Our Intent:

At St Ambrose Catholic Primary School reading is a top priority and is a key driver for our curriculum. Therefore we have a Reading leadership team comprised of the English Lead, Vice Principal and the Principal.

We value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our children to be life-long readers.

We want all our children to gain the skills needed to read with fluency and confidence to become avid readers – reading for pleasure and information.

Children will acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.

Our Implementation:

The development of literacy skills across the curriculum will be implemented according to the following guidelines:


  • Teachers are expected to uphold high standards and deliver lessons of high-quality using effective and up-to-date teaching methods and tasks. Teachers are expected to impart knowledge accurately and with enthusiasm to generate high levels of commitment from children.
  • Teachers plan exciting lessons following a clear learning journey (sequence of lessons)
  • Staff will follow Literacy skills will be reinforced within our creative curriculum whereby children are provided with cross-curricular opportunities to read (research and related stories) and write (reflective and sustained writing) for a purpose.
  • Whole school policies on presentation and feedback to ensure consistent high standards are seen in teaching and learning. Learners are regularly provided with opportunities to edit and improve their work in response to feedback.
  • Pupils lacking basic literacy skills will be identified, and the special educational needs coordinator SENCO and literacy lead will advise teaching staff on supporting pupils with reading and writing difficulties.
  • All assessment and testing will take place according to the school’s Assessment Policy.
  • Teaching, interventions and revision programmes are adjusted in the light of progress children make.
  • Enrichment opportunities are provided for children to encourage children to have an appreciation of and discuss a wide variety of books, authors and illustrators e.g. World Book Day.
  • Classrooms will have learning walls and will be vocabulary rich to ensure children’s learning and language development. The learning environment will support and inspire all pupils to succeed.
  • Each classroom will have a reading corner where children are encouraged to read for pleasure and each child will have access to a fully stocked library where they can log out books to take them home.
  • Children in Key Stage Two will continue to read levelled Oxford Reading Tree banded non-fiction and fiction books to ensure that each child continues to get a varied and appropriately challenging reading diet. Each level introduces new things and practises the skills and knowledge learned in the previous levels with age appropriate content. This will be supplemented with books they want to read from home and our school library.
  • Regular book trawls and learning walks will indicate that at least good progress is seen across the school and regular shared feedback is given to teaching staff on best practice.
  • We recognise that reading is fundamental to the writing process. From blending phonics to building words and sentences, to using a text as an inspiration for structure, theme and atmosphere, reading forms the essential starting point of any child’s writing journey.



Children embed knowledge and use it fluently. Children know the goal, the end point for their learning and how the knowledge and skills taught in each lesson will help them get there on their learning journey. More Able learners are able to showcase this knowledge and skills to a deeper level.

Vulnerable groups such as SEND/Most Able/EAL/Pupil Premium perform at least in line with their peers nationally and are given the opportunities and knowledge to succeed in life. 

Children are able to confidently read to an age-appropriate level and with fluency in line (at least) with their peers nationally. As a result, they can therefore access all subjects across the curriculum with confidence and enjoyment.

Children’s vocabulary is improved across the school and is extensive by the end of Year 6. This is seen in class discussions, understanding of passages in texts and in written pieces of writing.

Pupil voice indicates that children enjoy reading and they want to read a wide variety of books. Children use our school library frequently and take part in reading enrichment activities such as World Book Day.

Book Trawls, Lessons observations and learning walks indicate that all children are taught a broad and rich curriculum.

Our Reading Scheme:

At St Ambrose we use fully decodable resources to establish confident readers in Key Stage 1. The books provide our children with a rich and varied choice of writing styles, genres and artwork styles to enjoy.

We follow the Oxford Owl levelling structure designed to support the teaching of reading in class and to ensure that when a child takes a book home they can read it successfully, build confidence and make progress. All our books are banded into levels and a 'level' of a book is determined by a number of factors. These factors include phonic knowledge, vocabulary, sentence length, number of words on a page and use of illustrations.

The point at which a child is secure, confident at a given level and ready to move up a band is determined by the class teacher through regular assessment. It is important to bear in mind that not all levels are of equal size. In the first few years of school, the steps of progress are fairly small, and children will move through a number of levels quite quickly. As children move up the levels, the steps become broader and ‘moving up’ happens less frequently. 

In Key Stage 2 children continue to read levelled Oxford Reading Tree banded non-fiction and fiction books to ensure that each child continues to get a varied and appropriately challenging reading diet. Each level introduces new things and practises the skills and knowledge learned in the previous levels with age appropriate content.


Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS. 

The Reading Vipers can be used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaption. The main difference being in the S.

