Reading at Our Lady's

Our Lady’s Reading Intent

At Our Lady’s we aim to provide all children with a rich reading curriculum that develops a lifelong love of reading, thereby building their Reading Capital and offering a broad, wide-ranging reading experience.  We have high expectations both of the children and of ourselves so that we can enable our children to be confident and competent 21st Century readers. 

Children will be exposed to a language-rich learning environment and practise skills in decoding to enable them to gain a proficient understanding of reading comprehension so that they are able to read with confidence and fluency. Children will have a broad understanding of vocabulary across a wide range of subjects and topics, as well as a thirst for reading a range of genres, including poetry. They will be able to participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on a reader.


Reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new characters.  Research shows that children who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school, achieve goodqualifications and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career.  Those who cannot read will find themselves at a constant disadvantage.

At Our Lady’s, we place a high priority on developing strong languagecomprehension skills and a secure understanding of synthetic phonics which willenable our children to become competent and fluent readers, and promote a lifelonglove of reading for pleasure.

Early Assessment for Speech and Language

The reading process begins with the development of language. Our children arrivefrom a number of different Early Years settings and we work closely with these settings to ensure any concerns are identified and plans put in place.

On-entry assessments show that many children join Our Lady’s in Reception withlower than expected communication skills. Therefore, we are committed to the early assessment of children using the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) Programme to ascertain their baseline vocabulary, listening and narrative skills. Target children are then identified and a 20-week intervention programme is put in place to support their early communication skills.

In Year One and Year Two, children are assessed using Infant Language Link, whichis used to identify and support children with mild to moderate speech, language and communication needs.  The results identify where support is needed and interventiongroups are created so that these children can receive high-quality input from our well-trained staff, in partnership with parents and carers. Children who need furthersupport with their language development are placed into small groups for Talk Boostintervention sessions with the aim of supporting them with their communicationskills.  Talk Boost is a structured programme that boosts children’s progress inlanguage and communication by an average of 9 - 18 months after a ten week Intervention.

In addition, all children in Key Stage One and Early Years in 2022 will take part in a‘Speech Link’ pilot scheme being offered by the NHS with the aim of increasing the intelligibility of children’s speech and language, which in turn will have a further positive impact on children’s fluency and reading comprehension.The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in gaps in some children’s language and communication needs in Key Stage Two.  Therefore, Junior Language Link will be used to identify and support these children at an age-appropriate level.


It is these early assessments and subsequent interventions in language and communication that allow our children to successfully access our systematic synthetic phonics scheme - Floppy’s Phonics - and develop their early decoding. Reception children are taught Phonics as a whole class, starting at Phase 1 upon entry which complements the work they undertake on communication in the NuffieldEarly Language Intervention scheme, helping the children to tune into sounds.

Children work through the Floppy’s Phonics Scheme throughout their Reception year and are given lots of opportunities to access phonics games and activitiesthroughout each day to support their learning. 

Children in Reception are given a decodable Letters and Sounds book which closely matches their current level in Phonics and these are changed three times a week. Once children reach Phase 3, they are assessed using Reading Recovery and givenan additional book closely matched to their phonics ability. In addition, parents and carers of Reception children are invited to a Reading Meeting in the Autumn Term to explain the school’s approach to reading within school and to offer support and advice on how to help their child at home.

In Year 1 and Year 2, the children are streamed into small groups based on our assessment of their phonic knowledge at the end of the previous year. Teachers and Teaching Assistants lead the sessions each day, with integrity to the Floppy’s Phonics Scheme to ensure that all children have the same experience of phonics throughout school. The Phonics Lead works between all of the phonics groups,regularly assessing children and supporting staff with their teaching. These groups are reviewed on a regular basis. 

Children in Key Stage One are assessed regularly using Reading Recovery and are given a book which closely matches their reading ability.  These texts allow the children to practise reading words containing the sounds they are currently working on in class. This also supports parents and carers to understand what the children are learning, enabling them to further support their child at home.

Interventions are put in place for those children who still have gaps in their phonic knowledge at the end of Key Stage One. Teaching Assistants lead interventions for these children, based on the Floppy’s Phonics scheme.  All children take home adecodable books three times a week that will further enhance their understanding. Phonics continues to be taught throughout the school as a whole class activity and where children have had gaps within their knowledge, a trained Teaching Assistant carries out interventions in partnership with the Class Teacher.  Strategies to support at home are also shared with parents and carers.



Reading at Our Lady’s is taught using various teaching strategies, such as Shared Reading, Guided Reading and Individual Reading.  A rolling programme of Continuous Professional Development ensures that all staff at Our Lady’s are fullyequipped to know and understand children’s reading levels and their next steps in learning. 

