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Statement on Reading

At St. Mary’s we believe that:


  • reading plays a very important role in developing children culturally, emotionally, spiritually and socially.
  • literature plays a key role in such development
  • reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know
  • reading skills are crucial for people to function fully in society
  • reading promotes our school aims of educating and following the way of knowledge


 At St. Mary’s, we aim to ensure that all pupils:


  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, both for pleasure and information
  • develop and broaden vocabulary through reading
  • appreciate our rich and varied cultural heritage


At St. Mary’s pupils follow the programmes of study in the EYFS and the National Curriculum, Key Stages One and Two. For further details of the EYFS curriculum, consult the EYFS curriculum document and see also the school’s statement on phonics. At KS1 and KS2, the programmes of study for reading consist of two elements: word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). For more details, see the programmes of study document. Reading resources in school include Oxford Reading Tree, Tree Tops, Big Cat Phonics, Rapid Readers and Vintage Classics.


Successful word reading is underpinned by the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words and this is why there is such an emphasis on phonics in the early teaching of reading.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge and on knowledge of the world. Wide reading of both fiction and non-fiction develops both types of knowledge, as well as encouraging a love of reading.


Reading boosts vocabulary and develops pupils’ imagination. Fluent, confident reading improves life chances.