St Patrick's Church of England School

St Patrick'sChurch of England School

Learning Together, Growing Together, Supporting Each Other




At St. Patrick's CE Primary School, we believe every child deserves to be a reader and the most important skill any child can leave primary school with is the ability to read independently and effectively for meaning and enjoyment. Our aim is to develop a lifelong love of reading for everyone at our school.



The importance of reading and phonics at St Patrick's CE Primary School

Reading development is seen as a partnership between home and school.

Our aim is that our children will develop a love for reading. Reading is central to our curriculum and we believe reading is a vital skill that will support children’s learning across the whole curriculum.  This is why in our shared reading of class books, we choose high quality literature to widen children's knowledge of authors and explore diverse topics, cultures and characters. At St. Patrick's, we will ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding through a variety of discrete and cross-curricular learning opportunities. Above all, we want children in our school to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers who enjoy reading and read for pleasure. Reading and writing skills are strongly linked, so good reading fluency and understanding leads to improved application and confidence in writing and more ambitious knowledge and use of vocabulary. Therefore, reading regularly and widely has great benefits for writing.

We teach reading from Foundation Stage to Year 6. This can be in the form of one-to-one reading with an adult, reading groups linked to phonics assessments, shared reading, cross-curricular opportunities and independent reading. 

Please see the Phonics page for information on how we teach Phonics and resources to support your child at home.


Our reading curriculum has three strands:

  • Phonics, decoding and word reading focusing on accuracy and fluency
  • Comprehension, including vocabulary
  • Encouraging reading for pleasure and deepening engagement of children in reading

In EYFS and Key Stage 1, there is a synthetic phonics programme in place, which is taught systematically using Read Write Inc. In Key Stage 2, as their reading develops, children are encouraged to read from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books and access the Accelerated Reader program. After children have read their books, they complete book quizzes independently to show their understanding. Star reading assessments every term, using the same program, give information on the range of books that children should be reading and their reading ages. Therefore, progress of each child’s reading journey is tracked. Please see the Guide for Parents to Accelerated Reader below for further information.

Parents are encouraged to support reading at home and children read daily.  Children in EYFS and Year 1 take home a phonically decodable book matched to their learning in Phonics.  Each child in school has an individual reading record where reading is recorded and tracked and is a means of communicating development to the child, parent and teacher. 

Here are some helpful questions when reading with your child.

A Guide for Parents to Accelerated Reader

What does shared reading with the whole class look like?

  • All children have access to the same text which has been carefully selected for challenge, setting high expectations for children. Children are exposed to a wide variety of texts by different authors and covering diverse themes over the year.
  • Teachers model reading by ‘thinking aloud’ to show the process we go through as readers. This is also modelled in the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. 
  • Effective discussion is paramount and allows for purposeful speaking and listening activities.
  • Vocabulary understanding is key to comprehension. With a focus on vocabulary, our children broaden their own vocabulary and explore and explain the meaning of words in context. We use working walls to highlight new or useful vocabulary for children to use.
  • The teaching and application of specific comprehension strategies, such as inference and retrieval

Opportunities for reading

Pupils also read regularly in other areas of the curriculum and in other parts of the school day through:

  • Reading Across the Curriculum – Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning, for example in history, geography and science topics.
  • Researching topics - using carefully selected websites to enhance their subject knowledge
  • Read Aloud – Books are read to pupils for them to hear good examples of reading aloud and to develop an enthusiasm for reading books themselves.  

Useful websites

Julia Donaldson's top reading tips | Oxford Owl

Author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson, shares her top tips for reading with your child to make sure they get the best start with learning to read, including advice on enjoying reading together and acting out stories, as well as the importance of rhyming stories for children who are just learning to read.