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Reading at St Mary's


Our vision

Our intention is that every child at St Mary’s becomes a confident and independent reader, who does not just see reading as an activity they do in school, but part of their everyday lives. We firmly believe that the acquisition of reading skills, access to a wide range of literature, and a genuine love for reading can transform a child’s life. Our core aim is to help every child make the maximum amount of progress in reading during their time with us to ensure they have the best access to the world around them. Through our reading lessons, the children access a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Fiction and poetry are carefully selected to ensure that the children are either exploring the ‘five plagues of reading’ or well-loved texts. We ensure ‘The five plagues of reading’ are covered from Year 1 to Year 6 by making sure texts come from a range of categories: archaic, non-linear, complex in plot, complex in narration, or resistant in plot. For our non-fiction texts, can be related to a range of current events and issues which are relevant to the children or are related to our cross curricular subject focuses.

How we plan and teach Reading

From Year 2 to Year 6, we teach Reading as a whole class activity. EYFS and Year 1 teach in groups.  We believe that these approaches to reading offer the benefits of exposure to more challenging texts, increased time for deep exploration of texts and the opportunity for discussion.  For our termly class novel, the children are read a few chapters a week by their class teacher or children as part of our ‘daily reading aloud’ and this includes discussions about the text and language. Alongside this, in Year 1 to 6 we have a discreet reading lesson once a week based on a range of text types.  In these sessions, children are given an opportunity to read aloud and participate in class discussions. In addition, a range of VIPERS skills are covered through verbal or written comprehension questions, outlined in the year group sections below.  During further reading sessions, we cover either fiction or non-fiction extracts, or poetry. These sessions hone in on one or two of the VIPERS skills to aid understanding of these specific reading skills. Dependent on the topic, these sessions can be verbal discussions or involving short written responses

How we evaluate Reading

From Reception to Year 3, staff listen to the children read regularly. We value one-to-one reading to ensure that every child is developing their phonetic decoding and reading fluency skills. From Years 4-6, we find opportunities to hear all children read in a range of activities. Our Year 6 pupils also spend some time each term to read aloud to their Reception Buddies. For those children not making expected progress, opportunities to read to a reading support assistant are sought or to take part in group reading intervention sessions. Three times a year, Years 2-6 complete formal reading assessments, these are either from NFER or are previous SATs papers for those in Years 2 and 6. Tracking their reading comprehension regularly helps us to ensure that every child is making the best progress they can.  A love of language and reading books and texts is celebrated in our school in a variety of ways with: “Buddy reading sessions”, “Drop everything and read opportunities”, discovery of new text types during immersion for writing activities. Children in KS2 are encouraged to have a book on their table whenever possible.

Children begin each Reading lesson with these questions


Subject Overview and Curriculum Map

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