Children’s Reading at St Gabriel’s

At St Gabriel’s reading is valued and promoted to be an enjoyable activity and an essential life skill. Children are encouraged to become confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers; to support this they have access to a wide range of reading opportunities.

Foundation Stage

Children are exposed to lots of ‘talk’ activities to help them develop a good understanding of vocabulary, which is essential to developing reading skills. They have lots of stories read to them and are encouraged to join in and help the teacher to ‘map out’ the stories so they too can become the storyteller.

Throughout both phases of Foundation Stage we aim to develop children’s recognition of rhythm and rhyme and other language features through the reciting of Nursery Rhymes and stories.

Children are introduced phonics using the Read Write Inc. programme of synthetic phonics This progresses and develops into Key Stage One.

Children will be introduced to Reading Books in the Summer Term before they start their formal education. 

In Foundation 2 children will engage in shared and guided reading activities with their teacher as well as developing their independent reading.


Key Stage One 

Children continue to develop their phonic knowledge through Read Write Inc programme.   They learn to apply this knowledge to their reading and are introduced to more ‘tricky’ words – words that do not sound out using phonics and which they have to read by sight. 

Our children continue to develop their reading skills and understanding of story through Shared and Guided Reading and they practise their developing reading skills with their independent reading books.

Children are taught to read using Oxford Reading Tree supported by All Aboard.

Reading Comprehension is developed, initially through discussion with focused questions that allow teachers to assess children’s progress.  


Key Stage Two

By Key Stage Two most children have developed a range of reading skills that enable them to read age appropriate material.  They are encouraged to widen the range of reading books they choose.  Children are taught to respond to more challenging texts and show greater understanding of how authors create effects in a more formal manner.

Throughout both Key Stages teachers continue to read and share books with their classes.   We believe it is important to share stories with all children from Foundation Stage to Year Six.

At times, one book will be chosen for a more in depth study and other curriculum areas linked to this.

Other reading opportunities in school

Children have access to the School Library which is centrally located and holds a wide range of information books. They will also learn to research using ICT and develop reading research skills.

Foundation Stage and Key Stage One have regular opportunities to visit The Early Years Lending Library where children can choose their own book to take home and share.

Parents’ role

We regard reading at home as an important part of children’s reading development and parents are encouraged to be involved in the development of their child’s reading skills and to respond to their child’s development using reading records.

New Reading Records have been printed for Foundation Stage/ Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Please support your child by listening to them read in a quiet place. The books your child brings home are intended for them to practise their reading skills and not to challenge them. It is equally as important for this to happen in Key Stage Two as in Foundation Stage/ Key Stage One.

What happens if your child isn’t making progress?

It is our intention that all children in St Gabriel’s will learn to read as a life skill and for lifelong enjoyment, however some children do take a little longer to develop reading skills.

Teachers constantly monitor the progress children are making and where appropriate a range of support programmes are put in place to accelerate a child’s progress. We are always happy to discuss your concerns.