The Reading Scheme books that we use at Our Lady’s School are carefully selected to provide opportunities for reading interesting and engaging texts from a wide rangeof genres.  They are carefully structured into Reading Recovery Levels which are organised according to lexile content.  Our Reading Scheme books are drawn from a range of sources, such as Oxford Reading Tree, Treetops (Oxford University Press), Project X, Sunshine Spirals, PM and Collins Big Cat.  These are used for reading athome, but are also for individual reading in school, particularly where a child is working below the expected level for their age.  This may be read with the Class Teacher, a Teaching Assistant or a parent volunteer.

Shared Reading

During Shared Reading, the teacher will demonstrate how to use a range of comprehension strategies (for example, model active engagement with the text; rehearsing prior knowledge;  demonstrate how fluent readers monitor and clarify their understanding; plan opportunities to interpret and respond to the text; teach strategies for using inference and deduction).

Guided Reading

From Year 2 to Year 6, Guided Reading is taught to the whole class and in small groups four times a week on Key Stage specific ‘domains.’ These are taught in ‘layers’ three times a week (prediction and retrieval, vocabulary and meaning, and inference).  On the fourth day, fluency is explicitly taught where children will focus on the 6’s which develop prosody: Pitch, Power, Pace, Passion, Punctuation and Pause. 

Read Write Perform

As part of the writing process at Our Lady’s, we use Read Write Perform where children are immersed in a variety of texts and genres, and are taught how to deconstruct texts in order to understand the author's intent, style and perspective. Towards the end of the written work, children read and perform their work to an audience, with a focus again being on the 6 P’s (Pitch, Power, Pace, Passion, Punctuation and Pause).

Reading Recovery

At the beginning of every year, Reading Recovery Assessments of every child are administered by Class Teachers and Teaching Assistants to ascertain children’s reading level. These rigorous assessments allow all children to access the Readingfor Pleasure books that are sent home (three times a week in Key Stage One and Early Years and twice a week in Key Stage Two.   These books are pitched at the appropriate lexile level so that all children can access the reading but also challenged on their reading content.

Daily Readers

All staff listen to children read regularly. Children who may be less confident readers or who do not get the opportunity to be heard reading at home are targeted and heard by the Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant on a more regular basis so that we can closely assess and track their understanding of the texts and ask the appropriate questions to elicit the child’s reading comprehension. Due to the rigour of Reading Recovery and because all children are heard read on a regular basis, staff are constantly assessing children’s accuracy, automaticity, prosody and reading comprehension.

Opportunities for Wider Reading

Our curriculum also ensures that each class has the opportunity to visit our School Library once a week, and children are able to borrow books using the ‘Junior Librarian’ system, an interactive software package which tracks reading progress. Our Library is a valued reading environment, which is maintained by our Year 6Librarians.  Our well-resourced Library also houses a range of story sacks and puppets, which are used to develop oral story-telling alongside the teaching of reading.  

We have links with our local library in Edgeley, and our children visit throughout the year.  Many children also participate in the annual Summer Reading Challenge. We work with Book Trust, an organisation which provides book packs and teachingresources to encourage wider reading, and support creative thinking and development to inspire a love of books.  Time to Read is one such initiative.  Time to Read provides every four-year old with a free book to enjoy and share at home.  We also train a group of our Year 6 children to be Storytellers, who share a range of well-chosen picture books, story sacks and puppets with children in the Infants on a weekly basis.

At Our Lady’s, we participate in many activities to promote the enjoyment of reading. These include dressing up for World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day, and class swap sessions where staff share a favourite story with different groups of children.  We invite different theatre companies into school so that children can experience a live performance linked to popular fiction.  Recent performances have included ‘Dick Whittington’ and ‘The Snow Queen’.  In past years, during the Year 6 children’s residential visit to London, we have taken the children to watch a show, and Year 4 have been to Manchester Opera House to see a performance of ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’.



As soon as children step inside Our Lady’s, a love of reading is developed and nurtured as we believe reading is the key to all learning.  The reading skills that are developed at our school allow children to make at least good progress in reading, allowing them to access our wider, bespoke curriculum.

The percentage of children working at Age-Related Expectations (ARE) within each year group will be at least in line with national averages. The percentage of children working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages. There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of children, such as disadvantaged, SEND, EAL. However, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of statutory assessments - our approach to reading means children know more, remember more and understand more so that they are equipped for the next steps in their education.

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Our Lady'sCatholic Primary School

About Our School

The aim of Our Lady's Catholic Primary School is:
To provide a loving Catholic environment which will help each individual member of the school family grow morally, spiritually and academically in the love of Jesus Christ.

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Old Chapel Street, Edgeley, Stockport SK3 9HX

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0161 480 5345