‘Trusting in God; Growing in Wisdom’

Becoming Readers

23 “I wish someone would write down everything I say.  I wish my words were written on a scroll.
24 I wish they were carved with an iron tool into lead or scratched on a rock so that they would last forever. (Job 19: 23-24)



We believe passionately that all children are entitled to a rich and exciting range of books to inspire their imagination, allow them to delve into new worlds, see life from the perspective of others and develop a life-long love of reading. Our literacy-rich environment is central to our philosophy of encouraging a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promoting children’s enjoyment of reading to nurture restless curiosity, as children explore the world in which they live and in preparation for living life in all its fullness. This in turn will help children to:


  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
  • Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
  • Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
  • Read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in FS and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum. Children are provided with books that match and support their phonics development and ability. All children have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, both independently and cooperatively, and are encouraged to read at home with an adult. Through high quality teaching and learning experiences we will develop children’s skills, competence and develop the resilience to explore. We provide a text rich English curriculum, in which children encounter authors who they will love all of their lives. To help them on this journey, each class has dedicated class authors who they develop a relationship with throughout the year.  They listen to their books, reading for pleasure, find out about their lives and what inspired them to become authors and learn about how their books came to be illustrated, published and loved over time! Through the use of high quality texts children are encouraged to develop their vocabulary, consider a range of issues and deeper meanings in texts, and develop comprehension skills and enjoyment of books. Reading skills are continually developed through the wider curriculum. We believe our 'Reading Spine' is a further approach we take to foster a love for reading in our children. The spine is a core of books that create a living library inside our children's minds.  It is a store of classics and essential reads that help our children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story. We have produced our own 'Reading Spine' for every year group; giving children access to these high-quality texts.


“Reading is the one ability that, once set in motion, has the capacity to feed itself, to grow exponentially, providing a base from which the possibilities are infinite.”  Michael Morpurgo


If you have any questions about our reading curriculum, please contact Mrs Corcoran (subject lead) on rcorcoran@whitegate.cheshire.sch.uk
Thank you



We follow 'Letters and Sounds' to deliver phonics and ensure children learn the skills to decode words effectively. The teaching of Phonics starts in the Autumn Term of Reception and continues throughout the school until the children are secure in all phases. Sometimes this is delivered as bespoke or Wave 3 (1:1) support. Phonics is taught daily with the expectation that children use their learned decoding skills when reading and writing. In Key Stage 1, while spelling is reinforced in English lessons, punctuation and grammar are also taught within English lessons. In Key Stage 2, spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught explicitly and within English lessons.

If you have any questions about our phonics curriculum, please contact Mrs Ross (phonics lead) on sross@whitegate.cheshire.sch.uk
Thank you



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