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 3;
  • 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 at the end of each day in class;
  • Special reading events such as ‘Book Week’, storytelling sessions, visiting authors and poets, 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.


KS2: Children take home a book of their choice, a reading diary and a reading-response book. 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 KS1: 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. Children will take home a graded reading book based on their reading level. These are selected by a member of staff from our graded reading scheme. Books within this are selected from a range of evaluated series and publishers. Parents should sign the reading journal to inform the teacher about what has been read.


In Key Stage 1, children are also given the opportunity to take home a book of his or her choice. This book may be too difficult for the child to read themselves and is intended to be shared with an adult. Reading to children regularly ensures they understand that reading is a pleasurable process. Children love to listen to stories being read or told. Books should be returned everyday to school in a book bag so that they can be changed.