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Our Lady, Star of the Sea

Catholic Primary School

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Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you.“

Barack Obama



Reading has a central part in our curriculum, and we believe that children must become fluent, confident, and passionate about reading in order to succeed in all academic areas.


We believe that reading is an essential skill that enables children to engage in our every changing world of creativity and knowledge; extending their ideas and providing a base for increasing exciting vocabulary which they can use in their exploration of the world.


Through individual reading, sharing books and guided group reading we endeavour to develop the necessary skills for children to become confident and eager readers. Children will experience a wide range of high-quality texts including digital texts.


It is vital that children learn to understand and comprehend the hidden message behind a text from the literal to the inferred ideas and can express their opinions both orally and through written responses.

We will help children to become readers who are confident and enjoy reading.




We use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start to their reading journey. Both word recognition and language comprehension are necessary to achieve fluent reading, however, these cannot be taught alone. Therefore, a coherent and systematic phonics scheme is taught daily. All children in EYFS, KS1 and any child in KS2 with significant gaps in phonic knowledge are grouped to ensure that they receive the most effective level of support and challenge. All staff delivering phonics lessons have received high quality training in teaching phonics and regularly have the opportunity to develop their skills, through coaching and practice sessions. This also ensures consistency across and within groups.


Children are assessed half termly, using Read Write Inc assessments and are regrouped accordingly. Any children who are identified as making slower progress will then receive extra one to one or small group tuition.


At the beginning of the phonics programme, in EYFS, children will take home wordless books to share with their families. They will also be given access to virtual classroom films regularly to support the sounds that have been taught in school. As children progress to Ditty group, they will then take home a ditty book bag book and have access to RWI eBooks to read. The RWI eBooks will be the same ditty that has been read during that week in their phonics lesson. Children will also be given regular access to appropriate virtual classroom films so that they can continue to practise at home.


When KS1 pupils have completed the phonics programme and are secure word level readers, reading is then developed through home reading books levelled to their ability.


Shared Reading  

From EYFS, all aspects of word reading, and comprehension skills are taught through a sequential scheme called ‘Steps to Read.’ This scheme provides a clear teaching sequence to reading sessions that explicitly teach reading skills and strategies in a cumulative way, through evidence-based approaches. Children are exposed to a wide range of high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts and they are provided with the skills and strategies needed to be a proficient and confident reader.


Steps to Read sessions are taught daily and they involve a mixture of whole class shared reading, small group guided reading and paired work.


In KS2, children take home reading books matched to their ability. Children will be moved through the book bands as and when appropriate to do so. Once children have completed the book bands, they are then allowed to select their own text and engage in weekly discussions with their teacher about what they are reading.


Our 'Favourite Five' Texts


From Nursery to Year 2, Our ‘Favourite Five’ books were introduced so that our children had access to a core set of stories that both our teachers and children shared repeatedly. The aim of sharing books in this way means the children build up a breadth of loved children’s books. As well as a strategy for developing vocabulary, in order to support children in understanding the books that they will be able to read for themselves.

These titles have built up over time and we are continuing to add to these collections to give our children a wide range of literature, and authors.


Reading for Pleasure


We recognise the importance of reading for enjoyment. There are regular opportunities provided for children to read for pleasure, including: quiet reading time, shared class novels, whole school celebrations (World Book Day, Bootle Children’s Festival of Reading also during curriculum lessons. Our reading curriculum highlights the core and suggested texts that children have access to each year. Opportunities are provided for children to enjoy these texts and also to recommend them to their peers.




Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident, and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning in all areas of the curriculum.


Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments at the end of EYFS, KS2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of RWI half termly assessments, NFER reading assessments, PM Benchmarking, and ongoing teacher assessment.

We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider their individual starting points; however, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of statutory assessments. We want our children to leave our school, possessing the reading skills and love of literature which helps them to access and enjoy a successful future.

Bootle Literary Festival


Author Rebecca Fan Blinston visited our school and read to us all her book, ' The Albert Dockhounds.' Rebecca worked with Year 3 and 4 classes to develop their writing techniques.

Year 5 & 6 visited In Another Place's Narnia Experience at Bootle Strand. They also had a special workshop with Author, Alan Gibbons. What a wonderful experience for our children.

World Book Day


We had a whole school book swap. Each child donated a book they no longer wanted any more and swapped it for a new book. It was so much fun and every child had a new book to read and take home with them. We even invited our staff and parents/carers to swap books too. 


In addition, each class held their very own reading is fun workshop. Parents were invited to join in. In Year 1, they went on a Gruffalo trail and in Year 4 they made their very own pop up rain forest fact books. Reading certainly is fun at Our Lady Star of the Sea! 

KS1 Phonics Party!

Story Barn Visit