English Martyrs' Catholic Primary School

Nurturing a relationship with Jesus Christ

Reading Schemes


At English Martyrs School we know that reading for pleasure is an important step in becoming fluent and confident readers and writers so we aim to instill a lifelong love of reading and provide lots of opportunities to enjoy and share books with others.

A language rich environment enables pupils to access new and challenging vocabulary on a daily basis and every class has a reading area with a wide selection of books, specifically suited to their age group. Our well resourced library has a huge range of new and classic texts including newspapers and magazines to appeal to all ages and interests and children are encouraged to visit the library, borrow books and publish their own online reviews and recommendations. This year we have also subscribed to a new online reading scheme called Reading Eggs that children can access from home, to develop their reading and comprehension skills through exciting games and quizzes that make learning fun.

Reading skills are systematically taught throughout the school beginning in Early Years with our ReadWrite inc phonics scheme which teaches children to read by sounding out words. Staff also read one to one with every child to support early comprehension skills such as talking about the characters and events in a story. In Key Stage 1 children continue to build on their fluency in decoding to read and develop more complex comprehension skills so they can demonstrate their understanding of a text by discussing and explaining their ideas. Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to analyse and discuss texts in detail during small group guided reading sessions.

A range of reading schemes are used to support early readers including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and Rigby Star as well as banded book packs for guided reading in groups. Teaching assistants support reading activities to ensure that children have more frequent opportunities to read with adults and the school also provides additional support for children who find reading challenging, for example through Reading Recovery, ABC to Read, Reading Buddies and by training parents who come in to help to be reading coaches.

Children from Early Years upwards bring home a reading book suitable for their reading ability from our banded scheme. We encourage parents to record comments in their child’s home school reading record so that teachers and parents can share information about their child’s progress in reading. Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily and information is given on how to support their child with reading at phonics workshops, parent evenings, events such as Story Night and in the weekly school newsletter.

In Key Stage 2 the school uses the Rigby Navigator guided reading scheme, which consists of a core scheme with a wide range of supplementary reading material across all the different genres. Once children have reached the free reading stage, children can select books to take home, from well resourced, age-appropriate books in the classroom. Those still learning to read have access to a series of books specifically developed to help children continue to grow in confidence as readers with a text that also appears appropriate for their age group.

As a school we have arranged exciting and rewarding activities in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, for example we have held several KS1 Story Nights where families come along in their pyjamas to hear teachers reading some well-loved, classic stories. We also celebrate World Book Day every year with a book character parade and lots of games and activities, enjoy visits from published authors and poets and take part in performances by professional theatre groups that bring texts to life.

No matter their age, we still encourage all readers to share a book at home with their grown-ups. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also supports a lifelong love of reading. We recognise  the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers.