St Anne's Catholic Primary School

achieving excellence in all our God given talents

Lowe Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B12 0ER

0121 675 5037


'every child a reader'

At St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. We are passionate that all children should be taught the necessary skills to enable them to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Our aim is for all children to develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information. We ensure children are exposed to quality texts as they journey through the school, and have carefully selected a range of fiction, non fiction and poetry books which we feel will build cultural capital, foster a love of reading and enhance the curriculum. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading. We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. Our reading curriculum is delivered through systematic, synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.


Reading is one of the most important things you can do with your child and it will help them succeed throughout school.


Early Reading

Our aim is to ensure that every child leaves our school as a competent and confident reader. In order for this to happen, we believe that a strong start is necessary, therefore we teach early reading in the following ways:

  • Playing with the English Language: In Reception, children are given opportunities to experiment with the English language through rhyme, song and role play. The emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
  • Teaching children to read words: Every child in Reception and Year 1 have daily, highly structured phonics sessions. See Phonics page for more information.
  • Teaching children to understand the words they read: We focus on developing children's understanding of vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. By enriching the language experience of all our children, we are closing the vocabulary gap while widening access to our engaging curriculum.
  • Promoting a love of reading: All children have access to a wide range of diverse Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry books. Events such as World Nursery Rhyme Week and World Book Day provide further opportunities to immerse children in the magic of literature.

Wonder is the

desire for


(Saint Thomas Aquinas)

Pick Up A Book by St Anne's

Our Approach 

Our approach to teaching reading across the school is based on ‘Scarborough’s Reading Rope’. Therefore, we aim to develop both word recognition (phonological awareness/graphological) and comprehension (understanding a text).

The word-recognition strands (phonological awareness, decoding, and sight recognition of familiar words) work together as the reader becomes accurate, fluent, and increasingly automatic with repetition and practice. Concurrently, the language-comprehension strands (background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge) reinforce one another and then weave together with the word-recognition strands to produce a skilled reader. This does not happen overnight; it requires instruction and practice over time.

A 20th Year Celebration of Scarborough's Reading Rope - International  Dyslexia Association

View ‘Scarborough’s Reading Rope’ here.


"Fluency is the bridge between phonics and comprehension."

"So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky."

William James

At St Anne’s, we recognise that reading fluently involves accuracy, automaticity and prosody. In order to become fluent readers, we understand that our children must have lots of decoding practice. This is achieved by:

  • ·Giving our pupils the opportunity to read their reading books regularly in school (1:1 with an adult as often as is possible);
  • In Reception and Key Stage 1, children have small group guided reading sessions;

At Key Stage 2, pupils are given opportunities to develop reading fluency daily as part of their Guided reading lessons. Explicit fluency practice in these sessions include:

  • Choral Reading
  • Echo-Reading
  • Repeated Reading
  • Choral Reading
  • Copy Reading
  • Phrased Reading
  • Reading rehearsals and reading recitals
  • Recorded reading


At St, Anne's, we believe that guided reading should be an opportunity to teach and develop reading skills in greater depth; an opportunity for modelling, in depth questioning, ideally to include open questions, rich discussion and justifying and evidencing views and opinions. In Years 2-6, children are taught daily guided reading lessons. This allows for texts to be broken down and for children to become confident in using the reading domains. During the reading sessions, there is an emphasis on vocabulary, the retrieval of facts and inference. Novels and short extracts are used to teach reading as well as a range of non-fiction texts and poetry. These texts are carefully chosen to ensure that there is progression and challenge across the school. A wide range of genres are used during these times to provide a well-balanced approach to reading. Reading provision ensures that children are being exposed to stories that include diverse characters and settings as well as more classic texts. It is vital to engagement that our children feel invested in the books that they read and listen to.

Key Reading Comprehension Strategies

  • Prediction- pupils predict what might happen as a text is read. This causes them to pay closer attention to the text. What do you think will happen next?
  • Questioning- pupils generate their own questions about a text in order to check their comprehension
  • Clarifying- pupils identify areas of uncertainty, which may be individual words or phrases, and seek information to clarify meaning.
  • Summarising—pupils describe succinctly the meaning of sections of the text. This causes pupils to focus on the key content, which in turn supports comprehension monitoring. This can be attempted using graphic organisers that illustrate concepts and the relationships between them using diagrams.
  • Inference—pupils infer the meaning of sentences from their context, and the meaning of words from spelling patterns.
  • Activating prior knowledge—pupils think about what they already know about a topic, from reading or other experiences, and try to make links. This helps pupils to infer and elaborate, fill in missing or incomplete information and use existing mental structures to support recall

Equality and Diversity

  • We ensure that all children have access to books through our well-stocked school library
  • We expose children to a diverse range of authors and poets 
  • Through our curriculum, we explore a range of genres
  • It is our aim that children see themselves in stories through reading widely
  • Our Respect Curriculum is focused around books which explore important issues such as bullying, gender stereotypes, families etc.

