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St Joseph's Catholic

Primary School, Withnell

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'A book is a gift that you can open again and again.....'

Garrison Keillor

We work hard at St. Joseph’s to make sure that our school environment is language rich and ‘book focused’. Teachers are supported to build a love of reading in their classroom and encourage a regular reading habit, fuelled by enjoyment. We are determined that every child will read well, are motivated to read, think positively about reading, identify themselves as readers and can also confidently relate to books and talk about their reading preferences.


Every class has ‘Fantastic Five’ books that are age-appropriate novels which will be read by the children throughout the year, either as a shared read with the teacher or independently. This encourages children to read genres and different types of text they may otherwise not choose and to also give pupils, who are more reluctant readers, the chance to read novels and stories, enhancing their opportunities. The six books will enable all children to have an in-depth knowledge of books they may not otherwise have accessed. The books are deliberately chosen so ensure that children encounter high quality texts which prepare them for the next step in their reading journey.


St. Joseph’s uses FFT phonics, which has a variety of appropriate quality de-codable texts for children to read covering all genres.  All books are book-banded in order to ensure progression and challenge for all children. In addition to the FFT de-coable books we use Big Cat banded books which sit alongside their phonic reading book.

Focused teaching of reading takes place in a number of ways:

• Shared story telling

• Shared reading

• Discrete vocabulary teaching

• Guided Reading lessons

• Reading interventions to close any gaps in learning

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