The Importance of Reading

Becoming a fluent reader enables children to access all areas of the curriculum. It opens doors for them and gives them real joy.

Teaching children to read confidently for information and for pleasure is the most important thing that we do at St Chrysostom's.

Find out what our Executive Head, Gareth Elswood, has to say about reading by watching the clip above.


Mrs Losada is our Federation Reading Assistant Headteacher across the Federation. 





At St Chrysostom's Primary School, we believe that developing a love of reading is the key to the success of our children. We actively encourage all children to read a wide variety of materials for pleasure and our aim is for our pupils to become readers for life. This enjoyment of reading is shared by all our staff, and reading opportunities are promoted through all curriculum subjects.


We take the teaching of reading seriously and have the common aim of ensuring children become active, critical readers and to promote reading for enjoyment for all.


Our Approach to Reading

The National Curriculum for English states that, ‘Reading widely and often opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious minds.’ Here at St Chrysostom's we pride ourselves on children become active, critical readers and promote reading for enjoyment across all key stages.

Whist developing reading for pleasure through a text-lead approach to teaching, children are also developing skills in stamina, fluency and comprehension needed to become an effective reader in a range of subject areas. 

A wide ‘diet’ of reading is provided for our children at St Chrysostom’s including whole class guided reading, shared reading, individual reading and group reading.  We consider storytelling and the sharing of stories to be the keystone to develop the enjoyment of reading as well as modelling fluent reading and comprehension skills. We therefore plan in a shared reading experience each day from Nursery right up to Year 6.


Text- Led Approach

At St Chrysostom's, we have designed a curriculum that is driven by high quality texts. This text-led approach is a very effective way of teaching the English curriculum. By teachers using high quality texts, children are immersed in a love of reading and writing. Through this method, children easily develop their speaking and listening skills, reading, writing and drama in a fun, engaging and motivating way.

Our English long term plan below shows the engaging texts we study in our English lessons. This key text is the driver for our curriculum and link texts studied in our reading sessions are chosen around this text. 

Reading Spine

Each half term, the children are exposed to a wealth of texts that link to all areas of the topic based curriculum and themes. These include a range of foction, non-fiction and poetry.  When choosing literature to share in the classroom we ensure that we expose children to a range of culturally diverse texts and authors that reflect their cultures and experiences. Our Reading Spine can be found at the bottom of the page, or the link below: 

Our Reading Curriculum


Our Approach to Whole Class Reading

At St Chrysostom's we have implemented a whole class approach to reading from Year 2 upwards.  Through this approach we aim to ensure that all our children become analytical readers, have an awareness of authorial intent and can justify and explain their own opinions about the text. 

With the new National Curriculum split into three key areas: Reading for Pleasure, Vocabulary Development and Oral Comprehension, a whole class approach to reading will enable children to develop their skills within each of these. All children will be given the opportunity to read aloud, listen to a text read by a teacher or peer and develop their ability to be able to discuss what they have heard in a constructive way. Unfamiliar vocabulary will be explored and explained within a familiar context, ensuring a breadth and depth to their reading as well as enhancing their enjoyment.

When working with the children on comprehension strategies, we often use the skills below to structure the questions that we may ask them. These are also the areas which we assess them in. 


Teaching of Phonics 

Children are taught to read with the use of systematic synthetic phonics (Read,Write Inc.) in EYFS. The teaching of phonics is an integral part of the school day where children have the opportunity to work in small focus groups depending on their attainment. 

Home Reading 

At school, we encourage your child to read a range of books and talk about the books they read. We encourage our children read their home reading books everyday and these are discussed and changed regularly by the class teacher and Teaching Assistant.

Because reading is a priority in our school, we dedicate every afternoon to hearing children read on a 1 to 1 basis with one of our Teaching Assistants. Children will be moved up through the stages when their teacher feels that they are fluent with the words within that stage and they are confident that the child is making meaning from the text.  Ask your child’s class teacher or our reading Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Losada, for more information about our reading books.

Below is a list of comments that the children or the adults can write/discuss around their home reading book and and the bottom of the page is the parent workshop carried out by Mrs Losada. 

Celebrating Reading 

At St Chrysostom’s, we want our children to leave us with a thirst for knowledge and a love of literature and reading. This is something we are working hard to embed through the entire school. We place a large focus on reading for enjoyment, and children throughout the school regularly participate in a a variety of engaging and inspiring reading activities in and outside school. 

What better way to encourage reading for pleasure in our school than by having a top-quality author to motivate our students about the joy of reading? Every term we have an author visit, or take our children to the theatre to do just that. 

This year alone we have had a visit from the most famous and talented children's author, Frank Cotrell- Boyce and the comic creator Kev Sutherland.  As well as this, the whole of our KS2 children had the opportunity to visit the Lowry Theatre to watch the performance 'Billionaire Boy' by David Walliams. Then to celebrate Roald Dahls' birthday, Year 3 visted central Library to wach the performance of the 'Twit's'



Karl Nova


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