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The best primary schools in England teach virtually every child to read, regardless of the social and economic circumstances of their neighbourhoods, the ethnicity of their pupils, the language spoken at home and most special educational needs or disabilities (Reading by the Age of 6)


At St Thomas’ we believe that all pupils can achieve in Reading, both for pleasure and in their comprehension and understanding. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress.

We believe through reading, pupils will have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We feel that reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.


Our intent is to:

  • Ensure pupils read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary and understanding of the conventions of reading
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage


The working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar words (decoding), the speedy recognition of familiar printed words (High Frequency / Tricky / Common Exception Words) and the understanding that the letter on the page represent the sounds in spoken words begins with phonics teaching in the EYFS and Key stage one. The process of recap, revisit and recall is embedded into all reading and reading lessons, to ensure long-term retention of skills and information to aid pupils in later life and empower them for life beyond St. Thomas’.



Subject Leadership / Subject Knowledge:

  • All teachers and assistants are given support and training to deliver phonics lessons and interventions in early years and key stage one.
  • Phonics delivery is monitored and assessed regularly by the senior leadership team, ensuring a consistent approach and identifying any gaps through assessments and pupil progress meetings termly.
  • CPD sessions are conducted to give teachers the continuity and progression of skills across Key stages and phases.
  • Inset training given to equip teachers with necessary skills to model, scaffold and question pupils to achieve a deeper level of understanding and vocabulary.

Equitable delivery: (see Expectations for Reading and Expectation timetable)


Word Reading (Phonics)

  • Daily phonics lessons in EYFS for 15-20 minutes each day.
  • Reception focus on phases 2,3,4
  • Year 1 focus on phases 4 and 5
  • Year 2 focus on phase 6
  • Year 3 intervention to catch up on children who failed their phonic screen or are new to our school or country.


  • Key Stage Two assessments in phonics and reading to enable intervention or catch up for children who failed their phonics screening test, are struggling with reading or are new to our school or country.

Word Reading in Reception/ KS1:

  • Colour coded banded books to read at home which match Lesley Clarke Letters and Sounds phonic phases, evidenced in home reading records and changed regularly.
  • Regular 1:1 reading with pupils in EYFS and Key Stage One (daily, 2x, 3x or weekly readers dependent on children’s need) and for those who require additional support at Key Stage 2.
  • Whole class phonics lessons delivered daily, focusing on the correct phase of Lesley Clarke’s Letters and Sounds. (EYFS and KS1)
  • Timetabled reading lessons (Usually the phonics lesson at EYFS and KS1)
  • Additional ‘Ready to Read’ input at KS 2 which consist of short, targeted fluency (T1 &2), inference (T3 &4) and either fluency or inference (T5 &6) depending on the need of the class.
  • Key Stage 2 are screened using the Lexia programme and children who are in receipt of the pupil premium grant or identified as benefitting from further support (catch up or acceleration) get timetabled sessions.
  • Regular assessments and clearly targeted interventions for identified children. Interventions are led by ‘Booster teachers’– Mrs Harris (KS1) and Mrs Sladden (KS2) and followed up by trained TAs, in liaison with the reading lead – Mrs Brooker.
  • Assessment of word reading and phonic phases (phase 2,3,4) (Reception), Phases 2-5 (Y1),

Phonics, word reading and fluency (KS2).


Whole Class Lessons for Word Reading and Comprehension (Y2 – Y6):

Reading lessons focus on reading a range of high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They feature excellent modelling and the direct teaching of reading to the whole class, alongside independent reading, focussed talk – partner work, responses (written or verbal) discussion and explanation. Lessons are focused on five objective led content domains in KS1 and eight in KS2. (Officially seven but for teaching and learning purposes the ‘identify and explain’ domain is split into two parts.) The constant repetition (recap, revisit and recall) of the reading skills explored through each content domain and a focus on the teaching of key strategies enables a deeper understanding of texts.


Book corners

All classrooms should have a book area. There should be a range of books, in a variety of genres and styles and reflecting both genders and the diverse culture of our children. We encourage our children to take ownership of book corners and to recommend reading materials to their peers especially at KS2.


Story time

In addition to any texts used for the teaching of reading, there should be story time every day in all classes. This is so that children can hear how a good reader uses information from the text such as punctuation and how great reading sounds. It is a time for children to enjoy books, while providing language rich experience and opportunities to develop vocabulary and comprehension skills. Whilst there may be some questioning to guage comprehension and vocabulary knowledge the primary purpose of this book is to engender reading for pleasure.


Breadth and Depth:

EYFS: language rich classroom, instructions to read, questions, reading through topic and role paly areas.

KS1: reading opportunities given in class story time, reading for information through topics studied, internet sources of reading, 1:1 reading opportunities, and whole class reading sessions.

KS2: class story books shared, reading for research and information through topics studied, internet sources of research, 1:1 reading opportunities and reading buddies (with younger children) whole class reading sessions.





Assessment for Learning takes place in all classes, continuously throughout the year, formal summative assessment points are made using the ‘Steps assessment’ in SIMs in December, March and June each year. Progress meetings follow these data drops and teachers come prepared to meetings with ‘what is needed next’ information.

The impact of our reading policy and practice is:

  • an increase in reading for pleasure
  • an increase in reading assessment data for all year groups and sub- groups.