Subject Lead:  Mrs Michelle Smith [email protected] 

The curriculum for Reading at All Souls builds upon the programme of study outlined in the National Curriculum for England which can be found here

What is our vision for Phonics at All Souls?

At All Souls we are committed to providing a coherent and progressive reading provision and developing pupils’ proficiency in, and love of, reading. We ensure that all children have the skills, knowledge and understanding to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We firmly believe that high-quality phonics teaching improves literacy levels and gives all children a solid base on which to build and develop their reading habits so that they read widely and often.

Through daily, systematic, and consistent high-quality phonics teaching, children learn to blend and segment words for reading and spelling. To allow our children to develop a strong phonic awareness and effective blending, decoding and comprehension skills, we have chosen to use a DfE Validated systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) called FFT Success for All Phonics. The programme supports our whole school vision of teaching our children to read and write independently so that they are able to access a broad and exciting curriculum and flourish as learners throughout their time at our school.

How do we achieve this vision? 

We maintain fidelity in the implementation of our phonics teaching by using FFT Success for All Phonics which allows the children to learn phonics through a highly structured programme of daily lessons across our Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, using a variety of fun activities in multi-sensory and systematic ways.

Each daily session gives the children wonderful opportunities to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned and celebrate their achievements. It follows the teaching principles of:

  • Revisit and Review
  • Teach and Model
  • Practise and Apply
  • Celebrate Achievement and Assess

Time is also incorporated into our timetable to allow for consolidation so that children can secure their skills, knowledge and understanding.

The programme is underpinned by a set of seven core principles designed to support all teachers and children. Core principles:

  • Systematic Progression
  • Regular Assessment
  • Early Intervention
  • Multisensory Approach
  • Co-operative Learning
  • Application of Skills
  • Reduced Workload and Collegiate Approach

We utilise the reading materials from FFT Success for All to support rapid and sustained progress and are well-matched to the scope and sequence of the programme. A comprehensive set of 68 decodable shared readers are provided and additional materials are matched to the sequence to supplement early reading.

The FFT Success for All Phonics Scope and Sequence is set out clearly and provides detailed guidance and support for teachers to plan and deliver high quality lessons. A synthetic approach to the teaching of “pure sounds” and the skills of segmenting and blending are incorporated into all teaching and learning materials. With a focus on ensuring that the children are seeing and hearing the correct sounds within phonics sessions and throughout all other aspects of teaching and learning.

Lessons are planned so that children build on their skills sequentially and systematically. It is expected that, when needed, teachers can adapt and modify these to meet the needs of the children accordingly.

Continuous access to training and support is offered through FFT Success for All Phonics and FFT and our school support staff through this training offer. All staff are given the skills, knowledge and understanding to deliver high- quality phonics lessons and to achieve strong, sustained pupil outcomes in phonics and early reading having a positive impact on writing.

How does this impact our children?

Through the consistent, systematic, and daily teaching of the FFT Success for All Phonics programme, our children will become fluent, confident readers by the end of Key Stage One. Children are regularly assessed informally by the teacher within lessons and over a sequence of lessons to ensure they keep up. If children need additional support, they are provided with support to ensure they stay on track with the rest of the class. More formal assessments are completed every half term using FFT’s Reading Assessment Programme (RAP) which covers all KS1 assessments including phonics skills, decoding, reading fluency, comprehension and the Year 1 phonics screening check.

Children who require further additional support, that goes above and beyond this, are identified using a range of assessment information and are supported through interventions such as Tutoring with The Lightning Squad, a reading tutoring programme where pupils work in small groups with a tutor to improve their reading skills and other tried and tested resources.

At the end of Year 1 children are statutorily assessed using the Phonics Screening Check. This screening check confirms whether the child has met the appropriate phonics standard and can be used diagnostically to identify areas that need further attention going forward. Children who do not meet the required standard will continue their phonics lessons so that they are ready to retake the screening at the end of Year 2. If children pass the Phonics Screening Check, however return in Year Two and need further intervention to solidify any aspect of reading, they are grouped, and support is provided for them to ensure they have solid foundations in the acquisition of phonics.

Through the FFT Success for All Phonics programme and our commitment to effective and quality phonics teaching, children will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to decode unfamiliar words using a range of strategies. They will have a firm phonic base to support them on their literacy journey through school. Our children therefore develop their fluency and comprehension skills, take pleasure in exploring the rich literary world around them, acquire a love of reading and flourish as readers.


What is our vision for English Reading at All Souls?

Central to learning at All Souls is creating a life-long love of reading and books. We believe that every child should be able to read for pleasure and to a high standard in order to succeed in all aspects of the curriculum. We want to develop our children’s imagination to open a new world of wonder and joy for curious young minds. We also believe that every child should be given the tools to develop into an enthusiastic and confident reader both at home and at school. Reading improves language and vocabulary, inspires imagination, and gives everyone the opportunity to develop and foster new interests; we feel this is vital to supporting with children’s holistic development in all learning areas.

