St Thomas' CE Primary School

St Clement & St James CE Primary School

St Thomas' Federation - Stronger together

School Gateway
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“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through to become part of whatever world has been created.Or a window can be a mirror. Literature therefore transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience." (multiple sources) 


At St Thomas’ Federation reading is given the highest priority; it is vital in order for children to become independent learners and achieve in all areas of the curriculum. We want children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers, who know the importance of reading as a life-long skill in the wider world, but also appreciate the written word as an art form.


Reading is taught through a variety of means.


  • Each class has daily guided reading lessons;
  • Phonics is taught regularly from the Foundation Stage up to Year 2, and where needed, into KS2;
  • English units of work are based around a core text;
  • Reading skills are applied in other subjects such as science and RE;
  • Stories are shared in assemblies and each day in class;
  • Each half term has a week where guided reading lessons focus on reading for pleasure;
  • Special reading events such as ‘Book Week’, storytelling sessions, visiting authors and poets, library visits and reading competitions;
  • One to one with staff and volunteer reader helpers; 
  • Reading is assessed regularly by staff, and children are given clear, focused next-steps-for-learning so they know what they need to work on in order to improve.


Home Reading  


It is vital that children practise their reading at home by being heard by an adult or older sibling. This is just as important for older children who are decoding texts fluently – they may be able to read the words, but they also need opportunities to discuss the meaning of the texts they are reading as often as possible.


Key Stage Two (Years 3-6)

Children take home a book of their choice and a reading diary. Teachers and teaching assistants ensure that the level of the book the child takes home is appropriate and carefully monitor the amount children are reading at home. 


Children in KS2 should read for half an hour every day. They record their reading comments in their reading diary and have it signed by an adult to be checked in school. We encourage children to read a wide range of authors and text types which they find in everyday life, as well as books.


Foundation Stage and Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) 

For younger children, little and often is most effective; learning to read is a hard and tiring process to begin with. Parents should read with their child for about 15 minutes each day. 


There are two types of reading book that your child will bring home, as well as a reading diary: 


  • A reading practice book - This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. Your child should be able to read this to you fluently and independently. We highly recommend that you use this book for reading practice.
  • A sharing book - Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This is a book for you to read to your child.  


Reading Practice Book 

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy - your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. 


Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise and celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together. Please let us know how your child has read their reading practice book by commenting in the reading diary.


Sharing Book

Children love to listen to stories being read or told and it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. This book was chosen by your child from the class library.  Please remember that this book is for you to read to your child. Together, you can enjoy the story, discuss the pictures, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters or explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!