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Children begin their journey into reading by developing their speaking and listening skills in early years, learning to enjoy sharing picture books, rhymes and songs.

Children follow the school reading scheme, which consists of three different published schemes, with books following the national colour banding system; we work in partnership with parents to foster a love of reading and encourage daily reading in the home, through use of a home school reading record.

Parental workshops around how to support your children in both phonics and reading are offered to all new Foundation Stage parents before their child starts school. Workshops are offered on a yearly basis from Year One upwards so that parents are aware of how best to support their child in reading development and be made aware of the strategies which we use in school, so that it is a constant learning partnership between home and school.

At St Augustine’s there is a shared expectation that every child will become the best reader that they possibly can. We are proud of our achievements in this area. We focus daily on decoding through synthetic phonics and have a wide range of phonic games and resources in each year group. We also use the whole word approach which focuses on children’s ability to remember some words on sight and use picture clues to decipher what other words may say. Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree (stages 0-9) and Tree Tops (stages 9-20), which is supplemented by Project X and Collins Big Cats. We also use Collins Progress Readers which uses age appropriate subject matter for those children who may be reading at a stage lower than expected for their chronological age.

Pupils make accelerated progress in reading across school. Pupils enter the Foundation Stage significantly below national expectations and leave KS2 broadly in line with national expectations.

Gaps in attainment and progress in reading are narrowed and underachievement tackled through:

  • Improved quality first teaching of guided and shared reading
  • Early and well-targeted intervention including:
    • Targeted daily reading in Y1/Y2
    • Support staff across school have been trained in Fischer Family Trust techniques in order to facilitate small group interventions in each year group
    • All children in Early Years and KS1 take books home weekly and guided reading/talking takes place each week. KS2 children take books home nightly and guided reading takes place each week, either through the use of a class novel or in smaller differentiated groups.
    • Weekly reading homework and the practice of High Frequency Words and spelling supports reading improvements.
  • Reading comprehension activities are planned for each week in each year group and comprehension is tested in shared reading, guided reading, 1:1 reading and end of term assessments.
  • Pupils in KS1 have focused comprehension activities which require them to read for sense and comprehend what is read in order to complete activities.
  • KS2 focus on higher order reading skills (they find this hard) such as inference, deduction and appreciation of style. We adopted a whole school focus in 2017 on teaching children self-help strategies to use for independent reading with a deeper level of understanding.
  • Pupils are familiar with a range of text and authors through planned lessons.
  • Pupils generally have positive attitudes to, and enjoy reading as indicated in their keenness to read at given times.
  • Teachers, from Foundation stage onwards understand how to develop children’s language - initially through stories, rhymes, songs and the sounds of letters: their speaking and listening skills and their vocabulary; the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to read and write
  • Children are either taught as a whole class following a class text or grouped by ability for guided reading; they are also heard to read individually.
  • There is an effective balance of whole class, group, pair and individual work, along with guided, supported and independent work.
  • Guided reading sessions take place weekly using a mix of real books and scheme books from ORT, Treetops, Navigator Rigby/Max, Literacy Links; Read Write Inc., Comprehension Express and Pelican.
  • Guided reading groups are taught in ability groups within each class and books are chosen to match the child’s learning level and the theme being taught that term.


  • There is regular formative and informative individual assessment, including assessment of phonic knowledge and skills, which is then applied to helping pupils make progress.
    • Phonics assessments are completed each half term for pupils in FS to Y2; this is extended to Y3 and beyond when needed for individual or groups of pupils.
    • Individual reading assessments are completed as and when a child is deemed to be ready to move onto the next level; using a mixture of Assess and Progress and Assertive Mentoring Reading assessments.
    • Written reading assessments are also completed at the end of each term using Headstart and PIRA Comprehension tests.
  • A good range of high-quality books and other resources are being used in lessons and activities, these include:


Storytime occurs every day in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, and three times a week in Key Stage 2; this is to foster a love of books and promote reading for pleasure.


Some children will also require additional support in reading; we do this through a variety of interventions, daily 1:1 reading within class, differentiated focus groups and programmes including Reading Recovery, Fischer Family Trust and Lexia.

Please also take a look at our school library