Return to Curriculum



The national curriculum for English aims/intends 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
  • 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, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate


Children are taught through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme, which is a phased phonics programme.


The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:

  • word reading – decoding and fluency
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

  • 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 should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.
  • Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on 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 must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, 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 speech. 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 their forthcoming secondary education.

. The reading curriculum has been planned to be sequential and coherent. It is progressive so it builds on pupils’ previous knowledge and skills. Skills are embedded and therefore can be transferred in a variety of contexts. The reading curriculum has been designed in this way so knowledge is secure in pupils’ long term memory.

Reading Intent

At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary we intend to:

  • Ensure our children have access to a high quality English curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable.
  • Provide our children with a variety of high quality reading materials & opportunities, which will enable them to develop as lifelong readers with a love of reading.
  • Enhanced all children’s vocabulary and use of standard English both written and orally
  • Ensure all children are confident and independent readers.
  • Inquisitive readers who ask questions about the text – active learners For example: Child response: “I think…, because…, In my option…, The writer…so that…, …led me to think that…”
  • Equip all children with the reading skills needed to successfully research areas of personal interest.
  • Support children & parents in taking reading into the home. For example: home readers, library, book fair, celebrating world book day


Reading implementation

At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School we are outward looking and creative in our approach to implementing a high quality English curriculum.

Our implementation is developed through secure understanding of the curriculum and subject area.

Planning for reading

  1. Long term: National Curriculum and Development Matters
  2. Medium term: Infants – Hertfordshire coverage sheets linked to book bands. Juniors – Yearly ARE expectation sheets.


Half termly coverage to include poetry, fiction & non-fiction text

  1. Short term: Year group ‘Age Related Expectation’ (ARE) sheets,  Hertfordshire coverage sheets linked to book bands & Reading Sequence of Learning

CGP is a tool used to support response to reading both oral and written.


Teaching of reading

‘Quality first teaching’ linked to teaching standards:

All teachers:

  1. Know where their children are, through the use of concise summative assessment, including past SATs, prior learning assessments including phonic screening scores & Single Word Reading Test, weekly comprehension scores.
  2. Understand where their children need to be, through a secure understanding of year group expectations and/or pre key stage expectations also incisive, on-going, formative assessment e.g. over the shoulder marking, differentiated questioning and the expectation of differentiated responses to questions asked.
  3. Know how they are going to get them there, through:

– The use of a wide range of strategies to promote independence, mastery and a love of reading.

– KS1 & KS2 receive four 30 minute, teacher led reading sessions each week, using reading scheme books, phonics books, CGP books, First News extracts, past SAT papers etc.

– EYFS & KS1 daily phonic sessions based on Letters & Sounds and including mnemonics from Read, Write Inc and sound buttons.

3 – KS1 children reading at phonic level read Bug Club books and Songbirds books. KS1 children then move on to colour banned books once secure with blending and segmenting.

– KS2 children secure in their age related expectations for reading follow the banded system, which includes a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

– Theme based reading – includes a range of fiction, non-fiction & poetry linked to class/phase theme.

– Story Spine – each class has books specifically chosen, which they will have the opportunity to read and respond to as a class.

– Library sessions – each class has their own library that they can use. They can also use the whole school library.

– Reading challenge – children rewarded for reading


The school follows the Pie Corbett approach to reading, writing of imitation, innovation and invention. There is an added emphasis this year on poetry ( see termly curriculum letter).