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At St William’s, Reading and the teaching of Reading is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure that all children become primary literate and progress in the areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening so that they can access the full curriculum offer. Teaching children to read confidently, for information and for pleasure is the most important thing that we do. We have high aspirations for all our children and it is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We have ensured that our inclusive curriculum meets the needs of all learners, including those with SEND. 

Leaders prioritise reading and have invested in the development of reading across the school. Staff have utilised their experience and expertise to design an exciting, sequential, Reading curriculum that is driven by high quality diverse texts and progressively builds knowledge, understanding and skills. Strong links are made across all curriculum areas to ensure knowledge does not sit in isolation. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections, enable a deeper understanding of vocabulary and allow opportunities for our pupils to transfer knowledge and language across curriculum areas, thus enhancing communication, language and literacy across the curriculum. 

Our bespoke Reading curriculum is just as ambitious as the National Curriculum and focuses and consists of three dimensions: 

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).
  • Reading for Pleasure

The carefully chosen literature spine forms part of the long term English plan and includes a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Vocabulary and knowledge are both taught explicitly within our reading lessons. 

By the end of Key Stage One, our children will already be successful, fluent decoders through the delivery of consistent high quality, systematic synthetic phonics teaching from EYFS until the end of KS1 (following the Sounds-Write programme). They understand that they use their phonics knowledge as the first tool when tackling new words in reading and writing. They will also have a growing understanding of text meaning which will be further developed during Key Stage 2. We teach whole class reading daily. To ensure a holistic approach to reading comprehension and vocabulary, we use VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explain, retrieve and sequence/summarise) reading domains. 

A wide ‘diet’ of reading is provided for our children in our school, including whole class, guided reading, shared reading and individual reading. We consider storytelling and the sharing of stories to be the keystone to develop the enjoyment of reading as well as modelling fluent reading and comprehension skills. We therefore plan in a shared reading experience each day from Nursery to Year 6. 


At St William’s, we use the Sounds-Write phonics programme to teach our children to read, spell and write.  Further information on our approach to phonics and sounds write can be found in the phonics section of our website.

Reading National Curriculum Programme of Study  

The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions: 

  • word reading 
  • comprehension (both listening and reading) 

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each. 

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (ie unskilled readers) when they start school. 

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. 

It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. 

Reading Assessments 

There are National Assessments in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6. 

In Year 1 your child will sit a phonics assessment to identify which phonic patterns your child can recognise and read. The results of this test will be reported in your child's end of year report.  

In Year 2 your child will have their first SATs assessment.   The tests in Year 2 consist of a set of assessments conducted by your child’s class teacher along with two reading papers.  

In Years 3, 4 and 5 you child will be assessed in school however results won’t be nationally recorded, but they help teachers assess children’s progress and are will be reported in your child’s end of year report. 

In Key Stage 2 in year 6, aged 11, your child will sit further Nationally reported SATs tests. These SATs tests are more formal and consist of timed papers in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation and Maths.  The papers (with the exception of writing which is marked and moderated in school) are sent away for marking and the results are known before children leave primary school in July.  These test results will also be reported in your child’s end of term report. 

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is the most important thing that we do and is a frequent and regular part of each school day. It slows written language down and enables children to hear and take in tunes and patterns. During this protected time, our children experience and enjoy stories that they might not otherwise meet.  

Our Class Libraries

Within our school, we encourage a love of reading whenever we can; children have time daily to read books, and read books that they want to read. Spending time developing the reading environment - book areas, displays, libraries and outdoor reading areas - plays a significant part in encouraging our children to read. 

We have invested heavily in our class libraries and they have been created to ensure our children have regular access to high quality literature. In addition we have links to Trimdon Library and children regularly visit.   

Our only criteria for our class libraries are that it is inviting, attractive, filled with up to date books and, most importantly, used and used daily!  

We also have a whole school library located in the school hall ensuring reading is at the heart of our school. 

Home Reading  

At school, we encourage your child to read a range of books and talk about the books they read. Both our reading scheme and class libraries provide children with a wealth of texts  in different forms, E.g newspapers, magazines, non-fiction books, modern fiction, poetry and key classics. We encourage our children read their home reading books every day and these are discussed and changed regularly by the class teacher and Teaching Assistant. In class children love to read a book and then recommend that book to their friends, which is all part of our relentless drive to building a strong reading culture.  

From their earliest starting points our children are encouraged to develop good home-school reading routines. We would encourage all parents to read stories to children as part of a bedtime story routine.  

Reception and KS1 children take home a reading book each day from our Reading Scheme. Our reading scheme aligns closely to our systematic synthetic phonics programme, (Sounds Write). Reading books are fully decodable and sequential and allow children to practice sounds they have already learnt in class. Books are specially selected from leading publishers: Sounds-Write, Phonic-books and Oxford Reading Tree. 

Because reading is a priority in our school, we dedicate time each day to hearing/'teaching' children read on a 1 to 1 basis or in a reading group with one of our thoroughly- skilled Teaching Assistants. Children will be moved up through the stages when their teacher feels that they are fluent with the words within that stage and they are confident that the child is making meaning from the text.  

Accelerated Reader and Myon 

School has invested in both the Accelerated Reader and Myon online programmes which are available for use for all children from Year 2 to Year 6. 

Accelerated Reader is simple. A child reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Children respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. Accelerated Reader gives teachers the information they need to monitor children’s reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning. 

 All the reading books in our Accelerated Reader Library have been levelled against the Accelerated Reader programme. Your child will choose a reading book at their level and on completion they will take an on-line quiz and if they pass the quiz they will gain points for their reading. One very important aspect of the Accelerated Reader programme is that children need to have read and understood the book to enable them to pass the online quiz. 

 Accelerated reader works alongside Star Reader. Regular STAR Reading assessments determine each child’s current reading level and the range of book levels within which the child ought to be reading in order to make the greatest progress. Children develop reading skills most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books – difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated. Through the use of individualised targets, teachers can personalise children’s reading practice based on the quantity and complexity of the books they read. The Accelerated Reader Book Finder website is a public search engine allowing children, teachers and parents to find appropriate books that interest every reader. The importance of daily personalised reading practice cannot be overstated. Recent studies indicate that when children spend 25 minutes a day reading suitably challenging books which they successfully understand (demonstrated by achieving 90% or more on the reading practice quiz), then they will achieve optimal reading age growth. This is the power of personalised practice. 

 A comprehensive set of reports reveals how much a child has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills development are also measured, giving teachers insight into how well students have responded to reading schemes and class instruction. 

 Please encourage and support your child to read at home EVERY DAY Teachers will ensure that children have sufficient time allocated to them in school to take the online quizzes. Children and parents get instant feedback to help motivate success. Children receive a TOPS Report every time they complete a quiz. This stands for The Opportunity to Praise the Student, giving teachers the chance to recognise successes and plan next steps. Using Renaissance Home Connect, parents can view their children’s progress from home.  

 Accelerated Reader is an effective support for children in need of intervention, giving them regular small successes as they develop their reading skills. Avid readers aim for large points targets and try to become Word Millionaires by reading a million words in the course of an academic year or term. 

Myon is linked to Accelerated reader and is a student-centred, personalised literacy tool that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books. Titles are dynamically matched to each individual student’s interests, reading level and preferences. Combined with a collection of close reading tools and embedded support systems myON Reader fosters student engagement and achievement across all subjects and promotes a lasting love of reading.  

At St William’s, every student from Year 2 to Year 6 has a log in for the free to use myON website and we strongly encourage all children to take advantage of this and to use it as part of their natural learning routine and as part of their study at home and in school. 

MyON reading software provides us as teachers and you as parents with the ability to monitor your child’s reading progress and promotes a high standard of basic literacy skills; a vital tool for both academic progress and a valuable life-skill for life beyond education in future employment. 

After your child has logged on and created their profile, they will have the opportunity to specify their reading interests, which will promote greater enjoyment of reading on a much wider scale than ever before. No more boring books about topics that they don’t enjoy reading about! But best of all, due to reading age data that we collect on all pupils at the school, the programme specifically offers up options from a choice of thousands of texts that are aimed at your child’s level of reading ability. Long story short, it offers the right books to the right pupils. Through reading texts pitched at the correct level, students will progress at a faster rate and this will inevitably be beneficial to student comprehension across all subjects.  

If you require any additional support with your use of myON Reading, please do not hesitate to contact the school and we will aim to resolve your queries as quickly as possible. 

Myon can be accessed at: 

Accelerated Reader can be accessed at: 

If you or your child has forgotten their login details for either site, please contact the school and we will be able to provide these. 



Information about what children will be taught in writing regarding spelling, handwriting, composition and grammar & punctuation for each year group can be found below:

Writing Documents

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