Reading Curriculum

Below, outlines a summary of how Reading is taught at St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School across EYFS, KS1 and KS2.



At St. Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School, we strongly believe that reading is a vital life skill which we strive for all children to enjoy and value. It is our aim to develop and create passionate readers for life.

We aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way, based on a staged systematic approach. Reading and the love of reading is fostered in English, shared and guided reading, story time and throughout the curriculum through the immersion in books and through knowledge, understanding and application of vocabulary and language.

Reading underpins the whole of the curriculum at St Teresa of Lisieux. Throughout their time here children read a variety of high-quality books.  We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence in reading. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding. Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves.  Children are exposed to books of increasing complexity through the Literacy Counts; Read to Write programme (see Whole School Reading Spine).

We aim for children to learn to read quickly using the school’s chosen Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (Read Write Inc.) Children are initially taught phonemes and graphemes to represent sounds, once children know these sounds – they are taught to read words containing the taught sounds.  Children then read from books with words containing only sounds that children have been taught, matched closely to their ever-increasing phonic knowledge.  Teaching in this way ensures that all children learn to read quickly.

When children have become confident in their reading and can apply their phonics knowledge to read a range of texts, we expose them to a range of different authors and text types. We have access to a range of books from different reading schemes; ‘Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Comics for Phonics and phonics Songbird’ to provide children with a variety of characters, settings and text types – which are, again, closely matched to their reading level to ensure the correct level of challenge whilst still fostering a love of reading.  These books provide a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts for the children to enjoy.

Our children also have the opportunity to read quality books from classroom libraries and the school library. Our passion and drive for promoting the love of reading was recognised in May 2019 when we were, for a second time, awarded the Gold standard for the Liverpool Reading Quality Mark (Appendix A).

In addition to this core teaching, the school also subscribes to a number of online packages to support children’s reading at different stages, these include; Reading Eggs, IDL Cloud and Reading Plus. Reading Plus is a computer programme used to help assess children’s reading comprehension and reading stamina. It also allows teachers to understand gaps in children’s reading skills and this information is then fed into Guided/ Shared Reading lessons.





At St Teresa of Lisieux, a child’s love of reading is introduced from the very beginning of their time in the school.  In Nursery the children are introduced to a wide range of picture books featuring classic texts and modern classics, traditional tales, non-fiction, poetry and contemporary fiction.

This also marks the beginning of children’s own reading journeys.  Children participate in daily pre-phonics sessions where they develop their listening and attention skills through – sound discrimination (environmental sounds, instrumental sounds and body percussion), rhyme and rhythm, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting (Read Write Inc ‘Fred Talk’).

During the summer term, in preparation for Reception, children begin to use Read Write Inc. for Nursery – this provides children with a strong basis for Early Reading.


Reception and KS1

The systematic teaching of phonics, using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, begins at the beginning of Reception and continues through Year 1 and into Year 2, where necessary.

Following a period of whole class phonics teaching in Reception, using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, the children are assessed and are then grouped accurately – according to the findings of these assessments.  This grouping continues through Year 1 and into Year 2, where necessary, with half termly assessments to ensure that children are always grouped according to their phonic knowledge and are exposed to books that contain only sounds that they have been taught. Expectations of attainment are shown in Appendix B. The ‘lowest’ 20% of children are given additional 1:1 phonics intervention through the Read Write Inc. Fast Track Tutoring programme so that they are able to catch up quickly and make progress. Teaching children phonics systematically, in smaller, attainment-based groups enables progress to be closely monitored and work tailored to the children’s needs.


Year 2 and Key Stage 2

Once children have completed the Read Write Inc. phonics programme, each year group receives daily Shared Reading sessions. This Shared Reading is based on the approach from John Murray training and uses the Reading Rocketeers programme which is designed to boost levels of attainment for those who may still be working towards expected reading standards, each book encourages learners to both understand and apply core reading skills.

Reading Rocketeers is designed to boost progress and improve comprehension levels by:

  • Developing higher order reading skillsusing a text written in a dyslexia friendly font.
  • Increasing their knowledge & understandingof what is being read at word, sentence and whole text level.
  • Improving their reading fluencyin a meaningful way, one that focuses on reading for meaning and encourages high quality discussion.


Once children are ready, their class teacher begins using the Reading Explorers programme, also from John Murray. This is a guided skills-based programme which aims to develop key reading & study skills through a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, which encourage children to access, interpret and understand what they are reading.  The programme promotes the child’s knowledge and understanding of authorial intent and gives the reader the chance to speculate on the tone and purpose of each text, as well as to consider its wider themes and audience.

The core reading skills covered in the Reading Explorers programme are:

  • The Retrievalof specific information
  • Inference, including Deductive Reasoning
  • Evaluative & Summative Assessmentof text
  • Vocabulary Development: Word Knowledge & Word Choice
  • Study Skillsthat promote wider independent study


Each Shared Reading lesson is approximately 45 minutes long. Quality texts and quality discussion around these texts is incorporated into every lesson. Reading skills are explicitly taught and the needs of each group is met through ongoing assessment and the practise of skills taught. The structure and cycle of the lessons can be seen in Appendix C. Additional reading time is given in class, children share class novels and teachers and Teaching Assistants listen to children read.


In years 2, 3 and 4, children who are working below age related expectations, or are new to English, remain working within the Read Write Inc. phonics programme until they are ready to move onto the next stage of their reading journey.  They may also use the John Murray, Reading Rocketeers programme before moving on to Reading Explorers during guided reading.


In years 5 and 6, children who are reading below age related expectations, or are new to English, are taught reading using the Read Write Inc Fresh Start literacy programme which is rooted in phonics.

Fresh Start pupils are taught to:

  • understand the English alphabetic code in three sets of Speed Sounds lessons
  • use simple mnemonics to help them read and write the letter-sound correspondences quickly
  • review Speed Sounds daily, until they can read them effortlessly
  • read and spell words containing the sounds they know
  • read high frequency words that are not phonically regular
  • read engaging, age-appropriate Modules, closely matched to their increasing phonic knowledge
  • read each Module three times, focusing on: accuracy, fluency and comprehension
  • practice spelling, vocabulary and grammar, linked to the Modules they read
  • build and rehearse sentences out loud, until they are confident enough to write independently.

Fresh Start Anthologies provide pupils with additional age-appropriate reading material, to allow them to practice what they have learnt.



*the full systematic teaching of Read Write Inc. phonics was introduced in January 2022, the John Murray Reading Explorers programme was introduced in January 2020.


Phonics Screening Check

2022 – 70%

KS1 Reading Attainment

2019 – 62%

End of KS2 Reading Attainment

2019 – 59%


Liverpool Reading Quality Mark (Appendix A)

Appendix B Expectations Of Progress

Guided Reading Cycle (Appendix C)

Appendix D Reading Spine EYFS, KS1 And KS2


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