The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

English Reading Curriculum


In Reading, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as skilled readers, confident communicators and authors. We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for reading, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through reading can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.


To be able to be a skilled reader, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of word reading and comprehension. They will need to understand and use the language of reading and apply these reading skills and knowledge across the curriculum.


To be a reader, children need to be competent with both: 

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)


Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading when children first start at our school.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and a knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday spoken language. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.


It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in readiness for their forthcoming secondary education.


The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum (2014) is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 
The national curriculum for reading aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit 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
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

The National Curriculum is the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each subject. 


How we plan for progression in reading at St Gregory’s:
The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within reading and across other subjects too. Reading is not only a standalone subject but is also a golden thread through our curriculum.

In EYFS and KS1, children take part in small group guided reading sessions which provide opportunities for modelling and teaching of early reading and decoding skills, to ensure that their link between the daily phonics lesson and fluency of reading is strong. Across the school, children take part in discreet whole class Guided Reading lessons once a week, where children are exposed to a range of different texts.  Additionally, to this, English is taught through immersion in a high quality text, developing children who have fluency and depth of understanding in a range of reading, writing grammar, punctuation and oracy skills. 


We know that children who are exposed to a wide variety of texts by being read to and reading themselves for pleasure develop a greater vocabulary, greater reading fluency and greater comprehension. We also know they typically go on to have better outcomes in life. Therefore, a rich diet of reading and our encouragement of reading for pleasure are at the heart of our reading principles.


By the time children leave us they are competent, fluent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, plays, novels and non-fiction and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. Most importantly they have a love for reading and understand the joys it can bring to them and to the world!

Coverage is based on the Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding.  


Children will continue on the ULS SSP programme and ‘set’ books until they have achieved Level 5.  In KS1, once children are assessed as achieving phase 5 in phonics they move onto our school reading scheme (Oxford Reading Scheme) levelled books. These are levelled books, which match the children’s current reading level. We expect families at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.


To ensure children are on the right level of home reading book on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, teachers plan in time to assess children. This happens on an ongoing basis and these judgements are informed by:

  • assessment statements linked to the Oxford Reading Tree scheme
  • assessment from guided reading lessons 
  • ongoing formative assessment 
  • summative assessment tests
  • professional dialogue with Teaching Partners, volunteers and all staff

We use this ongoing assessment to help us quickly target children who require extra support and who are at risk of falling behind.


There will be some children who take longer to achieve phase 5 than KS1 however, their needs will be assessed alongside the inclusion department and when the time is right for each of them, they will move to levelled books too. 


KS2 Reading Tracker

Oxford Reading Tree assessment sheet


See Reading and Phonics Vision 2023 for more information


Parent training and support:
We see our parents as joint educators in teaching early reading/phonics and therefore train parents up, early in their child’s learning journey, to be able to support the learning at home too. Parents are invite to a phonics workshop during the first couple of weeks of EYFS. 


During the Spring Term parents of EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 are invited in to a workshop that is bespoke to their children and the year group that they are in. During this session they will work alongside the teacher and their children.