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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy


'When I read great literature, great drama, speeches or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.'


James Earl Jones


At St Thomas’, we are committed to developing positive attitudes to reading. Our desire is for all children to leave our school as confident, independent and enthusiastic readers. Learning to read and choosing to read is our aim for every pupil. We are aware of the impact being a confident, engaged reader has on life chances and educational success and we know that this important journey begins with us.



Teaching pupils to read through a rigorous systematic phonics programme, alongside building word recognition skills and memory, we apply these skills to the reading process daily. Children are introduced to a wide range of rhymes, poems, stories and non-fiction texts throughout their time in our school in both Writing and Reading lessons, being taught to make and discuss connections that build upon prior learning across the curriculum. Our rigorous approach to the teaching of reading, through guided reading, consists of both whole class (week A) and group reading (week B). Building fluency through a structured approach incorporating modelled, echo, joint and independent reading for the whole class. Using VIPERS to explore texts, children are taught to explore and define new vocabulary along with the skills of inference, prediction, explanation, sequencing and summarising. Pupils then ask and answer questions based upon the VIPERS to engage with texts deeper, gaining a full understanding.


Providing a rich and stimulating reading environment within classrooms, the school library and around our school, we enable children to foster an enthusiasm for and love of reading for life.


Children are encouraged to read and share books at home with their families and develop a real love of reading. Comprehension, fluency and discussion of texts and vocabulary are also at the forefront of our teaching.



Reading is key to all learning. The impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them, as they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.


Parents and carers have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, through workshops, newsletter and website support and contribute regularly to home-school records.


Pupils working at age related expectations and above age-related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious progress targets of individual children. There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils.