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Our aim is for all children to leave St Mary’s Priory with a lifelong love of reading. We ensure all children have developed their ‘reading mind’ through learning to read fluently, developing comprehension skills, reading for a range of purposes, enjoying stories and exploring diverse themes. We prioritise reading because we know it gives children access to a lifetime of learning.

Reading in Early Years and Key Stage 1

A rigorous start to reading begins with phonics, which we deliver through ‘Little Wandle Letters & Sounds’ programme, beginning children on phase one in Nursery and aiming for all children to reach phase five by the end of year one. Children are expected to apply their phonic knowledge throughout the curriculum and embed their reading skills through phonetically matched digital and real home reading books.

Class reading in Early Years focuses on one to one reading, allowing teachers to move children on quickly and ensure they are using their phonics knowledge effectively to decode and blend. Reading lessons in Key Stage One focus on embedding phonics through small group guided reading sessions, using banded books matched to their phonic level.

Key Stage Two

In Year 3, our children move on to whole-class reading lessons, which we deliver through Destination Reader, a programme that involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. 

The approach encompasses the key principles of effective reading provision and fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum by creating deep understanding of texts, developing oracy around reading and increasing breadth of reading. Destination Reader also helps to build a culture of reading for pleasure and purpose.

Alongside these reading lessons, some children access the Key Stage 2 Little Wandle scheme, which matches text to reading age, and allow teachers to monitor reading progress and personalise instruction.

Promoting a love of reading

We encourage children to develop their love of reading with regular trips to our fantastic school library where they can select a free-choice reading book. Every class also has protected story time at the end of the school day when the teacher reads aloud. We celebrate World Book Day, invite book fairs into school and host a range of events in school where parents can come and enjoy reading with their child. St Mary’s Priory loves reading!