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St John Fisher Catholic Primary School

Reading: Curriculum Statement


At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School the Gospel Values of Faith, Love, Hope, Trust, Forgiveness, Courage, Justice and Service are at the centre of all learning. We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading and give the children opportunities to develop articulacy through discussion. We believe that our curriculum should provide all children with rich experiences enable them to be: spiritually enlightened, mentally and emotionally happy, culturally literate individuals with social competence, and masters of core skills. We that recognise that all children have a right to an education in accordance with Article 28 of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We recognise that reading is a key life skill which enables a child to maximise their learning potential. Children are provided with opportunities to learn, embed, remember and recall new knowledge that will help them become effective readers, throughout their years at St John Fisher. We aim to foster a love for reading and to develop all important comprehension skills. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking about books and listening to stories.

We believe that a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum, is crucial to a high-quality education and will provide children with the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.


These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum, which provides many purposeful opportunities for reading and discussion. At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, we seek to foster key learning skills throughout our curriculum. These include: creative thinking, risk taking, self-managing, perseverance, collaboration, a growth mindset and being articulate. We use a wide variety of texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers ensure that cross curricular links are woven into the programme of study. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

• read easily, fluently and with good understanding

 • develop the habitat of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

• appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage

• write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style, in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

• use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

• are competent in the arts of speaking and listening

At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School phonics is taught using a systematic synthetic programme in line with the Reading Framework July 2021 ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ (ELS).  EYFS and KS1 pupils are assigned high-quality, fully-decodable books that match the phonics taught in class together with Pearson Bug Club Phonics ebooks which align with their phonics learning in school. We also assign pupils an additional ‘sharing’ book to supplement our reading scheme providing challenge.  Pupils are expected to read for at least 15 minutes every day at home and read to their class teacher/teaching assistant at least twice a week. Additionally, pupils choose a picture book from their class book corner to take home once a week, allowing pupils to develop a love of listening to and discussing books with their families.


KS2 pupils read a variety of books from our reading scheme based on their reading level and also choose a library book from the school library. We expect that children will choose from a wide variety of books at an appropriate level and to cover a range of genres and authors. The school librarian supports pupils in choosing appropriate library books. In addition, KS2 pupils are assigned ebooks by their teachers on Pearson Bug Club to read at home. KS2 pupils are expected to read daily and make at least three comments about their reading in their Green Diaries each week.


In order to promote a love of reading, teachers read high-quality texts to their class for at least 15 minutes every day and each classroom has a reading corner. KS2 children also attend the school library at least once a week. Trips to the local library are also organised for pupils and they are encouraged to become members of the local library. Each year, we celebrate World Book Day, by dressing up as book characters and sharing our love of reading in a special assembly.


At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, vocabulary and reading comprehension skills are explicitly taught using VIPERS during Storytime in EYFS, Guided Reading sessions in KS1 and Whole Class Reading in KS2. VIPERS stands for Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2) and are the core comprehension skills we believe pupils need to be able to apply to their reading.


Guided Reading is taught in KS1 as this enables pupils to read books that provide reasonable challenge to them in ability groups. Guided Reading is taught daily and activities include reading to the class teacher, reading to the teaching assistant, follow-on activities based on the books read during sessions and reading books for pleasure. Staff listening to groups reading ask pupils questions based on VIPERS reading comprehension skills and make comments about pupils’ reading in a Guided Reading folder.


In KS2 we teach three Whole Class Reading sessions and in addition, twice a week pupils are given time to read for pleasure, which also enables teachers to hear and assess individual children. Whole Class Reading sessions are based on weekly themes that have cross-curricular links. They include a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts each half term. Each Whole Class Reading sessions includes reading an extract, a short comprehension quiz, explicit teaching of new vocabulary, partnered talk and a solo task. Reading the extract may be done in a variety of ways; teacher reading text to model, individual children reading aloud, echo reading (teacher models, pupils copy) or choral reading (pupils read aloud together in pairs/groups/whole class). Teachers/teaching assistant may ‘drop in’ and listen to individual pupils re-read part of the extract, if they struggle to read aloud at the same pace as the majority of the class. The questions asked and pupil tasks completed during Whole Class Reading develop pupils VIPERS reading comprehension skills.


We identify pupils who need support and provide regular reading interventions for them led by an experienced teaching assistant or class teacher. We also run a Reading club for Year 6, with a particular love of reading, which is run by the school librarian. We run parent information sessions for phonics and reading for Early Years Foundation Stage parents, each year. We also run sessions for Year 2 and Year 6 parents so that they are able to understand age-related expectations.



The impact on our pupils is clear: progress, sustained interest and transferrable skills. Day-to-day assessment of each child’s achievements helps inform each teacher’s planning for individuals. Progress is formally assessed on a termly basis in each attainment area of the subject. Each year, the vast majority of pupils meet the standards at the end of each key stage, whilst some achieve at greater depth in reading. All children have their progress discussed at biannual pupil progress meetings and strategies are put in place for those who may not have made as much progress as expected.

We hope that as children move on through the year groups at St. John Fisher and eventually on to secondary education, that their love of reading travel with them as they continue to grow and learn together with Christ.


The Leader for Early Reading Leader is Caroline Courtney.

The Leader for KS2 Reading is Caroline McDonald.