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Reading Curriculum Statement

Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at St John’s. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success.


We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, with high quality texts to share and inspire learning opportunities, which will help them to:

  • Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
  • Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
  • Read accurately, fluently and with good understanding;
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity, fluency and confidence;
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
  • Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
  • Read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming education.


Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure a consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in FS and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum.

We follow the Sounds Write approach and also learn high frequency words. Children are provided with books that match and support their phonics development and ability.

All pupils have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, and are encouraged to read at home with an adult. We provide a text rich environment, in order to encourage a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promote pupils’ enjoyment of reading. Through high quality teaching and learning experiences we will develop children’s skills and competence.

Through the use of high quality texts pupils are encouraged to develop their vocabulary, consider a range of issues and deeper meanings in texts, develop comprehension skills and enjoyment of books. Reading skills are continually developed through the wider curriculum.

Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked to the class topic. This offers opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.

Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This can be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.

Children in KS2 who need additional support with reading are given daily intervention sessions using a wide variety of approaches.


By the time children leave St John’s, they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. They will also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the world, and communicate their research to a wider audience. They will be ready to read with accuracy, speed, confidence, fluency and understanding which will help access the secondary school curriculum. All pupils will make at least good progress from their starting points, achieve, at least in line with national expectations for attainment and will develop a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.

How we assess:

Assessment is continuous through teacher judgements of phonics skills (supported by Sounds- Write diagnostic assessments and practice phonics screening tests) and the use of Accelerated Reader and Star Reader regular tests (after each reading book is completed).

Assessments are completed more formally each term through written comprehension papers to give standardised scores and reading ages to enable monitoring of progress.

For those who may be falling behind, we administer additional diagnostic tests, use YARC tests and PM Benchmark to ascertain gaps in knowledge and skills.