Sequence- KS1


We follow a whole class reading approach across our school which allows us to hear children read and use target questioning. During whole class reading sessions, we are teaching to comprehend.

Go Read

Boom reader is a digital reading record used by teachers, parents and pupils to log reading.

Go contactless! Boom reader removes the need for paper copies of reading records. No more back and forward, and no more lost record books!

Children can also add home books to their 'Boom reader' account. We would love to see what books your child is interested in reading at home.


Please watch the following videos to see how you can help you child read at home.

Promoting Love of Reading:

At St Ambrose we understand the importance of developing a love of reading across the school because we are fully aware that the more children read, the more knowledge they absorb, and knowledge is important in all aspects of life.

Our Library

To support a love of reading, we have a vibrant library full of exciting new books that children are encouraged to loan out and are they helped to choose books by our Key Stage Two librarians. 

In Key Stage Two, each classroom also has their own mini library of reading books that children are welcome to choose to read alongside the reading scheme books and they are also encouraged to read a range of material outside of school e.g. newspapers and comics.

Library Events

What our community says about reading at St Ambrose...

"I don't just like reading, I love it." (Reception)

"Reading takes you to new places." (Year Four)

"Books are better than films because they give more details and you can imagine more." (Year Six)

"We have loved the library sessions, please can we have more." (Parent)

"Thank you for the reading workshop, it was very informative. The handouts will be useful." (Parent)
"It was lovely to get to see the classroom. It was good to learn what they are doing in reading in school so I can replicate it at home." (Parent)

Year 5 pupils launched a lunchtime book club for Key Stage One children and introduced it in an assembly.

World Book Day

World Book Day 2022

Our book focus was Little Red Riding Hood. We celebrated traditional tales across the whole school. The story of Little Red Riding Hood has been a staple in homes and classrooms for decades. But, many authors have adapted the story. Some books represent different cultures from around the world, while others just put a humorous twist on the original.

Each year group looked at a different version of this tale.

EYFS -Traditional Tale

Year One- Little Red Riding Hood and the Misread Wolf

Year Two- Into the Forest by Anthony Browne

Year Three-Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

Year Four-Honestly, Little Red Riding Hood was Rotten.

Year Five-Long Po Po.

Year Six-Little Red

Each year, we celebrate World Book day to encourage our children to have an appreciation of authors, books, illustrators and - of course - reading! In 2021, we had the following activities on offer:

Guess The Masked Reader
Design your own book cover
Complete a book quiz.
Complete a scavenger book hunt.
Bake a story.
Dress up as a word.
Take part in Author Academy sessions.

Take a look at some of our photos which show what we got up to!

Here are our fabulous bake a story creations:

The Masked Reader.

Children had the opportunity to listen to staff read 'The Twits' but with a difference - they were all in disguise! Can you guess who is behind the mask?

For World Book Day in 2020, we held a competition where pupils had to make their favourite book characters from a potato and all the amazing entries were showcased in our hall for everyone to see. In 2019, as a whole school, we explored the book, 'The Day the Crayons Quit' with all teachers dressing up as crayons and bringing the letters written in the books to life.

Reading Challenges:

In the Autumn Term, 2020, we held a Winter Lockdown reading challenge where children were encouraged to read for as many minutes as they could and in as many interesting places they could find. The winners were announced in our Reading Celebration Assembly and prizes distributed.

In November 2019, we challenged children to take part in a reading recital competition.

World Book Night

Everyone was encouraged to take part in the World Book Night national reading hour (7pm-8pm) in April during the first lockdown.

National Poetry Day

In 2019, we celebrated National Poetry day and wrote a whole school poem!

Roald Dahl's Birthday

We always celebrate Roald Dahl's birthday as a school and find out all about his life's work and what inspired him to start writing the wonderful books we read. In 2021 we celebrated Roald Dahl's birthday by focusing on the book 'Matilda'. Our lessons were based around Literacy, PSHE and Science.

Year Two read part of the story from Matilda and focused on Roald Dahl's description of a newt. We drew our own pictures of a newt. Then we watched a video and we discovered facts about the three main types of newts that are found in the UK: the Smooth newt, the Great crested newt and the Palmate newt. Finally, we wrote our very own fact cards about the newt.

In 2020, we all focussed on his brilliant book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and each class enjoyed all the different activities they took part in.

Author Visits

In 2018, KS2 thoroughly enjoyed when ‘Billy Bob Buttons’ an award-winning author came into classes to work with them. 

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

Dr Seuss

Emmaus CMAC
St Ambrose Catholic Primary School Ofsted
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