Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

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Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

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"There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all."

 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


At Sacred Heart our intent is that all our pupils leave us as literate individuals, who have reached the specific end point identified in the National Curriculum as required for pupils transferring to Secondary Education.


It is our intention that all our pupils will enjoy and love reading as we strive to develop in them a life-long passion for reading.


Reading is essential tool and basic necessity in life. We know reading underpins pupils’ performance in all areas of the curriculum and we intend to develop our pupils’ reading ability with enjoyment, understanding of different genres, fluency so enabling them to draw upon the printed word throughout life.


From the moment a child enters Sacred Heart School, they will be warmly invited into our ‘Reading Community’ and exposed to a range of texts and opportunities to be read to, read by and read with.


Reading at Sacred Heart

All children at Sacred Heart are expected to read at home every day. Our early reading books use a phonics based approach. All guided reading texts and free reading books are aimed at challenging our children to progress with their reading skills; also stimulate a love of reading.


Children are exposed to a wide range of quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction and those written by a variety of authors. We support and guide our children to choose books that are most appropriate and provide the most suitable level of challenge for them.


Early Reading Through Phonics

For our approach to Early Reading through Phonics, please see the information on the separate page.


Teaching of Reading

At Sacred Heart, we understand that learning to decode is just the beginning of each child’s reading journey. Reading is about grasping meaning and appreciating the purpose and intentions of the writer.

In order to facilitate this, teachers focus on developing seven aspects of learning


Reading strategies

Key phrase

Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning


Decode accurately

Read with basic understanding (recall)

Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts

and use quotation and reference

to text 


Seek, find and understand Literal response to text.

Refer to examples in the text

Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts

Inference and deduction.

Read between the lines; interpret information.

Use evidence from the text to support views


Identify and comment on the structure

and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational

features at text level


Why is the text presented and organised as it is?

Comment on structure.

Comment on presentational features

Explain and comment on the writers’

use of language, including grammatical

and literary features at word and

sentence level

Why did the writer use that word/phrase/image/sentence construction/ punctuation?

Awareness of the impact of the language used on the reader; literary awareness


Identify and comment on the writers’ purposes and viewpoints, and

the overall effect

What are the ‘big messages about life’ here?

What are the writer’s attitudes, values and view on the world?

What is the writer’s purpose?


Relate texts to their cultural and

historical contexts and literary


What style of writing is this?

Which literary genre does it sit in?

How does this text relate to the world of literature?

Can you put the text in context: socially/historically/culturally?


At Sacred Heart, these reading strategies are taught, across the school, in a variety of ways:


Shared Reading: We use every opportunity we can to incorporate shared reading in our school. This strategy can be seen in shared reading sessions, in a range of cross-curricular lessons, assemblies and hymn practices. This is an interactive reading experience whereby pupils join in with or share in the reading of a text whilst being guided and supported by a teacher. It is a fantastic opportunity for the teacher to model the skills of a capable reader, such as reading with fluency and expression.


Guided Reading: This is an adult led session in which a small group of children are taught, learn and apply reading skills. Each child has their own copy of the text, which is carefully chosen to match the reading ability of the group. Within this small group setting, children are exposed to opportunities to question, discuss and develop their reading comprehension skills.


Individual Reading: At Sacred Heart we follow a scheme for reading that we believe assists each individual child’s reading skills. Children begin this reading scheme in Reception and continue through the graded scheme until they become competent, independent readers – this is carefully tracked and monitored by our teachers. Once children are ‘Free Readers’ they choose from an extensive variety of books from their class-based reading areas.


Class Readers: Every class are read to by a teacher, each day. The ‘Class Reader’ Books are carefully chosen based on the interest and needs of the particular cohort and we strongly believe this assists with our approach of building reading for pleasure. It is a daily session where children are encouraged to simply relax and hear a text. It is also another fantastic opportunity for the teacher to model the skills of a capable reader, such as reading with fluency and expression. The children of Sacred Heart often describe this as their favourite part of the school day.


ERIC: Across the entire school we have adopted and ERIC Approach. ERIC stands for Everyone Read In Class and this is implemented on a daily basis. All children read for 15 minutes each day, simply for pleasure. They choose which books or texts they would like to read in this time, are encouraged to get cosy and comfortable and enjoy a good book!  The adults in the school will also be found reading during these sessions. The children often speak about what books they are reading and recommend their texts to their peers during these sessions.


Reading Journals

All children at Sacred Heart School have a reading journal. For children in Reception to Year 3 this serves as a log of what and how often the children are reading and also a dialogue between the class teacher and parents about:


  • The book the child has read

  • What page they have read up to

  • How they read

  • How well matched the book was to the child’s ability level


Children in Year 4 and 5 are set Reading Journal Activities, which they complete on a weekly basis. These assist the children with their comprehension of the text in which they are reading.


As the children move into Year 5 and Year 6, they need to acquire the skill of summarising and so, as well as a reading log, the children are expected to summarise what they have read. Year 5 complete this summarising twice a week and Year 6 summarise what they have read five times per week.

Places still available for Reception Class in September 2022 - Follow us on Twitter at @SacredHeartTedd - See About Us, School Information for Prospective Parents for a virtual tour and more information.