Holy Family Catholic Primary and Nursery School

Bush Babies Nursery

English - Reading

When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.’

Acts 15:31

Reading Intent

Reading is a skill essential for life. At Holy Family we aim to foster in each child a love of books and reading, as well as develop a growing ability to read fluently, confidently and with understanding. We strive to improve and extend each child's skills in reading while also nurturing their love of reading for pleasure. We understand that if children have a positive start with early reading and phonics it will have endless benefits across all areas of the children’s learning and we aim to enable all children, regardless of background, ability or additional needs, to flourish to achieve their very best.


Children will:

  • Have access to a rich and varied range of high quality texts for both study and pleasure.
  • Understand that in the early teaching of reading, knowledge and skills of phonics is essential to develop fluency and accuracy.
  • Explore extensive and rich vocabulary which will in turn lead to an excellent comprehension of texts across the curriculum. 
  • Foster a love of reading throughout the school whilst encouraging opportunities in reading for pleasure and to nurture our children to become lifelong readers.
  • Build upon each child’s skills, knowledge and understanding to extend and expand their reading ability to prepare them for the next stage in their education.


Reading Implementation

All our classes follow a structured approach to reading activities. Reading sessions are interactive and teachers facilitate speaking and listening opportunities, with the children working individually, in pairs, groups and within the whole class. 

Our whole school reading overview can be found here. 

 Individual Reading Books

Regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. All reading books assigned to children on their phonic journey are fully decodable books to ensure that the children are able to apply and consolidate the skills they have learnt in their phonics lessons and early reading sessions to reading a book fluently and independently. 

Staff monitor children’s progress through the use of rigorous assessment to determine next steps to develop skills. The assessment provides staff and children with the knowledge of when best for them to move onto the next phase/level. The varied texts available ensures that the children are exposed to a range of titles and reading with the children and questioning them on the texts, make certain these texts have been understood.

 In Key Stage 1: we match the individual reading books to the children’s phonic ability in line with our Early reading and phonics scheme - LIttle Wandle.  This helps to ensure development of the children’s fluency is practised.

 In Key Stage 2: Until children are fluent readers, books are matched to their phonic ability, as with KS1.  All fluent, independent readers will have an individual reading book that they will bring home each day, from a large selection of high quality texts.

 We ask that parent’s encourage their children to read at home with them on a daily basis, regardless of their year group. Reading aloud and sharing books with them allows the children to apply their skills to decode a text. Recording of any reading is recorded by both parents and teachers and can be tracked to ensure all children are being given the opportunity to read.

 Class Readers

All teachers share a daily 'Class Reader' book with their children to further develop reading for pleasure. We use a reading spine to choose these quality texts, as well as some titles selected by the children, to ensure that the children experience a wide variety of authors and genres. At times, these books may also link to areas of the wider curriculum. All carefully selected books expose the children to a wealth of high-quality vocabulary, which can open up the opportunity for deeper, meaningful discussions.

Children also have access to an e library at home and books are allocated by the class teacher that specifically match the children's phonic ability. 


Group Reading

EYFS and Key Stage 1 –Practice reading sessions are linked to the children’s Phonics ability and taught in line with our Early Reading and Phonics scheme - Little Wandle. practice reading sessions take place three times weekly and follow a systematic approach to reading. The 3 sessions cover decoding, prosody and comprehension. Within the sessions, the children will recap GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence) look at focus or tricky words from the text and discuss these, as well as using there phonic/reading knowledge to read the text. The children will be asked questioned about the text, to check their understanding of what they are reading. 


Guided Reading KS2

In Key Stage 2, we follow a whole class approach to teaching guided reading, and this is taught individually at least twice week. Texts used cover a variety of genres including Fiction, Non-fiction, songs and poetry, as well as web pages and news items. This is planned on a 2 year cycle allowing a range of text types to be continually revisited. All children have the opportunity to read aloud to the class during these sessions. Although the class teacher will read some of the text for modelling purposes, the children will do the majority of the reading. The texts selected will often take no more than 15 minutes of reading time and is always read aloud. 

Following the reading of the text any unfamiliar or potentially limiting vocabulary is explored and read around followed by the children undertaking a quick retrieval quiz. The reading sessions have a focus on the skills of Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequence of summarise. (VIPERS)

 Deeper questioning and any activities that follow are presented one at a time, these take three forms: individual thinking, partnered talk and solo work, to check and develop their understanding of what they are reading.

Our Year 3 and Year 4 Guided Reading overview can be found here. 

Our Year 4 and Year 6 Guided Reading overview can be found here. 

Reading Corners

All classes have access to a range of high-quality texts in their book corners that children have access to at all times. 

Reading Impact

The impact of our Reading curriculum is measured in a variety of ways. Summative assessments are used across the school, to enable the children’s progress and attainment to be monitored.  PIRA Reading Assessments are used from Year 1, to evaluate children’s word reading and reading comprehension at least three times a year.  Additionally, Little Wandle has an ongoing assessment, which follows the child throughout their Phonic journey, from their Early Years through to them becoming fluent, independent readers. This assessment provides accurate robust real time data, which feeds into the allocation of their home reading books.

In addition to this, work throughout the term is assessed to inform our teachers of the children’s next steps and successes. Daily, on-going assessments, combined with AfL strategies, provide instant feedback to children, enabling the teachers to ensure progress within the lesson and within units of work.

 Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum and strive to encourage children to share and develop their own deeper love of reading.

 As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire for our children to be fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

Curriculum Documents

Holy Family Whole School Reading Overview - Our whole school reading overview showing all of the key texts that are covered from EYFS to Year 6. 

Reading Progression of Skills Map

English National Curriculum

Reading at Holy Family

  Visiting Author - Stuart Gould

On Tuesday 5th March author - Stuart Gould will be visiting Holy Family. He will read his book 'Nuts' to all the children. There will also be a chance to purchase a signed copy of Stuarts book afterschool on Wednesday 6th January. More information to follow.