At English Martyrs’ Primary School, we believe that reading is a fundamental life skill, and strive to ensure that all our pupils become lifelong readers.  We know that for children to become, motivated readers, we must actively and passionately teach reading skills and a love of language.  We understand that reading is the key to accessing the wide world around them.

On completion of their education at English Martyrs’ School, our children will be able to read confidently and fluently, with a good understanding of a plethora of texts.  They will be proficient in both speaking and listening to a variety of audiences and be able to present, question and debate in all subjects.  Most importantly we inspire individuals to read for pleasure and purpose.


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In the Early Years and KS1, the effective ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme by Ruth Miskin is used.  The children have systematic daily phonics sessions in groups, where teachers use continuous assessment to ensure that all children are challenged and begin to master the basics of reading and early spelling. After the Phonics Screen Check in late spring, the children in Year 1 begin a ‘light touch’ version of Destination Reader.  This is continued throughout Year 2 – with the children who did not pass their phonics screening in Year 1 continuing to have daily phonics intervention.

Destination Reader is the main reading programme that is used in English Martyrs, school.  This reading programme provides children with a variety of reading experiences throughout the week with a clear focus of a reading strategy for each session.  Vocabulary is central to this reading programme and the children develop ‘learning behaviours’ essential to building firm foundations in our quest to ensure they become lifelong readers.  The children have three/four reading sessions per week with a ‘cold read’ administered at the end of the week.  Exposure to a variety of quality texts in fiction, non-fiction and poetry is key to giving the children ample opportunity in finding favourite genres.   Alongside this programme, we also may use the Literacy Tree – Literacy Leaves to create a planning module that inspires all pupils.  At our school we believe that reading programmes are adaptable so that it compliments and challenges each particular class/cohort.

Children are required to read every evening as part of their daily homework and reading records/journals are checked on a regular basis.  We also promote enjoyment of reading, through the children being read to by their teachers on a daily basis and independent reading time. Every classroom also has a ‘welcoming’ reading area to promote reading for pleasure. We also run a reading passport challenge on a termly basis, where the children have the opportunity to practise the reading skills that they have acquired in a variety of contexts at home.  Their accomplishments are then celebrated in a special ‘reading passport assembly’ at the end of each term.


Children’s progress is continually reviewed to ensure that the children reach their own reading potential through, our termly assessment process.  The NFER assessment programme is used in Years 3-5 and SATs at the end of Years 2 and 6.  Children’s reading progression is regularly reviewed in ‘book looks’, monitoring and CPD for staff.

At English Martyrs’ Primary School, we know that reading is the key priority to giving our children the foundation to a successful life for their future endeavours, and to be able to have empathy with their community.  Our mission is for all of our children to be literate members of the public who can communicate and participate in an ever-changing world. Essentially, a high percentage of our children will reach above age related expectations as they transition from Year 6 to Year 7.  This will be garnered throughout the children’s experiences within reading and with our engagement of parents and carers – knowing how they can support their children at home in reading throughout primary school.

If you need any further support with your child reading at home, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.