Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School & Community Nursery

Reading Curriculum Offer



The English national curriculum (2014) states that:


‘The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.’

At Holy Trinity CE Primary School & Community Nursery, we believe the exposure of children to quality literature within the primary school setting is vital as a rich context for learning; not only within English as a subject, but to support building a reading culture throughout the school. For this reason, we have developed our own ‘reading spine’, through which we aim to use high-quality texts, by a range of prominent international and British authors, that offer opportunities for children to become familiar with ‘the classics’ as well as provide children with access to the very best new releases and hand-picked selections that offer philosophical enquiry and empathy, where children see their cultures, families and relationships reflected in fiction, non-fiction and poetic content. We will use these as a means of developing the spoken language requirements through debate, drama and discussion using the issues raised through, and within, the text. We prioritise ‘learning to read’ so that our children can then ‘read to learn’. Reading opens a world of possibilities and, at times, an escape from the realities of everyday life and, as such, we are relentless in our drive to ensure every child becomes a proficient reader.


At Holy Trinity CE Primary School & Community Nursery, we want all pupils to be confident and competent readers. In order to achieve this we ensure that:

  • Phonics teaching begins as soon as children start school (including in Nursery) using a DFE-approved, systematic, synthetic phonics scheme.
  • Children have access to decodable books matched to their phonic ability.
  • Daily phonics sessions in EYFS and KS1 and, where relevant, catch-up sessions in KS2 equip children with the skills they require to become confident readers.
  • ‘The Simple View of Reading’ model is implemented which develops fluency and comprehension.
  • Weekly, focused guided reading sessions are a key part of the children’s reading diet.
  • Teachers promote a love for reading with reading regularly being modelled through the sharing of class texts.
  • Children have access to borrowing a range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction books in our well-stocked school library.
  • Children have the opportunity to read regularly in a range of different subjects in school.
  • There are clear expectations for regular home reading for all children.
  • Our weekly ‘Reading Raffle’ rewards engagement with reading.




Word Reading: the ability to sound out and blend sounds in words or recognise words by sight in order to read and understand the meaning of individual written words.


In Nursery, we provide a balance of child-initiated and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

Sharing high-quality stories and poems from our ‘Reading Spine’ that promote repetitive phrases and oral rehearsal.

Promoting the learning of traditional nursery rhymes and engaging in the annual World Nursery Rhyme Week.

Teaching inputs and planning activities that develop auditory discrimination skills, including for rhyme, alliteration and oral blending.

Attention to high-quality language, explicit teaching of new vocabulary and extensive opportunities for ‘back and forth’ conversations.

Beginning the teaching of grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) when the children are ready.



  • Phonics is overseen by a dedicated phonics leader.
  • Phonics is taught for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
  • All staff are supported with regular phonics professional development training.
  • A clear pathway is followed through the alphabetic code.
  • Children are not asked to read texts by themselves that they can’t yet read.
  • The Systematic Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles are taught explicitly.
  • The Teaching & Learning Cycle (revisit and review, teach, practise, apply) is followed.
  • Children are supported to keep up, so they do not need to catch up.
  • Phonics is taught at letter-sound, word, sentence and text levels.
  • Core phonics provision is distinguished from phonics enrichment activities.


Daily Phonics Lessons

Phonics is taught daily in Reception and KSI and for those requiring catch-up in KS2.

Phonics teaching commences as soon as children start school in Reception.

Children in Reception and Year 1 also recap phonics learning from the morning during a brief session in the afternoon, in order to move new knowledge to their long-term memory.

The Rising Stars – Rocket Phonics, DFE approved Systematic Synthetic Phonics scheme, is implemented consistently throughout the school to support phonics development. Adults are well-trained in teaching phonics.

Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and begin to read and spell words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.

Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy. They are well prepared for the Phonics Screening Check.

Children in Year 2 consolidate the use of Phase 5 GPCs, alternative pronunciations and use these alongside spelling rules to develop accurate reading and spelling.


Progression & Assessment

Teaching follows the progression maps from the Rocket Phonics scheme.

Phonics Passports are utilised to individually assess the children’s recognition of graphemes, their ability to blend words with target graphemes and to read sentences. Children’s book bands are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they match their progress in phonics.


Common Exception Words (CEW)

These are words that do not follow grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Children are taught to look for the phonemes that they can hear in the words and then taught to look for the ‘tricky parts’. Children are taught to recognise these common words by sight.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.

Our Rocket Phonics scheme dictates the number and order in which CEW are taught.

By Year 2, children’s reading of common exception words [for example, you, could, many, or people], should be secure. Pupils will increase their fluency by being able to read these words easily and automatically.

By KS2, children are expected to be able to read further exception words, noting the unusual correspondences between spelling and sound, and where these occur in the word.

Word lists for Year 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 provide the expectation of age appropriate words that children should be able to read. Teachers continue to emphasise to pupils the relationships between sounds and letters, even when the relationships are unusual. Once root words are learnt in this way, longer words can be spelt correctly, if the rules and guidance for adding prefixes and suffixes are also known. Word list reading are assessed regularly to support fluency.


Home Reading (including book bands)

 At HTP children are expected to read 5 times a week at home with the belief that ‘little and often’ makes all the difference.

Home reads are expected to be recorded in Reading Records by parents of younger children and by the children themselves once they are capable enough to do so.

Home reads are rigorously monitored so that children who do not complete sufficient practise at home can be further supported to do this.

Children take a phonically decodable book until they move beyond the phonics scheme. The phonic decoder is closely matched to the phonemes children have been taught. Progression through the book band scheme ensures a consistent approach to support word reading and comprehension.

When children are approximately 90% fluent and can answer questions on the text they have read, their teacher will assess when to move them onto the next book band.

Once children are 90% fluent in White book band, they will move onto Free Reader books.

Parents are provided with Reading Workshops to help them develop their understanding of phonics and reading so that they can better support their children at home.

Children are also encouraged to take home a book from the school library to read for pleasure or perhaps for an adult at home to read to them.


Comprehension is a multidimensional process that is used to access the underlying meaning of spoken and written language. This involves the integration of multiple sources of knowledge and skills, including knowledge of word meanings and syntax, and making inferences.

Reading comprehension is taught to ensure that children understand what they are reading. This happens informally when hearing individual children read and through class discussions in all subjects. Comprehension is also explicitly taught in Guided Reading lessons. Comprehension includes:

  • retrieval of information
  • prediction
  • deduction
  • inference
  • analysing


Guided Reading Lessons

Guided reading lessons are taught through a mix of weekly short texts and high-quality texts. Shorter texts are carefully selected for their ambitious vocabulary and literary content. They often complement and broaden knowledge in other subjects (for example science or historical events).



A solid vocabulary boosts reading comprehension for children of all ages. The more words children know, the better they understand the text. That’s why effective vocabulary teaching is so important, especially for children who learn and think differently. The teaching of high-level vocabulary is prominent throughout our curriculum. All classes have a ‘word wall’ and children learn key vocabulary throughout topics studied in history and geography. Half-termly ‘knowledge organisers’ present subject-specific vocabulary important to the topic for children to rehearse at home.

Enriching the Reading experience

Whilst our reading curriculum is engaging, fun and rich, we intend to enrich the children’s reading experience with various activities. These include:

World Book Day Celebration

Chesil Reading Project

Author visits

Reading raffle

High-quality texts

Well-stocked library




Our Reading curriculum is assessed is a variety of different ways. To track and measure outcomes and progress, we use a variety of monitoring and assessment activities across the school. These include:

  • Summative Assessment- Children complete two summative assessments across the year in the form of Testbase Assessments (Year 1,3,4 & 5) and past SATs papers in Year 2 and 6. Teachers conduct detailed analysis of these assessments to inform their planning and guide future interventions and we use it as a guide for reporting to parents.
  • Nursery Assessment - at the end of each term in our Nursery class, the teacher assesses each child against the Development Matters statements for Communication and Language and Literacy.
  • Reception Assessment- at the end of each term in our reception classes, the teacher assesses each child against the Early Learning Goals for Word Reading and Comprehension.
  • The Phonics Screening Check is delivered in Year 1 and (where relevant) Year 2 to assess Word Reading.
  • Book Bands are used as a measure of children’s attainment and progress in Word Reading and Comprehension in EYFS, KS1 & (where relevant) Year 3.


