“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.” Ofsted: Reading by six: how the best schools do it (2010)

The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners. In order to read across the curriculum with fluency, accuracy, understanding and enjoyment pupils need to be skilled in word recognition and comprehension, as highlighted in the Primary Framework’s ‘Simple View of Reading’. Reading development is linked to that of writing, speaking and listening and this policy must therefore be implemented in conjunction with other policies for English at St Mary’s C.E. Primary School.



  • To raise the standards of reading;
  • To establish an entitlement for all pupils;
  • To establish expectations for teaching staff for teaching reading;
  • To promote continuity and coherence in reading throughout school;
  • To state the school’s approaches to reading in order to promote understanding to parents and carers.


Children will be enabled to:

  • perceive reading as not only a lifelong enjoyable activity, but a purposeful, lifelong skill;
  • use reading independently to support learning across the curriculum;
  • use a range of reading strategies to support them with unfamiliar texts;
  • be knowledgeable about authors, illustrators, different genres and styles.


High quality phonic teaching secures the crucial skills of word recognition those once mastered enable children to read fluently and automatically.  Once children are fluent readers they are able to contrite on the meaning of the text.

Phonics is taught daily as a discrete teaching session for 20 minutes every day throughout KS1 and Year 3 and the children are streamed according to ability.

In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1:

The teaching of Phonics follows the teaching sequence set out in Letters and Sounds. Nursery will introduce Phase 1 of Letters & Sounds. High quality phonics sessions will be taught daily in Reception and Key Stage 1 classes, enhanced by a multi-sensory teaching approach, aware of different learning styles including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.

In Key Stage 2:  

For those children who have not made the necessary progress through the phases teaching of letters and sounds will continue. After the letters and sounds programme has continued children move on to the Support for Spelling programme. Word work should be taught explicitly and regularly to all pupils. Pupils who still need extra support with phonic work are identified and targeted for intervention strategies if necessary.


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