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St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

'For every future, for every child'

Reading and English

What do we do every day? We READ


At St Gregory's we believe that reading should be at the heart of the entire curriculum.   If we are going to give pupils the best possible start in life then we must be resolute and determined that children will learn to read and read well while they are at St Gregory's.  Reading has increasing competition with the advent of mobile phones, x-box and Youtube. Some families may not have time to read with their children, some may not be able to afford books, some may not have the reading ability themselves to help their child. Knowing our own cohorts and analysing reading data has meant that at the start of the academic year 2023-24 we resolved that everyone would read every day here at school. This happens in differing ways but usually takes the from of paired reading or DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) in KS2, while daily phonics reading takes place in KS1 and EYFS .


Reading is a pillar of our civilization, present in every facet of society, and pupils who read well will ultimately have greater access to our textually rich world.  With this in mind, we have adopted a rigorous Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP)  programme to support the teaching of early reading, with progression to a  carefully chosen ‘Text-Based Curriculum’, where all aspects of English teaching and learning revolve around a chosen text, in order to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum.




Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) and Vocabulary

Using the text as an exemplar, these areas are taught both explicitly and through writing.

The teaching of vocabulary, in particular, is essential to the development of both written and oratory skills. Key words are selected from the text studied and pupils are shown how they are used in context, progressing to using them within their own writing. From this increasing vocabulary, figurative language can be crafted to create an image in the mind of a reader.


Developing Oracy 

Before we learn to read, we speak. Developing confident and eloquent speech is very important in equipping children for life, where socialisation is key to both work and leisure. As part of our teaching processes, children would be regularly using TTYP (Talk To Your Partner) to support learning engagement. They also read aloud every day. In addition, lessons encourage discussion and communication through group work, while regular poetry and drama opportunities support performance and reading aloud for audience..


English across the Curriculum


Reading takes place across the curriculum. In subjects such as History, Geography and Science, non-fiction texts support understanding of the wider world, in RE children read from the bible or about other religions, and in subjects such as DT pupils read to follow instructions.


How Parents can Help Support their Child


There are lots of ways you can help support your child at home:

  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.

  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s comprehension skills and understanding.

  • Listen to your child read every night. Find a quiet time to hear your child read and use lots and lots of praise to encourage them.

  • Encourage your child to record their writing in a variety of ways. They may wish to keep a diary, write a story, a review of their favourite game, or send a postcard. Support their ideas and give plenty of encouragement!

  • Support your child in learning their weekly spellings.