  • EYFS GLD 65% Word Reading 70%
  • Phonics Screening Check Y1 89%
  • Phonics Screening Check by end of Y2 93%
  • KS1 EXP+ 79% GDS 21%
  • KS2 EXP+ 78% GDS 30%

Development of SMSC

We promote spiritual development by: We promote moral development by: We promote social development by: We promote cultural development by:

The choice of text.

E.g. Yr 6 ‘Once’ (considers other faiths); Yr 4 FArTHER by Graham Baker-Smith

- Discussions during guided reading sessions. Respect & Tolerance

- Encouraging reading for pleasure – children are encouraged to choose a range of different books.

- Comprehension including:

  • deduction
  • inference

- Encouraging children to delve deeper into their understanding of literature and how it relates to the world around them.

  • Skills of analysing information so children can make sense of large amounts of information available in the modern world. Respect & Tolerance Rule of Law

- Teaching a range of literature that promotes discussion and debate. Respect & Tolerance

- The choice of text.

e.g. Reception ‘Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth’, Yr 1 ‘Dear Greenpeace’,  nonfiction texts in Yr2 about apes, Yr 6 ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’

- Comprehension including:

  • prediction
  • inference
  • analysing

- Studying key texts that give students the opportunity to think about the consequences of right and wrong behaviour, applying this to their own lives. Respect & Tolerance

- Analysing information and considering the implications of misleading or bias literature. Individual Liberty

- Enabling pupils to analyse characters and events to explore the consequences of negative actions.

- Giving the opportunities to consider different perspectives and empathise with other characters. In turn, children are more able to understand the needs of others and apply empathy to similar situations in their own lives.

Respect & Tolerance

In Guided Reading, carefully selecting texts to deal with moral questions. Respect & Tolerance

Individual Liberty

- The choice of text. E.g. Yr 3 ‘BFG’ (social interactions), Yr1 ‘Rainbow Fish’

- Ensuring children have the opportunity to develop their comprehension skills, expressing their opinions and commenting on the author’s work. Respect & Tolerance

- Encouraging reading for pleasure – children are encouraged to choose a range of different books.

- Shared reading – in school and at home.

- Story time in class – discussion.

- Working regularly in partners and small groups (guided reading). Respect & Tolerance

  • - Children discussing tasks and questions and deciding how best to solve them.
  • - Children developing their abilities to work as a team. Respect & Tolerance
  • - Children developing a sense of responsibility within a small group.


Respect & Tolerance

- Participating in English events, such as World Book Day.

- Lessons promoting cooperation and teamwork through the ability to work in groups, listening to presentations and asking questions. For example, children are encouraged to build on the views of others, or oppose the view using positive language. In turn, this creates a culture where they may speak freely but showing social awareness of others.

Individual Liberty

- The choice of text.

E.g. Yr 2 ‘Pretty Salma’ (Little Red Riding Hood set in Africa)

Yr 4 Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

- Comprehension including:

  • deduction
  • analysing

- Applying learning to real-life scenarios.

  • - Children developing skills which prepare them for the real-world e.g. reading aloud.

- Appreciating English in other cultures.

Respect & Tolerance

- Understanding that literature is universal, that every country has a language.

Respect & Tolerance

- Pupils learning to appreciate and respect others through the study of fiction, non-fiction and poetry from different cultures.

- Key texts enabling pupils to appreciate British history and culture. Respect & Tolerance