We are Readers!

At St Martin's we recognise the importance of reading as a driving force for children's learning and believe that 'once a child can read they can do anything!' 

We strive for all children to foster a lifelong love of reading and become enthusiastic, confident and fluent readers. Therefore, reading is at the heart of everything we do. We aim to provide both a rich reading environment and curriculum, exposing children to high quality texts across all curriculum areas. We want our children to read for enjoyment and also be able to use books confidently and accurately in order to find out about the world and develop a deeper understanding. We encourage children to develop an interest in words and their meanings, in turn providing them with the word power needed to be successful speakers and writers, so that they may function in society as literate readers for life.

The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all 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, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage

The Programmes of Study for Reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)


How is reading taught from the very beginning?


At St. Martin's pupils learn to read through a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc (RWI). Children start phonics sessions in Reception where they are introduced to simple sounds and the basics of blending - combining sounds to make words. By the time pupils complete Year 1 they are able to blend all the simple and complex sounds in the English language, preparing them for the Phonics Screening Check and giving them the skills to read and understand more and more complex texts fluently. 

This approach:‚Äč

  • Gets children decoding and comprehending quickly. The special ‘three reads’ approach ensures that all children gain accuracy, fluency and a good understanding of the text.
  • Ensures children read storybooks and non-fiction books matched to their growing phonic knowledge.
  • Leaves no child behind. Initial and on-going assessment to track every child’s progress.
  • Prevents downtime. Direct teaching followed by partner practice means that every child participates in the whole lesson.

Pupils are supported to progress rapidly through daily phonics teaching and 1:1 tutoring. 



Reading in KS2 

Reading Scheme & Reading at Home

At KS2, phonics knowledge from KS1 is built upon. Children follow on the school reading scheme as they move into KS2 and choose reading books from the appropriate level. These books are taken home for children to read. To help your child progress, listening them to read every night for at least 10 minutes is extremely beneficial. When listening to your child read it is important that the children’s understanding of what they are reading is also focussed on. 

Reading Plus

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Pupils in school also use an online reading programme called Reading Plus which assesses their reading level and presents them with a wide selection of books at the suitable level. The programme then uses questions and reading speed trackers to assess pupil’s progress and adjusts their reading accordingly. The data from this programme then feeds into our intervention and support programmes.

Children can also access Reading Plus at home. This can be done by going to the Reading Plus Website. Children should know their login details but if they do not then please ask their class teacher. 


Reciprocal Reading


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Comprehension is taught from Reception to Year 6, at St Martin's we use a Reciprocal Reading approach to support children's comprehension skills.

Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teachers model, then help students learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting. Once students have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading a dialogue about what has been read.

A reciprocal reading approach encourages students to think about their own thought process during reading, helps students learn to be actively involved and monitor their comprehension as they read and teaches students to ask questions during reading and helps make the text more comprehensible.


The Phonics and Reading subject lead is Mrs Monks




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