English Reading

Subject Lead - Miss Edwards

English gives pupils the building blocks for successful communication and a life-long love of learning.

Hearing a story read by an adult is a daily pleasure for our pupils: a time to listen to a fluent reader reading with expression and enthusiasm gives pupils a joy for reading themselves. Predicting ‘what happens next’ develops comprehension skills, and again, those vital communication skills.

From making marks on a page to writing a complete text, with paragraphs and a wide variety of punctuation and vocabulary, we experience writing every day, across a range of curriculum subjects. Our development of spoken communication gives pupils the tools to transfer their ideas into writing: from stories to poems to instructions to letters, and many more.



Our English curriculum is designed to develop confident, independent, and successful readers. Our pupils receive a stimulating and enriching experience in English, developing the skills necessary to master the National Curriculum English Programme of Study.

We believe that developing a love for reading is the first step in a child’s reading journey. Throughout our provision we expose children to books and storytelling, thus encouraging them to interact with texts and begin to form opinions and questions. This develops as the children progress through the school, with the use of high-quality texts, across a range of genres. Children are taught in a ‘language rich environment’ where word acquisition is encouraged and promoted.  All pupils receive daily explicit instruction of spelling in a variety of ways that actively involve pupils. 

Our aim is for children to leave school being able to read a wide variety of texts with enjoyment and comprehension.

Our curriculum is relevant, engaging and memorable.  It will create lifelong learners.



We teach using the principles of Barack Rosenshine and Kagan Co-operative Learning and Active Engagement within all lessons and across the whole school. (See Teaching and Learning.)


Reading - overview

We follow a clear, sequential curriculum based on the National Curriculum which builds skills in reading progressively through the school.  Children receive direct teaching in reading skills as well as a wide range of opportunities to develop and hone these.  We create a “language rich” learning environment where reading and books have a high priority and status.  We believe that no child should be left behind or become a disenchanted reader so targeted interventions – both group and individual – are deployed appropriately.

Early Reading

The systematic teaching of Phonics using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a high priority throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1. Phonics teaching is delivered on a daily basis in a sequential and exciting way so that long-term memory is embedded. Our learners are taught to recognise, blend and segment sounds for reading and spelling. From EYFS, children read phonically decodable books which are carefully matched to each child’s secure phonic knowledge in reading words, including tricky words. This is supported at home with our Big Cat reading books.

Years 2-6

Once children are reading confidently and showing signs of developing fluency, they move on to the Accelerated Reader programme. Reading books and texts are accurately matched to pupil ability, being graded with a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) to ensure clear progression of skills and appropriate challenges for all children. A wide and diverse range of texts is provided in school so we can engage all abilities and foster a love of reading. Use of the Accelerated Reader quizzes once a book has been read ensures that comprehension skills become embedded and rapid progress can be made.

English lessons

Our English content is centred around The Power of Reading. This has been developed by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) who carries out highly regarded classroom-based research and has extensive experience of working with teachers. Their Power of Reading project combines the use of outstanding books for teachers and children with an approach to teaching the English curriculum that is creative, engaging and develops a love of literacy.

Pupils use a high-quality text each term that explores a range of genres through reading. Our pupils focus on high quality vocabulary within their text; infer character traits through ‘role on the wall’ activities; predict what will happen next, explain why something happens by referring to the text; retrieve facts from the text and sequence or summarise events in the text. This enables the development of comprehension skills.



By the time children leave in Year 6, 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, their community and the diverse world we live in.

We strive for every pupil to leave us with the necessary skills to access the reading and vocabulary demands of the secondary curriculum and for them to be successful communicators throughout their lives, making them ready for the wider world of secondary school, further training and employment.

Get in Touch

Holy Trinity C. of E. Primary School
Trinity Road, Gravesend, Kent,
DA12 1LU

01474 534746