St William's Catholic Primary School

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St William's Catholic Primary School

Christ at Our Heart


Statement of Intent

As St William’s is ‘A School of Reading’, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading starting with the teaching of synthetic phonics – following ‘Super Sonic Phonics Friends’; a linked approach to individual reading and group reading interventions; home reading; reading across the curriculum and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. We believe, all of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

We know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and the positive impact reading can have on mental wellness.  Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, therefore, we endeavor to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home. 


Early Reading & Phonics

Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we believe in putting as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Super Sonic Phonic Friends approach (see separate document).

St William’s is ‘A School of Mastery.’ Following a mastery approach to phonics, reading skills and English are taught as a whole class. Teachers regularly read with the children, so the children get to know and love a range of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home – linked to their phonic understanding in Reception and KS1 and linked to the book bands from Year 3 upwards.  This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.

 Reading Throughout School

  • At St William’s staff are passionate about reading and as part of our whole school approach to foster a love of reading - children are read to each day by their class teacher - this can be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.
  • Children are exposed to a range of quality texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
  • We have three excellent libraries and a wide range of reading books in or accessible to every classroom. All children choose a reading book to take home and this book is changed regularly.
  • Each classroom has a range of books directly linked to the class topic – to foster enquiring minds. Offering further opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
  • The daily English lessons follow the ‘Mastery approach’ and are based on the Philip Webb English teaching sequence - prediction, comprehension, text structure, grammar and writing with high quality texts forming the basis of learning.
  • English working walls incorporate both reading and writing, and around school there are a range of displays to encourage reading at home.
  • The explicit teaching of reading skills takes place two times per week outside the English lesson – this may be linked to the English text, history or geography topic, science topic or stand-alone activity.
  • Reading follows the ‘Reciprocal Reading’ sequence - prediction, clarify, question and summarise.
  • All pupils read individually to staff in school three times per week and for the lowest 20% and target readers daily. Comments are recorded in home school reading records and all classes have a reading register to keep track of this.
  • Reading interventions are based on GAPs identified through AFL. Where this is identified in the lesson, same day interventions for individuals will take place on the same day by the teachers or teaching support staff. individual.
  • Pupils who are not ‘on track’ with their reading have reading intervention sessions using ‘L’explore’.
  • We aim that all children have exposure to the classic texts.

Reading & SEND

The teaching of Phonics is adapted accordingly in order to meet the diverse needs of the children.  Lessons are adapted specifically for children with special educational needs.  This could include providing children with more visual resources or extra intervention to ensure they are not only included in lessons, but able to work more independently, whilst still achieving the intended outcome of the lesson.   Furthermore, teachers will seek to extend the learning for the most able children by differentiating tasks set within a lesson or through additional challenge questions which enable the learner to demonstrate their knowledge or explore in greater detail.



Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 and half termly phonics assessments.  Attainment in reading is measured through statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two.  These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.  However, 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 assessment.

By the time the children leave St William’s, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have thirst for reading a range of genres and can participate in discussions about books.  They can read books to enhance their understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience.