St Petroc’s Reading Vision

I am a reader. Word by word, sentence by sentence, and paragraph by paragraph I dive into stories- I am transported to faraway lands.

I learn to have empathy, tolerance and to be curious as I seek to meet characters from different times and places. I discover new facts and can find out information to help me understand more about the world, myself and others. I am inquisitive, I discover, I listen and I develop my own preferences for the books that I enjoy.


Reading is how we discover new things and is a vital skill in being able to function in today's society. Reading is important because it helps to expand the mind and develops the imagination.  At St Petroc’s, we know that reading is a key tool for life and is the gateway for every child to achieve their potential. For this reason, reading is a priority in all of our classrooms. 

It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and with confidence in any subject, in order to prepare them for their forthcoming secondary education. We therefore intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop: knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live; to establish an appreciation and love of reading; to gain knowledge across the curriculum; and develop their comprehension skills.   

Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading.  This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.  


At St. Petroc’s C of E School we follow the Read Write Inc. approach to teaching reading and phonics, supplemented with additional reading materials. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible. We use the same phonics program across the school providing continuity and a vehicle for progression. 


In nursery, children learn the set 1 sounds in small group sessions once they are ready, usually by the Summer term.


In Foundation Stage 2, the children have a daily Read Write Inc session dedicated to phonics. Children are taught in groups according to their reading ability, starting with a 20 minute session in Autumn term, increasing to 30 minutes in Spring term and 40 minutes in Summer term.


Children in Year 1 and Year 2 who have not graduated from the scheme, have a daily 45 minute Read Write Inc session dedicated to phonics. Children are taught in groups according to their reading ability.


Children in Year 1 and Year 2 who have graduated from Read Write Inc Phonics have a daily 45 minute session of guided reading.


Children in Year 3 and Year 4 who have not graduated the scheme, have a daily 30 minute Read Write Inc session dedicated to phonics. Children are taught in groups according to their reading ability.


All children are assessed half termly, more frequent assessments are also done for any children who appear to be exceeding their group’s ability.


For those children in Year 2, who did not pass the phonics screening test in Y1, additional, small group, interventions take place.  This includes children who are not making rapid progress in their Read Write Inc progression. In Year 1, additional interventions take place for children who are not making rapid progress in their Read Write Inc progression.


Phonically decodable reading books are sent home for all children in ditty group and above, tailored to their current level of phonic ability. Children have sounds and words to share at home in groups 1A or 1B, sound blending books in group 1C and sentence sheets in Ditty group to encourage reading skills in small but progressive steps for all.


In Y4, 5, 6, the children who have not completed the RWI programme are assessed every 6 weeks to ensure that they have phonics pitched at the appropriate level, not their age. These children take part in small group phonics interventions daily using RWI and RWI Fresh Start.  Children who did not pass the phonics screening test in Y2, are monitored to ensure that they have opportunities to reach the age-expected level.


Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child irrespective of year group. The alphabetic code is taught first with children learning new sounds and practising pronouncing and blending these sounds on a daily basis. This starts in nursery.  Simple mnemonics help the children grasp the letter sounds quickly. Then we match the sounds pupils know to the books they read. Children will hear lots of other stories in school thus increasing their story knowledge and vocabulary.


Once children have reached the end of the RWI programme, a whole class reading approach is used where the learning is focussed on developing fluency, vocabulary and the elements of comprehension outlined in the National Curriculum.


Reading across the school is supported using AR Reader. Pupils are assessed on their comprehension skills on a regular basis by doing a ‘star test’ which then gives the individual a targeted ‘reading range’.  This range gives children the opportunity to choose a book that interests them that will also continue to support them in their reading progress.  Pupils take AR reading books home from the library to practise some of the skills they are learning in school. These books are banded according to comprehension level and when children are confident with their knowledge of the book they take a ‘reading quiz’ online about what they have read which gives them instant feedback on their success. Children have individual targets to work towards within their reading which they can track using the AR app. In order to meet their targets, the children will need to read books higher in their reading range and pass their reading quizzes by answering more than 85% of the questions correctly. If children are consistently succeeding in these quizzes or meet their targets, they are encouraged to read books that are higher within their range and if they continue to succeed, they are able to take another ‘star test’ to give them a new reading range. Parents are able to monitor their child’s quizzing and progress towards their targets through the use of Home Connect.


Pie Corbett, an expert in reading, firmly believes that “Great books…build the imagination…and equip the reader with language…because around 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading.”   He recommends a whole school reading spine where the children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with around 80 core books during their time at primary school.  As a school, we have selected texts for our reading spine that give our children a broad range of exposure to a broad range of texts..  We have ensured that as they progress throughout the school, our children will have read or have had read to them a selection of modern and classical texts and authors, prize winning texts, popular texts, fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  We have considered local authors, authors from different cultures, characters of varying age, gender, culture and times throughout history.


Our choices of texts are based around The Five Plagues of Reading by Doug Lemov, Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine and the knowledge and experience of our teaching staff.  Each year, teachers will be able to select books from our reading spine to ensure they are giving our children the best possible reading experiences whilst still selecting texts that will appeal to the interests of their class and suit the current environment within which they are teaching.


At St Petroc’s, we understand and value the importance of enjoying reading.  46% of our children live in the most deprived 30% LSOAs (Layer Super Output Areas) in the United Kingdom, which is almost double the national average.  14% live in the most deprived LSOA, which is almost three times the national average.


Through reading and the texts we choose, we have the opportunity to support our children to define their own futures.  We can enhance their cultural capital to support their opportunities for social mobility.  We therefore know that it is our duty to give every child the opportunity to foster a love of reading.


By the time children leave St Petroc’s, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.  They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience.

St Petroc's Reading Ambassadors

Being a Reading Ambassador is all about reading for pleasure and sharing the deep enjoyment of reading a great book. Our Reading Ambassadors have been chosen for their love of reading and their enthusiasm to share this with others. 

Part of the job of a Reading Ambassador is to encourage others in school to read more, and find their own love of reading.  There is a large amount of research that demonstrates that children who read regularly at home perform much better at school and throughout their lives.  Our ambassadors support and encourage our students to be enthusiastic readers.

All of our reading ambassadors are passionate about reading and read at home 3 or more times per week. They aim to be positive role models for other children at St Petroc’s to encourage them to love reading as much as they do!

At St Petroc's we promote a love of reading.

We have enjoyed inviting our parents, older siblings, grandparents, relatives and other special people to surprise our children in our Y1 and Y2 classes by being a “Mystery Reader”.  During the time, the mystery reader reads one of their child’s favourite children’s books, does a storytelling or reads a book the class teacher chooses for them. 

At St Petroc's we promote a love of reading

We were very lucky to be visited by local author Cate Merrin! Cate read her new book Captain Seasick's Royal Appointment to all of our classes and she spoke to our children about what it is like to be an author and how she became an author. Children in KS2 asked her questions about editing and she gave them some great tips for how to improve their writing.