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St Marie’s Catholic Primary School Curriculum Guide Reading

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss “Reading shaped my dreams, more reading helped me make my dreams come true.” - Ruth Bader Ginsberg

AIMSAt St Marie’s we work as readers. Link to National Curriculum ENGLISH

At St. Marie’s, it is our intention to provide pupils with a high quality education in English by mastering basic skills in reading, spelling and writing to enable them to speak, read and write with great fluency and communicate effectively. To ensure children of all abilities (including disadvantaged children) become confident readers, writers and speakers, following age related expectations. The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:

  • show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
  • rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently;
  •  read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
  •  acquire a wider vocabulary;
  •  participate in the teaching of phonics knowledge, skills and understanding in a systematic and enjoyable way;
  • develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
  • develop a love of reading;
  •  read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
  •  through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spirutally;
  • develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge. To design an English curriculum which is progressive and sequenced to develop the acquisition of knowledge and skills. To expose children to a variety of literature, genres and authors. To ensure that pupils take pride in their writing using St Marie’s handwriting scheme and presenting their work to a high standard. We endeavour to ensure that all our pupils are equipped with the necessary reading, writing, speaking and listening skills which will enable them to be effective communicators in the wider world.

At St Marie’s early reading skills are taught through daily phonics sessions, following the Letters And Sounds programme. In addition to this, children take part in daily Guided Reading lessons (in Reception when able to aply phonic skills to reading), where children are exposed to a range of different texts and are provided with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to read words confidently and fluently and to show understanding of these texts through high quality discussion with teachers. From summer term in year 2, children are taught reading whole class for two hours per week using the Mike Cain approach. This involves oral comprehension, contiguous reading without interruption; modelling and shared reading, teaching interspersed with commentary and fluency. Subsequently, comprehension skills are addressed through four main question types: on the lines (literal), between the lines (inferential), outside the lines (features of genre and their purpose) and beyond the lines (author’s intention). As referenced above, reading week takes place at the beginning of each term to provide models and inspiration for writing, but also to address reading objectives. Texts are selected according to the genre being taught in writing. During reading week, children identify the features of the genre and the writing skills involved. This serves as a springboard for their writing in subsequent weeks. Simultaneously, children are taught important reading skills. These include: use of prior knowledge, visualisation, prediction skills, sequencing, summarising, skimming and scanning, comparing and contrasting, use of evidence to support answers, character analysis, author’s intent and alternative viewpoints. A range of activities are planned to teach these skills, these include: role play, comprehension, sequencing activities, hot seating, conscience alley, character descriptions, writing from the point of view of a different character.

Each classroom has a selection of books in their classroom which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum. Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This class reader can be linked to the topic being studied or is chosen because it is a high quality text from recommended book lists to encourage reading for pleasure. Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading age. Children are given the opportunity to discuss these books and recommend to their peers.

Parental Support and Reading at Home

Early Years and KS1 Each child is allocated their own home reading book which is appropriate to their reading level. Home readers are colour banded according to difficulty (see attached). Parents are asked to sign their children’s diary and note page numbers read each night to show they have read. We run parent information sessions based on the teaching of phonics for Reception, Year 1and Year 2 parents and reading workshopsin each KS2 year group for the teaching of reading and the Reading SAT in Year 6 to ensure parents understand age-related expectations. These sessions are well attended by parents and carers and we have received very positive feedback.


Early years and KS1 Year 1 Phonics Screening Test. Reading is assessed using key performance indicators and interim frameworks provided by the government. Past SATs papers (Year 2 and 6) and NFER tests are used to formally assess children in reading termly. These results are entered into SIMS for each year group.


Phonics screening

Phonics screening results

NFER Tests

Y2 and Y6 SAT results

Book Scrutiny Planning

Scrutiny Pupil


Staff Training

What makes a good reader at Saint Marie’s?


Can apply spelling rules and phonetic patterns when coming across challenging words.




A good reader:



Grows in passion, respect and enjoyment towards reading/books.




Has a strong command of spoken language that underpins the development of vocabulary.




Has the ability to answer a range of question types:

-On the lines

-Between the lines

-Outside the lines

-Beyond the lines



Has stamina, speed and focus when reading.







Has the ability to locate information without reading the whole text.