Reading at St Bede’s

Intent: What do we want?

Our children will become fluent, successful readers. The children will read a range of texts across the whole curriculum and beyond, able to transfer and apply their skills. We will develop their love of reading through reading for pleasure, exposing them to a wide range of genres and texts, and ensuring books are appropriately matched to their age and ability.

Every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, need or ability. Our children will leave school having accessed a core spine of texts, covering a range of genres, throughout the primary phase, and developed a passion and curiosity to want to continue their reading journey.

Here at St Bede’s we focus on both Word Recognition and Language Comprehension. We understand that it is the careful weaving of all these skills which make a successful, fluent reader.

Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia | Middle Tennessee State University

We encourage “active readers” with inquisitive minds who ask questions about the text. We aim to equip all children with the reading skills needed to successfully access a wide variety of texts and genres.

As a school that values highly reading for pleasure, we are fully aware of the opportunities that reading offers to our pupils. Reading opens the doors, allowing children to access and make sense of the world as well as taking them on wonderful adventures.

Implementation: how is our curriculum delivered?

Reading is the beating heart of our curriculum.

Word Recognition

  • High quality, systematic Phonics is taught daily in Early Years and Key Stage 1 following the Little Wandle systematic synthetic phonics programme.
  • Phonics and reading lessons encourage children to sight read, segment and blend, and spell.
  • Reading ages and phonetic knowledge are assessed on entry and accurately matched to decodable reading books.  The sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is closely matched to the school’s phonics programme.
  • Phonics teaching, strategies and interventions carry on into Key Stage 2.
  • Age appropriate catch up phonics reading books are provided for Key Stage 2 children still working within the phonics phases.
  • Opportunities are provided daily for independent and shared reading to develop fluency.

Language Comprehension

  • Our teachers love read to our children and we recognise the importance of the teacher as an inspirational role model. Teachers read their class text to the children for fifteen minutes each day to model intonation and expression.
  • In KS2 we have whole class guided reading lessons, using a range of texts that are linked to their curriculum content.  During guided reading lessons, the children focus on developing reading with fluency, understanding vocabulary, and inference and prediction skills.
  • All children are given the opportunity to read and develop their reading skills through mechanical reading strategies such as Control the Game, choral reading and partner reading.
  • We guide the children to be able to read, analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts through probing questions, discussing and analysis.
  • Pupils are explicitly taught reading skills through the use of VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise) throughout English and Reading lessons. The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics.

Text Choices and Reading Spine

At St Bede’s, we foster a love of reading and quality, carefully chosen texts for each year group are identified on long-term plans for English. We plan for and deliver a range of texts which give children a secure knowledge of text types covering the 5 plagues of reading. We believe that children need to experience a broad range in order to become life-long readers, able to read, interpret and analyse any text.

  • Reading for pleasure is promoted through engagement with quality texts within the English curriculum which is often linked to other curriculum areas, providing linked learning.
  • Reading and studying whole class texts exposes children to a variety of genres that they may not have read before. This helps to foster a love of reading by encountering new authors and texts, and building a stamina for reading.
  • The use of challenging whole class texts allows opportunities to further develop word recognition and exposure to unfamiliar words, therefore increasing children’s vocabulary.

At St Bede’s we have created a Reading Spine of texts comprising of novels and picture books, both fiction and non-fiction, which we recommend all our children read before they leave us. Each year group has around 50 books specially selected for them to use as class novels or for the children to read independently. Our ‘Books to read before you leave’ selection are woven through our reading curriculum both through the teaching of reading and reading for pleasure.

We have a well-stocked library providing books, magazine and newspapers linked to age related topics of interest.


At St Bede’s our children are enthusiastic, motivated and confident readers who enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types. As a result of high-quality teaching and learning, children have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with a secure understanding of what they have read.

Children are inspired by literature and read for pleasure. We have fostered an environment where reading is interwoven into every aspect of the curriculum. Reading is evident within every one of our school books, eg) reading and understanding scripture in RE, reading for pleasure and analysing texts within English, understanding problems in Maths as well as research and information in a variety of other subject areas.