English - Reading

Reading at St. Paul's

At St Paul’s, we value reading as a key life skill which underpins every element of the curriculum. Therefore, we are dedicated in ensuring that by the time children leave St Paul’s, they are fluent, confident readers and speakers, which enables them to communicate effectively and coherently and be a fully participating member of society.

We understand that children need to be able to be rapid, fluent decoders in order to successfully comprehend texts. This is why from Early Years to Year Two, daily phonics sessions take place to embed the idea that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words, and embed these letters and sounds until the children are fluent and do not hesitate when reading. To ensure complete coverage of these sounds, we follow the First Class phonics programme, which is delivered through high quality daily teaching of phonics in 20-minute sessions. 

From Early Years through to Year Six, children have access to a range of high-quality texts. We are lucky enough to have a flourishing library, with a variety of genres to inspire children to read and share stories at home with their families. This range of texts also helps to develop pupils culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. These texts may be beyond a level at which they can read independently, but we encourage children to choose texts they can share at home, thus promoting reading for pleasure. Alongside this, children also take home a personal reading book which matches their phonics level. Once children have completed Lime Band, which is aimed at Greater Depth Year Two children/Year 3 children, they move onto Book Bands we have created as a school: Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond. These books are aimed at KS2 children and are designed to progress in content as opposed to word-level, although they do increase in difficulty. KS2 children are encouraged to choose their own book, based on their own interests and own confidence in reading. This will inspire children to read independently and regularly. All children record these texts in their personal reading records, supporting home-school communication.

From Years Two-Year Six, children partake in daily guided reading sessions, typically lasting 45 minutes. Teachers follow a structured weekly plan to enable a broad range of decoding and comprehension skills are taught, developed and revisited throughout the week. The children are familiar with the skills stated in the content domains through the use of our Reading Gems, across KS1 and KS2. These skills are taught explicitly through a range of different texts, allowing children to explore a range of genres, authors and text styles.

Throughout the year, we aim to enrich children’s reading journeys through participating in a wide range of reading based events. World Book Day promotes discussion of children’s personal favourite texts and allows children to recommend texts to each other. This also allows children to see staff sharing their love of books. Each class also has a ‘Book Buzz Box.’ Each class has ten new books for their box. Teachers recommend books from the box to certain pupils in the hope it will inspire other children to want to read the same book. Books will be returned, and other pupils will want to read them, creating a ‘buzz’ around the books. Other events take place, such as author visits, sponsored reads and mystery texts.  It is our aim to keep these events fresh and exciting for our pupils.

Through the dedication of staff, range of resources and enthusiasm of pupils, it is our goal that children leave St Paul’s as competent readers, who can recommend texts to each other, have a passion for reading a range of genres and can draw upon their reading skills to become flourishing members of society.

Intent

At St Paul’s, we value reading as a key life skill which underpins every element of the curriculum. We know that proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is key for pupils’ success in school.  We are dedicated to ensuring that by the time children leave St Paul’s, they are fluent, confident readers and speakers, who can communicate effectively and coherently.  We understand that children need to be able to be rapid, fluent decoders in order to successfully comprehend texts.  Our reading curriculum is designed to enrich children’s fluency, vocabulary  and love of reading through book talk, building and sharing a love of stories, and accurate assessments.  We have high expectations of all of our pupils.  We aim to ensure that the percentage of pupils working at age related expectations and above age-related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages. We strive to ensure that there will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils.  Through the dedication of staff, range of resources and enthusiasm of pupils, it is our goal that children leave St Paul’s as competent readers, who can draw upon their reading skills to become flourishing members of society.

Implementation

Reading and sharing a love of books is one of our biggest priorities at St Paul’s. We ensure that staff read to children at least 3 times a week, but daily is the goal. Children have access to a wide range of diverse texts and genres in our library and in class libraries. Teachers select high-quality texts for these areas, based on a variety of factors. These factors include: the response the book will create, the strength of the narrative, inclusivity, reflections of different cultures etc. Children are often given the opportunity to vote for which text they would like to be read to next. These texts are then displayed in reading areas, inviting children to revisit them and reconnect with them.

We teach phonics using the First Class Phonics scheme. The scheme offers a fully resourced systematic, synthetic programme of study, with high expectations of progress and success in Phonics. All members of staff who deliver Phonics are fully trained. The lessons follow a consistent structure of Revisit, Teach, Practise and Apply. The teacher makes formative assessments during every lesson and the children’s progress is closely tracked. Any children who are not keeping up with expected progress are identified and offered intervention to help them catch up quickly.

From Year Two to Year Six, children participate in daily guided reading sessions, typically lasting 45 minutes. Teachers follow a structured weekly plan to ensure a broad range of decoding and comprehension skills are taught, developed and revisited throughout the week. The children are familiar with the skills stated in the content domains through the use of our Reading Gems, across KS1 and KS2. These skills are taught explicitly through a range of different texts, allowing children to explore a range of genres, authors and text styles. During these sessions, teachers model: fluent, engaging reading, strategies to read unfamiliar words and strategies for answering questions. The final layer of the week’s Guided Reading structure is called the ‘Cold Application’, which provides a chance for children to apply their knowledge learnt in the week on a new text.

Throughout the year, we enrich children’s reading journeys through participating in a wide range of reading based events. World Book Day promotes discussion of children’s personal favourite texts, and allows children to recommend texts to each other. Each class also has a ‘Book Buzz Box’ which consists of ten new texts across a range of genres. Teachers recommend books from the box to pupils in the hope it will inspire other children to want to read the same book. Other events take place, such as author visits, sponsored reads and mystery texts. It is our aim to keep these events fresh and exciting for our pupils.

Impact

Phonics is assessed regularly to ensure progress is being made and children at risk of falling behind are identified. This is through daily formative assessment and half-termly summative assessments. This ensures we maintain our high percentages of children who pass the phonics screening check at the end of Year One.  Children in Years Two to Six use a tracker to monitor their progress in the Cold Application aspect of Guided Reading. Teachers can use this to provide personalised feedback, inform their planning and address misconceptions with the class. This helps children feel more confident and equipped in answering different styles of questions during termly assessments. This in turn helps maintain results which are at least in line with national average.  Termly assessments based on the reading content domains help provide a summative assessment of progress in reading, and helps identify those children who may need additional support to keep up with their peers.  Children develop a love of reading at St Paul’s and understand the vital role it plays in their education. They learn to love reading and all the benefits it brings. Children can also use their reading skills to gain knowledge in wider subject areas and enhance their understanding.

Contact the School

St Paul's Catholic Primary School

Miss M Flynn (Headteacher)
St Paul's Catholic Primary School
Turner Lane
Hyde
SK14 4AG, United Kingdom

Main Contact: Mrs S Phoenix (School Business Manager)

Tel: 0161 368 2934
admin@st-pauls-hyde.tameside.sch.uk

SEN Contact: Mrs K Higginbottom