Reading is a top priority for us at Christ Church School. We know that being a reader is so much more than being able to read words on a page.  Reading is central to education and a vital building block for learning; it improves vocabulary, deepens knowledge, supports the development of critical thinking skills and stimulates imagination.

It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. 

National Curriculum 2013.

We aim to:

  • deliver a progressive reading curriculum from when children enter school
  • promote a culture and love for reading to all pupils
  • promote opportunities for children to read wide ranging, high-quality texts 
  • ensure that every child becomes a motivated reader, writer and confident speaker by the time they leave school

Early Reading

Children’s journey to becoming readers begins before they even start school.  Early talk and sharing books, songs and rhyme at home can set children on the pathway to becoming committed and enthusiastic readers later on.

Reading has been described as a product of decoding and comprehension; the Simple View of Reading (Gough and Tunmer, 1986).  We use this model as soon as children start school.  We teach decoding skills using the Rising Stars systematic and synthetic phonics programme, where children build their knowledge of the alphabetic code which is essential to reading and spelling.  Children will initially bring home wordless books which have been designed to strengthen their communication and listening skills and tune them into sounds to prepare for reading.  

As children move through Key Stage 1, they continue to learn to read, building on their phonic knowledge and decoding skills as well as extending their vocabulary and developing their comprehension skills.  Reading does not stop at Key Stage 2 as children will continue to refine their reading skills through a range of 1:1, group and whole class strategies.  By the time they leave us, we want all children to be reading fluently and confidently; reading to learn across the curriculum and reading for pleasure. 

Reading Scheme

Our Reading Scheme is the Rising Stars Reading Planet. This fantastic scheme contains a range of fiction and non-fiction books that are suitable for children in reception, right up to year 6.  Early readers in this scheme match the Rising Stars Rocket Phonics scheme.  Please visit our phonics page to find out more.  

Children will bring these books home to share every day, but please ensure their book is returned to their bag each morning so that they have it in school.

May I say what a wonderful reading scheme you have invested in. I can't wait for the next book to be brought home, they are so exciting!

                                                                                     - Grandparent of a pupil in our school 

Class libraries

Each class has their own library that features specially selected books which are appropriate to the age ranges and reading abilities in the classroom.  Included in class libraries are an array of genres and non-fiction topics, featuring diverse and inclusive characters and themes that reflect the global community. 

Children have daily access to their class libraries.  In Key Stage 2 they also have time set aside for sustained, independent reading where they can read a book of their choice over multiple sessions.  Class library books are a very popular choice amongst children for independent reading books in school.

Whole school library

Our wonderful school library is the first thing children see on their entry into school.  Overseen by Miss Ray, the library is kept well stocked, organised and up to date with a vast range of genres, new and old authors and non-fiction topics. Our team of year 6 librarians are on hand to provide advice and recommendations during their library lunchtimes.  Children are encouraged to spend time browsing and reading in the library before choosing a book to take home.

KS1 – library session every week

KS2 – library session every week plus a library lunchtime per week for a longer visit

Please visit the library page to find out more.

Reading can take you to different worlds in your imagination                                                                                                         

- Year 5 pupil

Overview of reading by Key Stage

For the full version of our reading strategy:

Reading at Christ Church School - Our vision for reading

See also: