Our Reading Ethos

We strive to ensure that every child is a reader at St. Michael's.

At St. Michael’s CofE Primary Academy we recognise the importance of reading as a life skill that will open doors to all subjects for children. We understand the significant role played by parents, teachers and support staff in supporting children to read with enjoyment and fluency.

Children at St. Michael’s are exposed to quality text from EYFS and across the school, which both stimulate and assist the children to read. Along with these ‘core’ texts the children in EYFS and KS1 and where appropriate KS2, children use the Oxford Reading Tree Reading scheme to build their confidence in ‘decoding’ and high frequency words.

Children will enjoy a breadth of text, which may be pitched at the child’s level or may challenge, through the reading sessions and through the St. Michael’s CofE Primary Academy’s own writing approach.

Children’s reading is assessed regularly to ensure that guided reading and home books can be pitched correctly.

Reading Books

Reading books go home to encourage a love of reading and develop the skills of reading. Your child should have:

  • A full decodable book matched to their phonic phase;
  • Or, a levelled book based on your child's comprehension and fluency reading age;
  • A reading book chosen from libraries in our classrooms to develop their love for reading. 

How we are ensuring every child becomes a reader

  • Systems and structures within school allow children to read on a daily basis.
  • Regular and ongoing assessment ensures intervention is timely and responsive to the needs of individuals and groups of children.
  • Regular training for all staff involved in teaching children to read is given a priority

EYFS & Key Stage 1

The key features of our reading lessons consist of:

  • Children read fully decodable books matched to their phonics phase and reading fluency.
  • Children are taught and supported to use phonics as the prime approach to decoding.
  • Children are given opportunities to practise required phonics knowledge and skills prior to reading unfamiliar text. 
  • Children take home books that have been taught.
  • Lessons are well-planned, well-prepared and well-resourced.


How we teach reading in EYFS (Reception)

  • Our ethos for reading is that children learn to read in Reception. 
  • Phonic lessons take place every day for 20-30 minutes. 
  • There is a whole-class teaching approach. The teacher leads the class. Some may have a teaching assistant, but not all do.
  • Phonics has a strong emphasis on reading. 
  • St. Michael's has a clear sequence for Phonics Progression  in Reception. 
  • Reception have small group reading sessions every day, or 1-1.
  • The groups, or 1-1 reading, take place three times per week; they focus on decoding, comprehension and prosody
  • All staff are trained to be experts in the teaching of Phonics & Reading.
  • Children take home the book they are reading in small group reading sessions so it is re-read for fluency.
  • All children take home a real book to share with parents. These books are chosen by the child and do not form part of any scheme.

How We Teach Reading in Key Stage 1

  • Reading happens every day for 30 minutes in Guided Reading. 
  • The teaching of Phonics happens every day for 30 minutes.
  • In Guided Reading, the class are split into five groups and are taught by 1 teacher and 4 teaching assistants. 
  • Children take home books that they are reading in small group reading sessions. 
  • All children also take home a book to share with their parents.
  • All of the staff used for Guided Reading are trained to be reading experts
  • Each lesson, over a week, has a specific focus:
    • Vocabulary - from the book - to learn about the words and phrases before reading.
    • Decoding - children explore the phonemes in the book and then explore how these are applied in sentences. All children read the book during this session independently. 
    • Fluency - children are taught to read fluently and with prosody (expression and intonation); we use echo reading to do this. 
    • Comprehension

How We Teach Reading in Key Stage 2

We teach the skills of reading and the enjoyment of reading through whole-class reading lessons. The purpose of these lessons are to teach the skills involved in being a good reader. High-quality texts, such as Letters from the Lighthouse,  Journey to Jo'burg or The Wind in the Willows, are used to teach from. 


At St. Michael's we follow a systematic, research informed approach, with a focus on:

  • Application of taught reading skills;
  • Vocabulary development;
  • Teaching and practising of the reading skill focus.

The skills,  taken from EEF research, are taught and revisited for fluency; these are practiced for permanence, which include:

  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Summarising
  • Sequencing