St Francis Catholic Primary School a Voluntary Academy

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"The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go."

Dr Seuss


At St Francis, we value reading as a key life skill and place great importance on enabling our children to become life-long readers.  We want all of our children to develop a love of books and reading as we believe it is not only one of the finest pleasures in life, but also essential to academic success. By the time children leave St Francis, we want all of our children to be competent readers, have a thirst for reading different genres and enjoy actively taking part in discussions about books.


"The job of adults who care about reading is to move heaven and earth to put that book into a child's hands.” 

- Nancie Atwell (author of The Reading Zone)


The reading curriculum is planned around the topics on the EYFS long term plan.  We ensure that children experience quality texts throughout the year, which have been specifically chosen to interest them. (See below)

The children listen to and join in with poems, rhymes and stories every day. They also have the opportunity to retell and role play stories daily in the provision using small world, props, masks and dressing up clothes.

Children are encouraged to recognise their name as soon as they start in the EYFS as they find their coat peg and badge. They select their name card and attempt to write it on their paintings when ready.  They are encouraged to select a library book to take home and they can change these books three times a week.

Year 1 Reading Practice Sessions

Due to the fact that the focus for the children in Year 1 is more heavily weighted towards the decoding of works and application of phonics knowledge, reading practice sessions are based around our Little Wandle reading programme books.  The children have three reading practice sessions per week designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody and  comprehension.

Year 2 and KS2 Guided Reading 

Guided Reading is carried out on a weekly basis.  We deliver whole class guided reading lessons every day, which follows a set pattern:

Mon – pre-reading session – overview of text, exploration of new vocabulary

Tues – Teaching of one particular skill linked to a specific content domain

Wed – Answering questions using the skill taught yesterday 

Thurs – Completion of written comprehension on mixed questions (mixed skills) 

Fri – Reading for pleasure/Accelerated Reader quiz

We use the analogy of biscuits to support our children in understanding the different content domains and skills needed within them.  In KS1 there are 5 content domains and in KS2 there are eight content domains:

Guided Reading Long Term Plans

Please click here for our Y2 long term plan 

Please click here for our Y3 long term plan

Please click here for our Y4 long term plan

Please click here for our Y5 long term plan

Please click here for our Y6 long term plan

In addition to guided reading, reading opportunities are made in English lessons and across other areas of the curriculum. 

Every classroom, has a special reading area which has been designed by the children.  In this area, there are a mix of fiction and non-fiction books.  Many of the books support the curriculum of that year group.



Children in KS1 follow the Little Wandle reading scheme. They are expected to read at home with an adult at least 3 times per week. Reading books are changed weekly.

Children are assessed half termly, unless the teacher feels they could be assessed earlier.  


Children in KS2, follow the Accelerated Reader system, which is continuously monitored and controlled by their class teachers. On finishing a book, they must do a quiz on it on the iPad in school within 24 hours of completion before being allowed to select their next book.

Follow here to see the detail of how Accelerated Reader works.


Books are both mirrors and windows to our world: they reflect our own experiences and offer insight into lives that differ from our own. For this reason, the stories in our main and classroom libraries are wide-ranging, encompassing both relatable and new experiences for our children. The impact of our reading curriculum is evident in our children’s love of reading – pupils at St Francis read frequently, engage with high-quality texts, and talk enthusiastically about the books they read. Pupil voice shows that our children also have a good understanding of the domain skills that are taught in daily Guided Reading lessons.

Reading is promoted in our school each and every day: staff present themselves as readers and make book recommendations to pupils, whilst our Book Ambassadors guide fellow pupils in selecting books from our library. We also encourage regular reading at home by providing home reading diaries and by offering parent workshops that are designed to inform parents on the importance of reading and reading for pleasure.

We passionately believe that reading should be regarded as a positive experience and that it should be celebrated; throughout the year we take part in a variety of exciting and engaging reading-related activities, notably World Book Day, author visits and termly trips to Waterstones.

For all of the reasons stated above, the children at St Francis make good progress in reading. This progress is assessed using a variety of methods, including Accelerated Reader, Star Reader, NTS Assessments and formative assessment from Guided Reading lessons.

Please find some information below from Bradford libraries:

Bradford libraries newsletter

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