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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

Non Excidet

English - Reading

English - Reading

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss

Reading at St Francis de Sales



Our reading curriculum meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and is designed to meet the needs and context of our school community. We aim to nurture in our children a deep love of reading that will enrich their lives while working to develop and hone key reading skills. This dual approach will provide a foundation stone for future successes in all areas and give them the chance to achieve their best possible outcomes in school and beyond.  


We have carefully planned sequenced lessons so that learning is cohesively built upon through the school. Central to this is our ‘Challenge Without Limits’ approach, which aims to remove artificial barriers to progress and encourages pupils’ ambition for their own learning, facilitates high aspirations and enables equality of opportunity for all.




Reading for pleasure is highly valued and provides a stimulating and immersive reading environment. We view this as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become enthusiastic lifelong readers, with an appreciation of our diverse literacy heritage including authors and genres that pupils may not otherwise encounter.


1. Pupil Reads - Lessons are characterised by adults listening to pupils read, focusing on developing competence in skilled word reading and becoming confident, fluent readers with a clear understanding of the text they have read. Sessions provide a calm and focused environment and highlight the importance and enjoyment of reading regularly.  


2. Story Sessions - Highly immersive sessions consist of children studying carefully selected books to discover a range of authors, genres, linguistic conventions and challenging vocabulary. Teachers demonstrate exemplary reading skills and pupils take part in a range of creative activities to deepen their understanding of the text. 


3. Comprehension - During lessons, children independently apply their knowledge of the different assessment strands before high quality answers are modelled.


Assessment is at the core of each strand. ‘Formative Five’ feedback, the development of individual ‘Hotspots’ and regular verbal feedback ensures pupils are given the knowledge and ownership to progress.


High quality phonics intervention is delivered regularly to children who need to revise and revisit aspects of phonics and vocabulary development is infused throughout the curriculum to develop a breadth and depth of knowledge. 


An extensive library which is colour coded to provide the correct level of challenge for all pupils; non-fiction book boxes and a weekly edition of First News ensures access to a wide range of reading resources and enriching experiences such as publishing their own book, theatre workshops and visits to the local bookshop bring our curriculum to life and develop cultural capital. 


Our home reading strategy ensures that pupils have access to high quality texts which meet the needs of all from those still securing their phonological knowledge to highly competent readers who seek a rich and diverse library.

Reading Beyond the Classroom

Reading With Your Child



We regularly use a number of ways to measure and assess the impact of our intent and implementation. This helps to refine and adapt our planning further which, in turn, improves the quality of teaching and learning.


The impact of teaching and learning in reading is measured and assessed via:


  • Termly learning walks and book reviews by the Subject Lead to ensure that the quality of teaching remains high; it is progressive and in line with the sequence and cohesion document and that the Assessment Policy is being followed consistently.

  • NFER summative tests at the end of each term give an objective measure of progress and enable diagnostic analysis by the Subject Lead and teachers to inform future planning.

  • End of KS2 National Curriculum Assessment gives an objective measure of progress from KS1 to KS2 and end of key stage attainment. Data enables diagnostic analysis by the Subject Lead to inform future planning. School attainment is compared with the national and local average.

  • Ongoing formative assessment by teachers and teaching assistants during reading lessons allows individual and whole class ‘Hotspots’ to be created and identify a focus for future planning. This ensures that all pupils are empowered and can take ownership of their learning and progress.

  • Weekly independent compression tasks allow for regular summative assessment by the teacher to enable targeted intervention on a weekly basis.

  • Pupil interviews by the Subject Lead gauge enjoyment, knowledge and understanding and ensure that we are providing a curriculum that is accessible and enjoyable to all.

  • Staff interviews by the Subject Lead address the need to access and implement CPD to ensure all staff are highly skilled and knowledgeable in the delivery of reading. They also evaluate the effectiveness of delivery of the curriculum. 

  • Our curriculum is regularly reviewed and revised by the Subject Lead and the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that it is underpinned by the latest pedagogy and that it continues to meet the challenges of our context.