Message sent from:
reading logo 2
reading logo 2


Subject Leader: Mrs Jo West

Link Governor: Mrs Natalie Cordon


Reading and communication are central to the curriculum at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. The aim of our curriculum is to provide an engaging and differentiated experience throughout the school, so that all children are able to read fluently, expressing their ideas and feelings clearly to others. We endeavour to provide a curriculum that is broad, varied and engaging, offering experiences through quality texts, drama, trips, author visits, role-play and discussion.  

All children at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School have the opportunity to learn Reading, which: 

  • is taught in a language rich environment that promotes a culture of reading 
  • is consistent in the approaches to teaching reading, as they move through the school 
  • supports children in developing a love of reading that not only allows them to access all areas of the curriculum, but develops reading for pleasure  
  • teaches children to value and use books as a basis for learning, pleasure, talk and play 
  • teaches children to read fluently and widely and supports them to express preferences and opinions about the texts they read  
  • supports children in developing a wide vocabulary 
  • fosters in children the confidence, desire and ability to express their views and opinions both orally and through their writing 
  • values and celebrates diversity in culture and language 


Reading is at the heart of the English curriculum here at St Mary's. Texts are chosen to reflect our school's identity and ethos, and also that of the wider community and world. Each class, from Years 1 to 6, has a daily English session, which will include opportunities for reading. Lessons incorporate whole-class teaching, group activities and individual learning as appropriate to the year-group. These sessions are planned carefully by teachers using a variety of high quality whole texts and extracts utilising the Wordsmith scheme of work or linked to History and Geography topics. 

The use of high quality texts to engage children is also key in EYFS, where teachers plan focused reading sessions linked to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Phonics programme. In addition, the children have access to Literacy activities as part of continuous provision throughout the day and reading for pleasure is a focal part of each day. 

All children are given home reading books, in EYFS and KS1 these are Big Cat Little Wandle books that are aligned to the child's phonic level. As they progress with their comprehension skills, children have access to a wider range of texts to promote reading for pleasure alongside continuing to develop their reading skills. Children are encouraged to choose from stories, poems and non-fiction texts to ensure a range of genres are explored.  Alongside home reading books, children are taught reading skills in class as part of reading sessions several times a week, either within the English lesson or in additional separate short sessions.  

All children are encouraged to read for pleasure and this is promoted through daily story sessions led by the teacher. 


Children in Reception and Year 1 have daily phonics lessons, using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, a complete systematic synthetic phonics program (SSP); click on the for parents tab on the Little Wandle website to access useful information about phonics and reading.  

Children who still require phonics support in KS2 attend Little Wandle Rapid Catch Up sessions, targeted at their need.  They can access fully decodable Big Cat Little Wandle books for ages 7+. 

Reading Vipers 

We use the VIPERS reading method to support guided reading. It is a way for teachers to ask and children to become familiar with comprehension questions and skills. VIPERS is an acronym which highlight the 6 areas of reading comprehension.  

VIPERS stands for 






Sequence or Summarise 

Key Stage 1 - VIPERS Posters

Key Stage 2 - VIPERS poster

VIPERS questions

Key Stage 2 - VIPERS bookmark

Useful Documents

The following file will give you an overview of the Reading curriculum at St Mary's and our expectations of pupils in this subject area:


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter even when they have come to the end of the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school; accessing a range of texts independently.

Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments such as the end of EYFS and Key Stage 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of Little Wandle, Pearson P & A Reading and NGRT assessments, plus ongoing teacher assessment.

More importantly, we believe that reading is the key to unlock all learning and so the impact of our reading goes beyond the statutory assessments. We give all the children the opportunity to enter the amazing new worlds that a book opens up to them and share texts from a range of cultures or genres to inspire them to question or seek out more for themselves. When they leave us, we want pupils to possess the reading skills and love of literature which will help them to enjoy and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future. 

Hit enter to search