultural, social and emotional development. It allows children to both acquire and build on knowledge which is crucial in allowing them to function as future members of society. We aim to ensure children can read fluently and confidently, with a sound understanding of a range of vocabulary and the ability to decode the meaning of unfamiliar words. We aim to promote a love of reading, encouraging children to read widely for pleasure and enjoyment as well as information. 


As a Junior school, the vast majority of pupils will join us as developing readers with an understanding of phonics. All pupils who require additional teaching in phonics join our Read, Write, Inc. programme.

Reading Skills Overview 

Progression / Intent of reading skills - Reading Ladders

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”

Dr Seuss

By reading great books and bringing them to life, we cultivate a love of stories and promote a love of reading at SASM!

Our selection of wonderful books in each classroom allows us to help our children grow into enthusiastic readers in an exciting and engaging way. Reading is a priority at SASM.

We not only view reading as a hobby, but a lifelong skill. Books are assigned colours and it is important that your child is reading a book that is neither too easy nor too hard!

Our Reading Curriculum

Reading 3i sheet.pdf

Power of Reading

At SASM, one approach to teaching reading is through the Power of Reading, which aims to raise children's  engagement and attainment. Power of Reading includes accessible yet high quality fiction and non-fiction picture books, graphic novels, poetry and stories.

Year 3 Power of Reading texts

Year 4 Power of Reading texts

Year 5 Power of Reading texts

Year 6 Power of Reading texts

The Five Finger Test

As your child reads, count the number of words your child doesn’t know or has difficulty reading on a page with your fingers.

You can use the number of fingers to help you decide if this is a good book for your child to read by themselves.

If your child struggles to read and understand more than 5 words on a page, the book is probably too challenging for them. 

0 Fingers - This book is easy for your child to read, perhaps too easy.

1 Finger - This book is easy to read but there will be some new words to learn throughout the book.


2 Fingers - Perfect choice – this book is just right for your child.

3 Fingers - A little hard but could be fun for your child to try. You will need to help your child when they read this book.

 4 Fingers - Difficult to read. An adult will need to read this book with your child.



5 or more Fingers - This book is probably too hard for your child to read. This book will need to be read with an adult. 

Reading at home

Although we do all we can to promote reading during the school day, we encourage parents to extend their child’s love of reading and help them to progress further, by taking the time to read with them at home. On the bus back from school or just before heading to bed, time spent reading with your child is time well spent in our opinion!

This act of reading is not only crucial for younger children, but is just as important for older, more fluent readers in understanding the meaning of texts and discussing the ideas that are hidden between the lines. Asking your child questions about what they have just read is a fantastic opportunity for them to reflect on their reading and take their understanding to a deeper level. On p148 of your child’s planner there are some questions and strategies that may help you to support your child’s reading.

Reading at home is monitored through planners which are checked in class regularly. Please encourage your child to write a short summary of what they have just read as well as the page numbers. 

For example:

Five Go Adventuring p3-6

I like this part of the story because the children are shipwrecked on a desert island and you don’t know whether they will survive.

SASM's book colour banding system

At SASM, we encourage both reading for pleasure and reading to develop skills. To develop reading skills, all children are sent home with an appropriate colour banded book.  We use the five finger technique to access your child's level.  Your child should be able to read their branded book fluently to allow them to focus on developing their reading skills as they read aloud to you.  Please click here for further details of our colour banding system .  

Reading Challenges

Each year group has a selection of reading challenges for the children to try to complete. The children are encouraged to read a range of genres and demonstrate a number of reading skills. When your child has completed a certain number of challenges, they will be awarded certificates, which will be recorded on their school reports. 

Year 4 Reading Challenge

SASM Year 4 reading challenge.docx

Year 3 Reading Challenge

SASM Year 3 reading challenge.docx

Year 5 Reading Challenge

SASM Year 5 reading challenge.docx

Year 6 Reading Challenge

SASM Year 6 reading challenge.docx

World Book Day

Each year, we celebrate World Book Day, where the children and staff dress up as their favourite characters. It is a chance to share in our love of reading as a school and to discover new characters to fall in love with!

“Everyone is a reader… some just haven’t found their favourite book yet.”