Statement of Intent:

From the very start of a pupil’s time at Fountains Earth / St Cuthbert’s CE Primary school, we encourage a love of reading and literature. We immerse ourselves within a wide range of genres, across all subjects, whilst encouraging children to dig beneath the surface of a text and explore further.


We intend:

  • for all pupils to become inspired, enthusiastic and motivated readers
  • for all pupils to have the skills to decode in order to read fluently so that they can access the printed word in a wide range of genres – with understanding of what they have read
  • for all pupils to have a wide vocabulary and a rich understanding of the meaning of words that they have encountered.
  • to encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure
  • to use reading to provoke thought within our pupils and to extend knowledge


Across our federation, children are taught to read using systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) within Early Years and Key Stage 1. They are taught to decode and blend words using the sounds they have learnt in discrete phonics sessions. Children have a daily lesson, based on the progression advocated in the "Letters and Sounds" document. This very carefully drafted scheme, ensures that children have the skills to decode the written word, step by step. These daily lessons include a combination of physical activities, songs, chanting and vocal repetition. As part of this progression, children also learn to read ‘tricky words’. These are words that are not phonically decodable (for example the, was) and need to be remembered and recalled.


We use the ‘Phonic Bug’ reading scheme as our core scheme. This supports the children’s phonetic reading development and children progress though the scheme systematically accessing both fiction and non-fiction texts. All children take their reading books home and are encouraged to practise daily. We have a wide range of additional texts to supplement the core scheme giving children a choice at their phonic level once the core scheme is completed. We also use intervention schemes for children who need additional support to learn to read.

Each class studies a wide range of age appropriate class texts throughout the year. Class reading books are chosen carefully to fully support reading and other curriculum objectives. As part of our planning process, question stems are used to inform questions based on the class text and unknown vocabulary is identified. The children become immersed in the class text using drama, writing, retelling, artwork, character, plot and setting studies. They learn about other books that each author has written and develop reading preferences as their reading repertoire grows. Often class texts link to the theme or topic for that half term.

Reading for Pleasure is promoted across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. All children are given regular opportunities to read independently and to listen to stories shared by adults. National Events such as World Book Day, Summer Reading Challenge are promoted and Shared Reading takes place between different classes across both schools.


During KS2, children are introduced to Reading Plus which continues until they need more specific reading opportunities. This is an online reading system that children can access both at home and at school with a wide range of texts on offer. Books are specifically matched to pupils reading speed, level of understanding and vocabulary understanding. The programme works to support individual pupil’s needs whilst also continuing to foster interest in reading and build on knowledge.

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