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St Wulstan's Catholic Primary School

We come to school to love, learn and share in the light of Jesus

Reading at St Wulstan's

reading quote for kids


 At St Wulstan’s, we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We do not
put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.



St Wulstan's is a reading school! We promote reading and a love of reading throughout the whole curriculum!

Quality First Teaching

We teach phonics and reading skills as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum.  In addition to daily phonics, all children in Year 1 engage in small group reading sessions at least once weekly, which focus on decoding and retrieval. 1 to 1 reading coaching is much more regular in  EYFS and Year 1, with a focus on fluency and basic retrieval of information.  From Y2 onwards, whole class guided reading sessions are taught.  Within both phonics and guided reading lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for less confident pupils, to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. More confident readers are also given opportunities to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding through ‘big questions’, targeted questioning requiring more reasoned answers and making greater links across and between texts. In Y2-Y6, work in guided reading sessions is recorded in a reading journal. Texts often link to the English and Humanities learning, and are always carefully selected to ensure that they engage children.  The sequence of sessions includes:

  • Teaching of vocabulary
  • Summarising and paraphrasing
  • Close reading sessions with detailed analysis of an extract, including children's personal responses.
  • Planned questions to assess children's understanding and encourage them to infer, deduce, consider author content and structure of the piece. 
  • Big questions, which require a more in depth response;
  • Edit and improve sessions, where children are encouraged to discuss their responses to questions and use other pupils' ideas to further improve their own. 


Teachers and support staff have regular CPD, which enables them to teach reading effectively, using the most up-to-date research to underpin this. We regularly refine and adapt our teaching of reading based on the findings of new research. 



Early Years and Key Stage 1:

Pupils are taught as a whole class, focussing on individual sounds, groups of sounds and common exception words within different ‘phases’. We have an agreed progression for the teaching of new sounds and use a variety of published schemes and resources to support this. Identified children are given additional support from teachers and teaching assistants, either within the whole class lesson or as part of planned interventions that take place in addition to the lesson. Where possible, real life texts are used to support phonics teaching and reinforce sounds. 

During the Summer Term in Year 1, pupils undertake a Phonics Screening Test which assesses their ability to apply what they have learnt. After this, lessons move towards whole class reading lessons that take the same model as Years 2 to 6. Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Test continue to have intervention to support the acquisition of these key skills.


Whole school Reading Scheme

We have a whole school reading scheme (Oxford Reading Tree) that ensures progression in both word reading skills and comprehension. The scheme is structured to ensure that children have access to a wide range of texts, and allows for pupils to develop their skills within a level before moving to the next level. All pupils have a home-reading diary, which they are encouraged to take home daily. Parents and carers are asked to add comments to the home-reading records to indicate how much pupils have read and if they have shown good understanding.

Marking and Feedback

Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy. Children are encourage to annotate, edit and improve their own work in response to discussions with others. 


Summative Assessment

Summative assessments will be entered onto DCPro each term. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements for the most part on the quality of the written outcomes pupils given after structured teaching within the agreed reading skills. Teachers also complete reading assessments (e.g. past SATS papers, Cornerstone assessments, NGRT assessments) to provide another piece of evidence to support their assessment judgement. If tests are used, care is taken to ensure that pupils are prepared appropriately for the test, and any barriers to accessing these is removed.


Additional support

For children who need additional support, there are lots of interventions available. A 8.30am breakfast reading club is available for Years 2-6. Specific children are identified and these sessions are led by TAs, who have all been trained to lead the Reading Rocketeers and Reading Explorers programmes. They focus specifically on improving children's vocabulary and retrieval, inference and deduction skills. In addition to this, children who require additional support receive this in the form of additional small group guided reading sessions and regular 1 to 1 coaching. We believe that regular 1 to 1 reading, based on Ericsson's 10,000 hour rule, underpinned by the belief that a person needs 10,000 hours practice of a skill in order to master it, will improve children's confidence, accuracy and fluency. We also recognise that it enables teachers, TAs and parents to have a good understanding of their child's strengths and weaknesses in reading, and makes children feel that their reading is valued. 


Reading for pleasure and reading as a school community.

There are lots of varied opportunities in school for reading daily, including reading for pleasure , one-to-one reading, group and shared reading, guided reading and reading in cross curricular contexts. 

 Each classroom has it's own age appropriate selection of reading material. The main school library is packed with a HUGE range of texts for children to choose from. Children are encouraged to read their band book, and also a wide range of other material chosen by themselves.

Every time that we have a Key Stage assembly, each class teacher chooses a pupil who has demonstrated a real love of reading. They are rewarded in front of the rest of the school and parents with a certificate and a book prize. We also run challenges such as Extreme Reading and Holiday Reading Marathons, in order to encourage reading out of term time. 

Our English, History, Geography and Science work is often underpinned by high quality texts.

Staff read to children each day, in order to model reading fluently with expression. 

We run workshops to help support parents with how to develop their child's understanding and fluency when reading with them at home. These workshops will be advertised through the School Jotter app and our school Facebook page!

We regularly run competitions to encourage reading and a love of reading, such as Extreme Reading and Summer reading competitions. 



As a result of the implementation of our reading curriculum, we see visible impact through:


Pupils who enjoy reading across a range of genres
Pupils of all abilities are able to succeed in all reading lessons
Pupils use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
Pupils have a good knowledge of a range of authors
Pupils who are ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading and home, and contribute regularly to home-school records

Pupils talk confidently about texts that they have read

Pupils talk enthusiastically about their favourite books and authors. 

We hope to continue to see the impact that we have seen over the past 4 years on our attainment and progress outcomes:

The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group is higher than national average.
The % of pupils working at Greater Depth is higher than national average.
There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non disadvantaged)

There are positive progress scores between end of KS1 and KS2 in reading. 


Click here to see our reading progression of skills document.