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

Maya Angelou

Home Reading 

We set reading as homework in all classes as well as arranging reading workshops throughout the year. We teach Phonics in EYFS and in Key Stage One using Read Write Inc. In EYFS and KS1, using the Read Write Inc scheme, children are given a fully decodable home reading book, which corresponds with the sounds that are being taught in class, in addition to richer reading books each week. EYFS and KS1 also have the pleasure of taking a Reading for Pleasure book and library book. In KS2, children are given a Collins Big Cat home reading book linked to their reading level based on their half termly assessments in addition to a library book each week. 

Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 take home a Read Write Inc. book that is phonetically decodable and matches the phonemes that they are secure with. More information can be found on the Phonics and Early Reading page. 

In KS2, children will take home a ‘Collins’ Big Cat’ reading book. Collins' Big Cat supports teaching across the curriculum with high-quality fiction and non-fiction on a variety of genres. Each level features different styles and genres: traditional tales, familiar settings, fantasy stories, humorous stories, stories from other cultures, poems, instruction texts, recounts, plays, information books, non-chronological reports, biographies and persuasive texts. 

 Please view the Saint Anne’s Catholic Primary School Reading Scheme Progression here. 

Reading for Pleasure

There is no better indicator of a child's future success than whether or not they love reading (OECD 2002).

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for not only reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers.  

To promote a love of reading at St. Anne's we use a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes, and non-fiction texts that develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading.

To promote a love of reading we:

  • Create class libraries (book corners) which are inviting, well-organised and contain a range of quality texts
  • Have daily story time sessions (class readers)
  • Encourage author visits
  • Celebrate reading weekly with book awards in our celebration assemblies
  • Provide weekly timetabled library sessions
  • Hold regular parent workshops
  • Share stories on our Virtual Library (coming soon) which can be viewed and enjoyed at home
  • Weekly parent library sessions to support parents with story telling at home
  • Celebrate reading events such as World Book Day, National Poetry Day, Shakespeare Week etc.

Birmingham Library Membership

To encourage reading for pleasure, we also encourage you to get a membership for your child for Birmingham Libraries which is FREE!

You can find out more and join the library through this link; 

 A book is a gift you can open again and again.  Garrison Keillor

our classic texts and poems

At St. Anne's we believe that all children should be given the opportunity to explore classic texts and poetry throughout their school life. Therefore, different year groups will focus on different classics each year.

  • Reading classic books gives children exposure to writers that often use what is now considered to be ‘standard English’. There is a sense of formality with many of these, however these are the books which are often quoted and extracted from, and the structure of these sentences support children with their own understanding of composition.
  • Classic books are often set in a particular time period. Many of these books are set in a very distinctive time period; a war, perhaps or Victorian times. This gives the reader an insight into the life and times and the mind of someone who may be living in that period as well a sense of history.
  • Reading classics will introduce new and activate dormant vocabulary. Given that these books have often been written a while ago, there will be many words that children would be exposed to that they might not hear otherwise. Vitally, these are placed in sentences which are often structured in different way to what they are used to orally, and so grammatically and structurally they can place the words in context
  • Classic books introduce children to ‘themes’ With a ‘classic’ text the plot is often intricate, with a sub-text which can often be interpreted by identifying the bigger theme which is presented. This makes for useful discussions as children can easily compare and contrast books. The clues which they infer as they read can often provide a ‘eureka’ moment when they are all gathered together to reveal the bigger picture. Themes and plots such as separation from parents, good residing over evil, a secret or fantasy place that only children can see/go/visit are commonplace in older books, but provide an important hook and ultimately a vital message to the reader; your imagination is safe here and anything is possible.

class authors and poets


We believe parents are partners in our teaching of reading. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home. 


  • Be a reading role model - Let your child see you reading at home and share your excitement an enjoyment with them. It could be anything a book, magazine, newspaper - just show them you are having fun.
  • Read aloud and enjoy a book together- reading at home should also involve you reading to your child. Make choosing a book together fun; you could visit the school library, the public library or choose a book that is already at home. This is a good opportunity to allow your children to read books that they can’t read themselves yet. A love of reading can be created by letting a child choose a book they desperately want to read, even if it is too hard for them.
  • Talk, talk, talk - Talk before you start, talk during and talk after you have finished reading a book. Ask questions about the setting and characters, make predictions or talk about your favourite part, the list is endless.
  • Praise, praise, praise – Like with talking, praise before, during and after reading to instil confidence in your child. Writing about what you have read in your child’s home-school log book, even if it isn't a school book, will allow your child’s teacher to talk to and praise your child for reading at home too.
  • Use phonic strategies - Ask your child to sound out an unknown word. Look at the letters or sounds in a difficult word and support your child in sounding out them word. Then see if they can blend the sounds together to read  the word. Make sure you encourage your child to re-read the section they struggled with to develop fluency.
  • Learn common exception words – Help your child learn how to recognise the common exception, or tricky words that don’t follow a regular pattern.  Once they recognise these words they won’t waste their time trying to sound out words that don’t follow a regular pattern.
  • Allow self-correction - If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt them immediately. Allow the child to read the rest of the sentence and see if they recognise the sentence doesn’t make sense, then support them in re-reading.
  • Use the picture – use the pictures to look for clues and discuss what the word or phrase could be.
  • Use punctuation – does the sentence have speech marks or an exclamation mark? Read with expression or maybe try using a different voice. You can be as silly as you like!