At St. Ignatius Catholic Primary school, our mission is to cultivate a deep passion for reading and writing among all children. We are committed to ensuring that every child becomes a proficient reader and writer during their time with us. Through exposure to quality texts, we aim to foster a love for reading, ignite a passion for discovery, and instill the confidence to explore their imagination.
Our comprehensive English education equips children with fluency in speaking and writing, empowering them to effectively communicate their ideas and emotions to others. From Nursery to Year 6, they are provided with numerous opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across various subjects. Our focus is on effective transcription and composition, emphasising audience, purpose, context, and vocabulary.
Reading plays a pivotal role in the holistic development of our pupils—culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. By engaging with literature, they acquire knowledge and develop a thirst for learning, essential for their participation in both the school community and wider society. Ultimately, we aim for our students to leave St. Ignatius with the ability to use fluent, legible, and speedy handwriting, fully prepared for their future journeys as informed and articulate individuals.
- Reading Leaders – Each class across school has two ‘Reading Leaders’ and they do exactly that – they lead reading in their classrooms and beyond! The leaders applied for their positions early in the year and contribute to not only their own class libraries by supporting pupil’s choices in books and making recommendations, but also by taking part in whole school reading initiatives and assemblies! Please see our Student Leadership page for more information.
- Daily Whole Class Reading (WCR) – This takes place across all year groups from Year 1 onwards, where children will read texts closely linked to their abilities but which are chosen specifically to challenge. These sessions follow a progression of skills to help children with decoding, fluency, comprehension and stamina building and will be delivered in engaging and innovative ways, including the use of technology. From Year 1 onwards, the use of ‘Reading Vipers’ will be used to aid comprehension. This includes: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequencing (KS1 and KS2) and Summarising (KS2).
- Teaching Diversity Through Reading – Please read our plan (including an intent, implementation and impact) for teaching diversity through reading at St. Ignatius (link above).
- Reading Plus (DreamBox) – During WCR, children are able to access a platform called ‘Reading Plus’. This is an adaptive literacy solution that improves fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, stamina, and motivation and provides teachers with clear and accurate assessments of pupil gaps or areas of development, as well as their strengths. Children access this regularly throughout the school week, they can access this at home and we also hold trust-wide competitions as well as in-school competitions on Reading Plus!
- Daily Whole Class Reads – Class novels are read aloud by class teachers every day. The shared community that is created and the sense of belongingness is magical when a class teacher reads aloud to a class. As well as this vital element of creating a positive, pleasurable experience, there are many benefits of reading a whole class text, such as; encountering new words and enriching vocabulary; helping students appreciate the beauty and rhythm of language; children enjoying and understanding texts beyond their own reading ability; enhancing imagination and observation skills; fluent, expressive reading is modelled amongst many more. It plants the desire to read.
- Individual Readers – We aim to listen to children read individually as often as possible across all classes by ‘Reading Ranger’ volunteers, teachers or teaching assistants. Our individual readers reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree. We follow this across both Key Stages and ensure progression and challenge for all children. We also encourage children to choose books outside of the scheme which are led by their own interests, appropriate for their age and ability. Teachers, along with Reading Leaders, support children in selecting these books from class and school libraries.
- Reading for Pleasure – We strive to foster a love of reading both in school and at home. To ensure that all children have access to a range of books, most classrooms have a reading area where children can choose books that interest them and they are regularly given opportunities to read these books within the school day. Children also have access to the Ks1 and Ks2 library areas to choose a book to read for pleasure. These areas are updated regularly and are inviting and comfortable spaces for children to thoroughly enjoy.
- Wider experiences – Reading is not only celebrated during lessons. Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author visits and Schools Library Service visits and workshops. We also hold a Scholastics Book Fair annually which raises the profile of reading as well as raising money for us to replenish our own libraries!
