St Gregory & St Patrick's

At St Gregory and St Patrick’s  Infant School we love reading!


When Children join us as early as Pre Nursery we instil a love of reading. Children have story time and rhyme time several times a day. Children and parents are also able to take home with them story sacks, to continue this love of reading at home too. Sharing books is given a huge priority, with two book areas within the provision. Children regularly visit the mobile library van and select books they would like to read.


When children reach Nursery they are introduced to daily phonics sessions, focusing on listening for and distinguishing between different sounds. The Nursery provides books in all areas of the environment to support each area of learning. Children also have a specific rhyme station where they can listen to and join in with nursery rhymes and songs.  Talk for writing is introduced in Nursery too, focusing on common texts that children are familiar with, such as Jack and the Beanstalk. Each week children take home a story sack to share, after reading children are encouraged to complete some fun activities linked to the stories and draw  a picture from the book. 


Towards the end of Nursery and throughout Reception/ Key Stage 1, children are taught the sounds letters make during their phonic sessions. We originally followed 'letters and sounds' but we are transitioning over to a new scheme called 'Read write inc'. 


Of course, reading is not just about phonics. Within Reception/ Key Stage 1, children also read in their own classes, individually with an adult and in guided reading sessions. In guided reading sessions, they explore the book they are reading and they start to develop their comprehension skills.


 Children also take home reading books to share with parents, they begin with a weekly book at the start of Reception, which is increased to twice a week when children gain more confidence. When our children reach Year 1 they are encouraged to read on a daily basis. Reading books are something we have spent time and money organising, so that children take home books that match their current phonetic ability but provides a certain amount of challenge too.

Children visit the local Library in Whitehaven in each year group and have weekly access to the school library.  We enjoy celebrating World Book Day and dedicate this day to reading for pleasure.We are also eager to ensure that reading for pleasure happens daily, with specified book areas in each class and selected texts which make up our year group reading spines that we read over and over again so children gain confidence with this list of 15 books. 


Our Schools Reading Spine

Each Year have selected 15 key texts that we feel will embed a love of reading within each year group. These texts will be shared again and again within class, so children grow to love each story and can begin to retell the stories independently. A big thank you to all of those parents who have kindly donated books to use in our class reading spines.

Take a look at our Schools Reading policy:

Reading Document for parents

This document has been designed to share with all of our parents, it is handed out at our first Reception Reading meeting. 

Celebrating World Book Day 2022

Visiting Whitehaven Library 

We have tried hard to build a good link with our local library, in an attempt to encourage families to use the library on a regular basis. Children visit the library termly in Reception and then they visit again during Year 1 and Year 2. Take a loot at some photos of us enjoying the library. 

Visit from the librarians 

Nursery enjoyed a visit from the lovely ladies from the library. They read two stories for us 'Shark in the Dark' by Nick Sharratt and 'The Runaway Pea' by Kjartan Poskitt. The children listened carefully and joined in with all the actions and were able to remember much of what happened in the stories.

Our Annual Visit From the Library Van 

We love reading at home 

During Cumbria's "Share a book a Day" week, we set a competition on Facebook for children to share some unusual places they like to read at home...

Reading Support for Parents 

Following on from the parent reading survey that was sent out last term, lots of parents were keen to attend a reading workshop after school. These workshops will focus on different aspects of reading from Nursery to Year 2.Each Year group held their meetings during Autumn term. 

 We hope that these meetings helped give parents confidence with sharing story books at home as well as supporting you with reading homework sent from school. Reading is such an essential tool in order to access all of the curriculum and we have made reading one of our key priorities to promote throughout school this year.

Below is the presentation used for our parent reading meeting in Reception. 

Here are some great websites you can access at home to help support your child's reading/ phonics: 

phonics Play:



Cbeebies stories:


Oxford Owl(free online books)


Phonics Games on ICT Games:


Jolly phonics songs: 


Alphablocks (support reading) 



Click on the links to see how you can help your child with reading at home

Bedtime Reading

Family Reading


Weekly Reading Assemblies 

Each Wednesday we hold a whole school Story Assembly. Each week we have a different reading theme. Different Grown ups take the assemblies each week so children see a wide range of adults reading. Once a story has been shared we discuss the theme of the text and each class are given their special book bag including a new title based around the weekly theme to share back in classes. Classes are encouraged to share their books within the year band until they are returned the following week at the next Book Assembly. 

To involve parents we post a book a week on Facebook lined to the theme of the week so parents can share a story at home too. 

Our School Library 

In order to create a love of reading within our school we encourage all children to visit the library on a weekly basis! Each class, including Pre Nursery and Nursery, have a time tabled slot when they can access the library. Each class uses the library for different purposes depending on what they are aiming for in that sessions. Sometimes it may just be a visit for pleasure, choosing any book they wish to read. Sometimes they are trying to find a non-fiction book based on their own interest or a topic they are focusing on in class. Some visits are to listen to a story read by a grown up. Other visits  include: writing a book review, writing a story plan, sharing a book with a buddy or parent helper reading time.


We want all of our children to have access to a wide range of different books, fiction books, non-fiction books, picture books and big books. 

Take a look at your child's current phonics phase 

To teach children how to read and write, all schools use phonics. Phonics teaches children about the sounds that make up words.

As part of our aim to keep parents informed of children’s learning in school,we have decided to send home information regarding the phonics phase in which your child is currently working.

We hope this information will help you when completing reading homework and support your child’s learning at home alongside school. It is really important that children practise their phonics at home as it helps them to progress quickly.

You will receive an update of your child’s phonics phase when they begin in the next stage, this will be sent out as a letter. This sheet informs you of the sounds and tricky words your child will be learning over the next few weeks (both recognising by sight when reading and also when writing.) It gives you some ideas and tips to try at home and tries to explain how we teach some of these sounds in class.

If you have any questions or queries regarding your child’s phonics learning please don’t hesitate to get in touch,

Phase 1 

Phase 3 

Phase 5 

Phase 2 

Phase 4 

Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 8AJ

01946 595010