How do we achieve this vision?

At All Souls Catholic Primary School, we have a structured approach to the teaching of reading. Every child is taught a range of strategies to support their development to become a confident, independent reader. In Foundation and Key Stage 1, Phonics through FFT Success for all programme which is taught on a daily basis which enables children to segment and decode words. Once the children have learnt how to read, they can then learn to comprehend and understand the text they are reading. Texts are engaging and provide the children with the opportunity to practise their phonic sounds. Children are encouraged to use these strategies independently to understand, enjoy and learn from a range of texts. In addition to these daily phonics sessions, the children also have access to a daily reading lesson that focuses on not only reading a text fluently, but also working to improve their comprehension skills as this will help children to understand and reflect upon what it is they have read. The types of questions children will explore are relevant to one of the key comprehension skills: discussing and exploring vocabulary; making predictions; discussing the author’s choice of language and the effect it has on a reader; summarising themes and ideas; retrieving information from the text and making inferences using clues from the text. Through this, they will become fluent, expressive readers with the stamina to enjoy challenging texts.

To aid in supporting the children’s comprehension, children from Year 2 – Year 6 also participate in Reading lessons using the Reading Explorers resource to support planning. This is a skills-based approach that provides teachers with a wide variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction, which allows the children to access, interpret and understand what they are reading. This programme increases the children’s knowledge and understanding of why certain words are chosen by authors and within different text types. It gives the children the chance to speculate on the tone and purpose of the texts, as well as consider and discuss both themes and audience. Book discussion is widely encouraged in class, which supports children to empathise with characters, share opinions and debate topics as well as provide recommendations to others.

Teachers nurture a love of books in a number of ways here at All Souls by placing reading at the centre of the curriculum, introducing new texts with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the text is explored. All of our teachers use quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning. It is through using these tools and providing these opportunities that we believe we give our children the necessary skills to become thoughtful and confident readers for life, which helps them in everything they do. The children at All Souls Catholic Primary School have independent access to a wide variety of high-quality texts in their dedicated class book corners as well as through our comprehensive reading scheme.

At All Souls, we acknowledge and value the important role played by the family in supporting children’s reading development by reading to them and listening to them read. Books are taken home on a daily basis along with a reading record so that children can be heard read. We know that through consistent and regular reading at home, children can become excellent readers as they have opportunities to rehearse skills. To facilitate this, our children have a wide range of banded fiction and non-fiction books for home reading. The children are given a choice within a specific, assessed book band each week. This choice ensures children continue to be enthusiastic and independent readers. Children are encouraged to read regularly at home from Foundation Stage to Year 6. Children’s individual reading records are an important source of communication between home and school, and it is vital that these are signed to indicate how often the child has read with an adult.

To inspire children further and introduce them to texts that are rich and of high quality, the children access a daily classroom reader at the end of each school day. For the last 15 minutes it is expected that all teachers sit with their classes and read to them to share in the wonder and awe of a story. This may be a picture book, or a chapter book chosen by the pupils and staff to share and enjoy together. It is encouraged that staff direct these selections towards books that are challenging, provide opportunities for discussion and are enjoyable for the children.

How does this impact our children?

Our main measure of success with our reading curriculum is a sheer love and joy for reading whereby children have an enjoyment for reading across genres and can talk openly about their experiences. We aspire to create an environment where the children to have exposure to a diverse range of authors and a develop diet for all forms of text types. As our children develop in reading skill and grow in confidence, we watch as our children read aloud in multiple contexts from reading in front of peers, to sharing in classroom reading to whole school masses, our children are able to take on new opportunities to share their reading skill with others.

Phonics is regularly assessed throughout the year. At the end of Year 1 pupils will complete the Year 1 phonics screening check. For those children who did not meet the standard in Year 1, they will re-sit the screening check in Year 2. We aspire for high attainment at these end of year assessment stages and work hard to reach within and beyond national averages.

Overall, our children make good progress in reading from their starting points and a high percentage achieve the expected level of attainment within each year group. The percentage of children here at All Souls that have exceptional skills in reading and therefore assessed as Greater Depth is also in line with national averages.

Moreover, all children, regardless of their background, are given the appropriate support, guidance, scaffolding and opportunities to develop their reading skills and achieve what they are truly capable of. Our curriculum and quality teaching, as well as the resources we utilise, work to ensure that no child is left behind and all children leave All Souls as competent and confident readers.

Judgements on the impact of our curriculum on pupils are based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school. Work and book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning are all used as tools to assess and evaluate the impact of the curriculum.