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Welcome to

St. Michael & St. Martin

Catholic Primary School

Learning our faith, living our faith, loving our faith

Our Curriculum

Our Diverse Curriculum 

Literature is selected which encourages pupils to empathise with the feelings and experiences of others to help develop their understanding of other people’s attitudes, ideas and behaviour. Pupils develop sensitive awareness of, and the ability to respond constructively to, backgrounds, experiences, concerns, feelings and commitments of others through a range of different narratives. The pupils are provided with many opportunities to develop their reading skills and love of reading beyond those developed during lessons. Experiences include author visits, drama workshops, reading-themed workshops, library visits, Book Week, Reading Champions lunchtime club and theatre visits. 


Our Reading Champions

We have some wonderful Reading Champions for the academic year 2023-2024. These pupils applied for their roles and do an excellent job as reading role models and ambassadors for their peers. They help Miss Montenero and all of the staff to promote a love of reading. 


Our Ambitious Curriculum 

We read to learn – in all subjects across the curriculum.  English is the language of our subjects.  For pupils to be able to progress as learners throughout their lives, they need to be able to read to learn – and read increasingly complex texts with greater independence. Our school’s English curriculum, as outlined on the ‘Whole School Curriculum Overview’ makes appropriate links between texts studied and the wider curriculum subjects so that children have knowledge of the context and vocabulary required to comprehend the texts which they are reading. All children are provided with opportunities to read challenging literature and apply their reading skills when exploring quality literature within lessons and when reading independently. Pupils are provided with opportunities to read texts that portray issues and events relating to contemporary life or past experiences in interesting and challenging ways. Exploring and analysing appropriate texts gives pupils the knowledge and ability to question and reason. 

Reading scrapbooks are a new initiative to encourage and reward a love for reading in children. The children are very excited to receive the scrapbook and add their unique entry all about a book they have particularly enjoyed.


Inclusive approach

All pupils taught at the National Curriculum stage to avoid attainment gaps widening. The use of scaffolding and small group support for SEND/bottom 20% and EAL pupils helps pupils to meet the Learning Challenge for the lesson as well as a challenging pitch and open-ended tasks catering for the needs of the more able pupils. Disadvantaged pupils are given extra support by both class teachers and teaching assistants during reading lessons and are targeted for frequent 1:1 reading sessions. Progress is closely monitored and any gaps are identified and subsequently addressed promptly.


Why is Reading so important at St Michael & St Martin School?

Reading is one of the strongest indicators of future earnings.  Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002 - Research evidence on reading for pleasure - Education standards research team) Therefore, ‘if you don't have that word wealth then you never make it.  You never succeed in school and you don't have a voice beyond that.’  (Alex Quigley - Closing The Vocabulary Gap)

Teenagers often don’t read.  Children and young people’s reading engagement has steadily fallen over the past four years and only 30.8% of children said they read daily. (Children and young people's reading in 2017/18 – Literacy Trust)

We are exposed to the majority of new vocabulary through reading , not speaking. The Oxford English Dictionary estimates there are about 171,146 words in current use.   Our ‘Basic Lexicon’ consists of about 5000 which we use in every day conversation. According to Jim Trelease (The Read Aloud Handbook) about 83% of our conversational language with children comes from the Basic Lexicon of Tier 1 vocabulary.  If we want pupils to be exposed to more Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary then (as well as explicitly teaching it) we need them to read.

We read to learn – in all subjects. English is the language of our subjects. For pupils to be able to progress as learners throughout their lives they need to be able to read to learn – and increasingly complex texts.  As teachers, we are expert readers. We have studied at university level and that demanded independent reading to learn.  Pupils are novice readers. No matter what their current reading level we have a responsibility to help them progress.

Reading impacts on writing. We can’t write beautiful prose if we don’t know what it looks like.  We can’t express in writing ideas that we don’t know about. The best writers read. Successful reading relies upon our ability to track complex syntax and decipher meaning and knowledge held within words.

We benefit from expert modelling.

‘One of the biggest benefits of reading aloud is that students are exposed to and come to know what the artful syntax in beautiful sentences – varied, rich ornate sentences – sounds like.’ (Doug Lemov, Reading Reconsidered.)  

Children as old as 15 or more benefit from being read to but as parents we tend to stop once our children become independent readers. Reading aloud is an opportunity to model more complex and advanced texts that pupils might not otherwise read.



Teaching Reading at St Michael and St Martin School

Throughout the week your child will have many opportunities to practice and develop their reading skills. We utilise different strategies of teaching reading during the school week. We are also grateful for the fantastic support that parents and relatives provide at home. Any extra time spent on reading at home will have a positive impact on your child’s progress at school. We ask that you encourage your child to read at home daily and read to your child as often as possible, particularly in the Early Years and KS1.


Please do not forget to sign their reading records to let the teachers know how they are progressing.


Your child will receive a levelled reading book and their progress through the bookbands will be monitored closely by their class teacher. Teachers are looking for your child to be mostly fluent (only sounding out approximately 1 in every 10 words) and to be able to answer a range of questions about the page/ a given section or the whole book. You can help your child at home by asking relevant questions as you read. When children are reading confidently and they are ready to become a ‘free reader’ they will choose their own chapter books to read and enjoy at home.