‘Trusting in God; Growing in Wisdom’

Becoming Readers

23 “I wish someone would write down everything I say.  I wish my words were written on a scroll.
24 I wish they were carved with an iron tool into lead or scratched on a rock so that they would last forever. (Job 19: 23-24)



At Whitegate CE Primary we aim to support the pupils as they grow in faith within this diverse world around them.

We believe passionately that all children are entitled to a rich and exciting range of books to help them grow in wisdom, inspire their imagination, see life from the perspective of others and develop a life-long love of reading. Our literacy-rich environment is central to our philosophy of encouraging a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promoting children’s enjoyment of reading, as children explore the world in which they live and prepare them to shine in life. This in turn will help children to:


  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
  • Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
  • Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
  • Read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.



Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in FS and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum. Children are provided with books that match and support their phonics development and ability. All children have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, both independently and cooperatively, and are encouraged to read at home with an adult. Through high quality teaching and learning experiences we will develop children’s skills, competence and develop the resilience to explore. We provide a text rich English curriculum, in which children encounter authors who they will love all of their lives. To help them on this journey, each class has dedicated class authors who they develop a relationship with throughout the year.  They listen to their books, reading for pleasure, find out about their lives and what inspired them to become authors and learn about how their books came to be illustrated, published and loved over time! Through the use of high quality texts children are encouraged to develop their vocabulary, consider a range of issues and deeper meanings in texts, and develop comprehension skills and enjoyment of books. Reading comprehension skills are developed in Guided Reading sessions with a focus on the key VIPERS skills. Reading skills are continually developed through the wider curriculum. Our 'Reading Spine' is a further approach we take to foster a love for reading in our children and to ensure they are familiar with a range of genres, text types and authors and poets both classical and modern. The spine is a core of books that create a living library inside our children's minds.  It is a store of essential reads that help our children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story. We have produced our own 'Reading Spine' for every year group; giving children access to these high-quality texts.


“Reading is the one ability that, once set in motion, has the capacity to feed itself, to grow exponentially, providing a base from which the possibilities are infinite.”  Michael Morpurgo




From the start of Reception, we follow the systematic synthetic phonics programme Ready, Steady, Phonics which has been developed by Literacy Counts. The daily plans are accompanied by interactive whiteboard lessons and workbooks are used for the practice and application of phonics learning. This in turn then continues across the curriculum in both reading and writing. Fully decodable books accompany the programme and are available to download at school and at home. ‘Keep up’ support is put in place for any child who needs additional practice and these sessions match the teaching of the daily lessons but in smaller steps with more repetition to ensure every child secures their learning.


For further information about Ready Steady Phonics, please visit their website.




All children make progress with regard to their reading ability at a rate appropriate to the individual.  Children who are still on our reading scheme are benchmarked every half term.  Children in KS2 complete summative tests twice a year to monitor their progress and identify gaps in their reading skills and knowledge.  Any children who are not making expected progress will be supported in a variety of ways, including: additional phonics and reading support as well as additional practice with high frequency and common exception words. The depth and breadth of reading experiences we provide for our children will see them develop into confident, engaged and enthusiastic readers who possess an understanding and appreciation of the world and its myriad peoples, places and opportunities. 


If you have any questions about our reading curriculum, please contact Mr Thomas or Mrs Corcoran (subject leads) via the school office.
Thank you


Files to Download

Student Login