Reading: Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement


Here at St. Nicholas, we aim to instil in all our children a love of reading. We give them the very best start they can have – balancing learning to read with enjoyment of books and other texts.

We recognise the importance of reading and aim for all of our children to become confident independent readers with an excellent understanding of what they read. We believe that reading ‘opens the door’ to learning, enabling children to access a wider curriculum. Children who read a lot will go on to become lifelong learners.


Early Years Reading: As soon as children start in our Nursery, we begin the teaching of phonics and start to develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories and encouraging children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine.

This continues in Reception, where we also begin to teach children to decode (sound out words) and read independently. Children progress at their own pace and, at this early stage, read regularly to an adult on a one-to-one basis as well as participate in Guided Reading sessions. We also talk about the books that we share to develop very important early comprehension skills.  To support their work in school, children take home reading books to share at home.

Key Stage One: Through a combination of modelled, shared, guided, individual and independent reading, as appropriate, children continue to enjoy their reading success and progress. They learn to understand, analyse and thoughtfully respond to a wider range of texts. Children continue to take books home to support them both in learning to read and reading for pleasure.

Key Stage Two: As our children become increasingly fluent with reading they have, by now, developed the reading skills and strategies to read both for pleasure and to support their work in all areas of the curriculum.

Phonics: At St. Nicholas, early reading is taught using a systematic and consistent approach to phonics. The school follows the Read, Write Inc programme and due to the diversity and high mobility factor within our school, we stream children into groups from Reception to Y2 in order to give a more focused and personalised learning experience.

Children are assessed every half term to ensure progress is being made and to reorganise the groups being taught.

RWI within the streamed groups is taught across Reception and Key Stage One 4 days a week. However, the teaching of phonics is on-going and teachers continue to teach the phonemes and spellings within class. It is recognised that children also need to be able to apply the skills taught during Phonics and through the RWI programme, children are given the opportunity to read books as a guided session and record work in their Phonic Books.

From February onwards, Y1 children and those in Y2 who did not achieve the pass mark in Y1, are assessed using the previous year’s Phonic Screening Check. This data and information allows teachers to identify the gaps in knowledge and target these areas within their daily classroom teaching. Children in Y2 who still need the support, have additional phonic teaching in order for them to achieve their retake of the Phonic Screening Check.

For those children who did not achieve a pass mark in their Y2 retake, they continue to be fully supported in the streamed groups.

Guided Reading: From years 1 to 6, children are engaged in robust and timetabled Guided Reading sessions. Classes are organised into 5 different reading groups based on ability and these sessions are timetabled over 2 weeks. These 5 reading sessions include pre-reading activities, reading with the teacher, comprehension, vocabulary understanding and reading for pleasure. Across each term, children will engage with a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts.

There is a big emphasis within our school for children to have a wide language comprehension and a broad vocabulary development. These Guided Reading sessions focus on the various reading domains to fully explore and develop the children’s understanding of what they read.

Support Reading Interventions: In our diverse and inclusive school, children who are identified as needing to close the gaps in areas of their reading are put on Intervention Programmes in order to close the gaps as quickly as possible. Across the school children are engaged with extra Phonic lessons, Code-X, Fresh Start, Toe by Toe and daily one to one reading sessions.

Reading for Pleasure: We believe that ‘reading for pleasure’ is at the heart of teaching children to read. Across the whole school, classes are engaged in reading competitions, trips the local libraries, visiting authors and a range of pleasurable, reading activities.

Time is set aside during the week, for teachers to read to the children and share quality books from a range of authors. This is also linked to our 100 Book Challenge.

Special reading events are celebrated in school and during Book Week, children are engaged in a host of reading activities. We also hold a Scholastic Book Fair where books are promoted and children are encouraged to buy books to read at home.

Each classroom also has its own book area with both fiction and non-fiction books for children to experience. There are also books displayed within class which link to class topics to encourage children to read information and engage in subjects they are learning about.

Reading Schemes

In school, we have a range of fiction and non-fiction decodable reading books which are used throughout school to support children in learning to read. We take a combined approach to matching appropriate levels to the books children read which focuses on not only their decodable ability with words, but also an individual’s ability to read fluently and fully understand the books they read.   The schemes used include:

Oxford Reading Tree   (Floppy’s Phonics, Songbirds, Traditional Tales )

Rigby Star

Phonics Bug

Project X

Parents and Carers

At St. Nicholas, we understand that reading is important and that parents and carers have a vital role to play in helping children to enjoy and gain success in reading. Reading and sharing stories at home is one of the most important ways that parents can help their child to succeed. We encourage all parents to take the time to hear their children read and talk about the books with them. By showing children that reading is both important and enjoyable at home, this has a positive impact on the attitudes and beliefs and will instil in children the love of reading,


The impact of the reading emphasis and teaching at St. Nicholas will be…

  • High progress measures from a child’s initial reading ability
  • Y1 Phonic Screening Check pass rates
  • High levels of comprehension and vocabulary development
  • High levels of engagement in the books children read
  • The ability to read across a range of subjects
  • A fostering of reading for pleasure


How is Phonics Taught?

We use the Read Write Inc phonics scheme as a basis for teaching initial reading in our school.

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics based programme which helps children learn to read whilst also developing a wide range of vocabulary and encouraging a love of stories. It was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at Who is Read Write Inc. for?

The Read Write Inc. programme is for primary school children learning to read. Children will begin the programme in Year R and will remain on the programme until they fluent in reading. Our aim is for most children to be off the scheme by the end of Year 2, however some children will remain on the scheme in Years 3 and 4.  Children that join the school in Years 5 and 6 in the first stages of learning English will be taught a modified version of the scheme to aid their reading.


Children will be taught a sound a day and will be assessed regularly by their class teachers.

When they have reached an appropriate level, they will be grouped according to their reading level and will be taught for up to an hour, when they will start reading and writing alongside learning the new sounds.

Years 1–2

All children who are working at or below National Curriculum will be assessed regularly by the Read Write Inc Manager.

The children will complete reading activities for an half an hour each day, grouped according to their reading level.

Children will be grouped according to their stage not their age, so classes will be mixed and taught by different teachers/teaching assistants.

A few children who need extra support to maintain progress will work with a teaching assistant for an extra 10 minutes a day.

What does the RWI teaching process look like at St Nicholas?

Children are first taught the pure ‘set 1 sounds’ (phonemes) so that they will be able to

blend the sounds in words more easily. In School, we call this ‘Fred Talk’.

Initially, we do not use letter names at this stage; we simply focus on the sounds

that are used to sound out words.

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