St James Catholic

Primary School

In the loving peace, justice and joy of Jesus, we achieve.


Reading Intent


Reading is at the heart of the curriculum at St James'. In our school, all pupils are encouraged to become confident, critical and independent readers. They read for a variety of purposes, information and interest. Primarily,  we ensure children read for pleasure in order to develop a lifelong love of reading.



As they enter school, children are taught through a systematic synthetic phonics programme, Bug Club, to recognise letter sounds. They soon link sounds together forming CVC words and begin their independent reading journey. They enjoy learning to sing the stories behind traditional nursery rhymes and are exposed to high quality story books. The curriculum in Reception is based on developing children's ability to successfully decode and build fluency, whilst enjoying being read to regularly, at home and at school, to fully appreciate the magic of books and to expand their knowledge which will ultimately impact on their reading comprehension.


During KS1, children continue to embed their phonic knowledge using the systematic synthetic phonics programme Letters and Sounds. Their independent reading books are decodable and match their phonic phase to support success and independence. Children continue to build a rich and varied vocabulary through the class discrete vocabulary programme and through a selection of quality reading books chosen to extend children's vocabulary and to address the complexities of reading (Reading Plagues Doug Lemov). Children who are not reaching age related expectations follow an early reading 'Direct Instruction' programme particularly structured to reinforce successful phonic acquisition and to support the school ambition of everyone a reader in KS1.


Throughout their time in KS2, children study a range of challenging core class readers, chosen so that they learn to navigate texts with confidence and are prepared for KS3. Text chosen include those with non-linear time sequences, narrative complexities, archaic language and those that are figurative, symbolic or resistant- asking the reader to assemble meaning around nuances and clues.  Children are further exposed to implicit and explicit vocabulary teaching and experience a knowledge rich curriculum because research shows children bring their existing knowledge to the text to support their comprehension of it.  


 High quality and engaging texts with the appropriate level of support and challenge are at the centre of all reading experiences and the driving force of the English curriculum