Reading Intent

I am a reader.


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

Dr Seuss.


At St Thomas a Becket, we celebrate and promote reading across the school. We see it as one of the integral foundations in a child’s learning, allowing them to access a world of literature and positively impacting their life chances. Additionally, we value reading for pleasure as an invaluable tool for experiencing worlds outside our own and improving mental wellbeing. Through exposing children to a variety of high-quality texts throughout the school, we endeavour to enable them to become lifelong readers. We also recognise the power of books as a source of language, which we intend for our children to absorb to positively influence their writing. Through our teaching of reading, our children become inquisitive and thoughtful readers who can ask questions about what they read and share their joy of texts with others.


English Curriculum Journey Reading Milestones English National Curriculum








Reading Spines:

Kestrel Class Reading Spine

Chough Class Reading Spine

Skylark Class Reading Spine

St Thomas a Becket Poetry Spine

Phonics Intent

Our synthetic systematic phonics programme Essential Letters and Sounds empowers every child to make a strong start to their journey as readers from their first day in Reception. Over the course of the Reception year and into Year One, the children will learn the correspondences between graphemes and phonemes, as well as the skill of blending the individual sounds together to read.  Teaching the programme with explicit fidelity means the cognitive load is low and therefore children can focus on the learning of new graphemes, supported by the reading of decodable phonics books at home and in school. Weekly group reading of these decodable books allows children to gain the essential skills of fluency, automaticity, prosody, and comprehension so that they can access texts independently as quickly as possible. As well as these decodable books, we encourage our youngest children to take home a high-quality book from the class reading areas to share with those at home, allowing them to take pleasure and joy in reading.


How to support your child in learning to read


To best support us in teaching your child to read, we ask that you read the decodable text provided by the school at least four times across the week. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them on their journey to becoming an independent reader.
We will be changing children’s books once a week on Fridays. This will allow your child to re-read each text several times, building their confidence and fluency. This is especially important as they begin to learn that the sounds within our language can be spelled in different ways.

For children, re-reading words and sentences that they can decode (sound out) until they are fluent (read with ease and precision) is a key part of learning to read. By reading texts several times, children have the greatest opportunity to achieve this fluency. The texts sent home are carefully matched to the teaching taking place in school. Your child will be practising what they have been taught in school with you at home. We will only ask children to read books independently when they can decode these by themselves.

Any books that are not yet decodable for the children will be sent home as a sharing book. These books will be sent home for you to read with your child, helping us to instill a love of reading from the very beginning of their reading journey. These could be read together with your child reading the words they are able to decode or could be read to your child.


Essential Letters and Sounds parent presentation

Writing Intent

I am a writer.


You can make anything by writing.

C.S. Lewis.


At St Thomas a Becket, our writing curriculum is dedicated to encouraging all children to become passionate, highly competent writers by the end of their time with us. We place a high value on talk right from the first days of a child’s journey in EYFS; immersing them in a wealth of vocabulary through quality interactions so that they can speak and communicate their ideas articulately. This then leads to the ability to express their thoughts, ideas and emotions through writing. As the children move through our school, they learn the conventions of writing through a robust spelling, punctuation and grammar curriculum. This knowledge empowers them to improve the quality of their writing and manipulate their language confidently and powerfully, with the genre, purpose and audience in mind. High quality texts, short films and poems are woven into our writing curriculum throughout the school, motivating our children to become inspired by the texts they read and demonstrate a passion for writing.


Writing Curriculum Journey Writing Milestones English National Curriculum