- Reading Shed – On our playground we have a dedicated space designed to encourage and facilitate reading among children during their free time (break and lunch). It is a small, cosy area filled with books and cushions, providing a calm and immersive environment for children to engage in independent or group reading activities. The purpose of our reading shed is to promote a reading culture, making reading more accessible and enjoyable for children. It offers a welcoming escape from the hustle and bustle of the playground, allowing them to relax and immerse themselves in the world of books. The presence of books in the shed, carefully curated to cater to various reading levels and interests, encourages children to explore different genres and discover new stories.
- Interventions – Keep Up Not Catch Up! – Across both Ks1 (phonics – see phonics page) and Ks2, we run weekly intervention groups where any pupils who need extra support are given time and guidance to do so. Mrs Gerrard and Mrs Ross support these groups of children who are identified by class teachers and carefully assessed and supported to meet the expected standards. We feel passionately about no pupil being left behind and therefore if you do have any concerns about your child’s reading, please speak to us.
- Reader Identity Development – A reader identity refers to an individual’s perception of themselves as a reader. It is the sense of who they are in relation to reading, including their attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about books, texts, and the act of reading itself. Developing a positive reader identity involves seeing oneself as a capable and enthusiastic reader, someone who enjoys exploring different genres, engages with literature regularly, and finds value in reading for pleasure and knowledge. We encourage all pupils to develop their own reader identities at St. Ignatius and support them along the way, so they are able to build their confidence and love of reading.
- Weekly Poems – Each class at St. Ignatius read and try to learn a poem a week! We think this is very important for many reasons, including: language development, emotional expression, creativity and imagination, cultural appreciation, rhythm and phonological awareness, critical thinking, memory and memorisation and a sense of achievement! Reading a poem a week not only contributes to children’s academic development but also nurtures their emotional, creative, and imaginative aspects. It is a simple yet powerful practice that can have a lasting impact on their growth and appreciation for language and literature.
- Newshed – Newshed is part of the Literacy Shed group and provides weekly newspapers for children. These are often shared electronically to their individual chromebooks, but a few copies are also printed and shared in our Key Stage Two library. Many children love when new releases are shared and enjoy reading a range of non-fiction and fiction books at St. Ignatius.
Proud to be a ‘Go-Read’ School
The impact of our reading program is poised to yield a host of positive outcomes, enriching the lives of our children in various ways. Through exposure to a wide array of literary works, we anticipate the following effects:
- Enhanced Language and Communication Skills: Regular reading enables children to improve their vocabulary, language comprehension, and communication skills, which are essential for effective expression and articulation.
- Strengthened Critical Thinking and Analytical Abilities: Engaging with diverse texts encourages children to think critically, analyse information, and form reasoned opinions, fostering their cognitive development.
- Expanded Knowledge and Understanding: Reading across genres and subjects broadens children’s knowledge base, enabling them to grasp complex concepts and diverse perspectives, empowering them to become well-informed individuals.
- Improved Academic Performance: Reading regularly has a positive correlation with academic success, as it improves students’ overall cognitive abilities and equips them with the necessary tools to excel in various subjects.
- Heightened Imagination and Creativity: Immersing themselves in the world of stories and ideas nurtures children’s creativity and imaginative faculties, stimulating innovative thinking.
- Enhanced Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Through relating to characters and their experiences, children develop a deeper sense of empathy and emotional intelligence, which contributes to their social and emotional growth.
- Cultivated Lifelong Learning Habits: Encouraging a love for reading lays the foundation for lifelong learning, instilling a passion for exploration and discovery that extends beyond the classroom.
- Increased Confidence and Self-esteem: As children progress in their reading abilities and tackle more challenging texts, they experience a sense of accomplishment, boosting their confidence and self-esteem.
- Empowered Independent Learning: Reading allows children to take charge of their own learning journey, enabling them to seek information and learn independently.
- Strengthened Parent-Child Bond: Fostering a culture of reading at home encourages parents and guardians to engage with their children through shared literary experiences, nurturing a strong bond and promoting family literacy.
Overall, the far-reaching impact of our comprehensive reading program goes beyond the confines of the classroom, equipping students with vital skills, enriching their emotional and intellectual landscapes, and laying the groundwork for a successful and fulfilling life journey. This is what we hope for the children of St. Ignatius.