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At St Ann’s Heath, we firmly believe that reading is a transferable skill fundamental to success in the wider curriculum. Underpinning our reading curriculum and choice of whole class text is the aim to build a community of engaged readers who turn to reading for meaning and pleasure. In addition, our reading curriculum aims to develop a range of reading skills: fluency, retrieval, explanation and viewpoint. Through lessons based on high-quality and challenging texts, we endeavour to expose children to a range of ambitious vocabulary and a wide range of genres while also actively encouraging children to discuss and form opinions on the books they have read.  Furthermore, we aim to develop a consistent approach to teaching reading skills in order to close any gaps and to target the highest number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.


Reading is predominately taught through whole class sessions based around a high-quality text which is linked to the creative curriculum unit of learning. In each unit of work, we endeavour to include at least one whole class reading session per week which is taught in mixed ability classes, with work differentiated to support and challenge children of all abilities to ensure that learning is pitched at each child’s level. In addition, in the upper school, children are also exposed to discrete reading sessions taught in ability groupings once weekly to hone reading skills specific to each child to enable them to reach their full potential.

Across the school, we use the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-up programme to give urgent targeted support to children who are not reading at age-related expectations so that they can access the curriculum and enjoy reading as soon as possible. Little Wandle Rapid Catch-up is a complete catch-up programme that mirrors the main phonics programme used by both our main feeder schools but has a faster pace. The programme is delivered daily one-to-one or in small groups by a learning support assistant. By the end of the programme children should be reading with enough fluency and accuracy to access the curriculum in class, and to read with enjoyment and understanding.

Children have two opportunities a week to change their books at our school library which is well-stocked with a variety of titles matching a streamlined version of the Oxford Reading Tree levels. Each year group has their own reading challenge to encourage children to read both their school library books and books they enjoy reading for pleasure as many times as they can throughout the week.