Reading at Castle Phoenix Trust


We will develop confident and competent readers

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

It is the privilege of every adult in Castle Phoenix Trust to be able to develop the reading strategies, comprehension and fluency of all pupils to ensure that no child in our care is disadvantaged by barriers to learning due to reading.  We see reading as the key to opening our pupils up to a world of exciting new possibilities, enabling them to achieve on both a personal and academic level.  

The importance of reading is summarised in the Reading Framework; “Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work. Pupils who find it difficult to learn to read are likely to struggle across the curriculum, since English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching”( Reading Framework, Teaching the foundations of Literacy, DFE 2021).

At both primary and secondary, our schools follow a structured approach to helping our pupils learn to read and read to learn, developing and widening our pupils’ vocabulary within all forms of communication through our commitment to oracy and writing. Pupils who struggle with aspects of reading are quickly identified and targeted interventions support and challenge them in their journey to become successful readers.  We champion the use of technology to enhance learning and reading in and beyond our classrooms and disciplinary literacy approaches are used to continue to develop our readers across the curriculum.

Reading for pleasure is actively promoted across the Trust and we aim to immerse our pupils in reading rich environments, encouraging them to get lost in a book.  Our pupils are exposed to a diverse and challenging range of literature which allows them to see themselves in the books that they read, learn more about the world around them and build their cultural capital.  To celebrate and raise the profile of reading in our schools, we enjoy partnerships with local libraries, inspire through author visits and take part in National competitions and World Book Days.

We have dedicated and passionate colleagues within all of our schools who have responsibility for leading and driving improvements in reading.  Each school has a clear action plan which identifies opportunities to enhance reading and reading is never left to chance.  We aim to work closely with our parents, carers and community to successful support our children on their reading journey in their time with us and aim to develop confident and successful readers who share our passion for reading.

Our Guiding Principles for Reading in every Classroom

Every pupil can expect their teachers to positively enhance their learning through explicitly supporting reading.

In our schools and classrooms we will:

  • Generate reading rich environments within which every teacher actively seeks opportunities to promote the importance of reading for learning and a love of reading.  Displays and teacher language will celebrate and champion reading.
  • Use targeted vocabulary instruction. Teachers will support and challenge learners of all abilities to develop and use a wide range of vocabulary, making links across the curriculum and to the world beyond school.  Subject specific vocabulary will be developed in every classroom.
  • Consider the appropriateness and readability of texts, showing an understanding of pupils’ reading ages, enriching learning through these choices and planning to ensure accessibility whilst maintaining challenge.
  • Teach pupils to use strategies to improve their decoding, fluency and reading comprehension so that they can read increasingly complex texts. Apply appropriate strategies in the classroom to enable this to happen such as echo reading, jumping in and choral reading for fluency or visualising and background knowledge for comprehension.  Teachers will employ whole school strategies such as reading for meaning to develop disciplinary literacy.
  • Work closely with SENDCO and other stakeholders to identify pupils’ barriers to reading and expertly support them in lessons through effective use of additional adults if available, well-chosen resources, pedagogical approaches and blended learning.  We will make links in the classroom to whole school Literacy catch up programmes and strategies used in interventions.
  • Exemplify high quality reading as adults, modelling how aspects such as punctuation, tone, and pauses bring both non-fiction and fiction texts to life for our pupils and aid their understanding.
  • Continually develop ourselves as teachers of reading, to ensure that we are at the forefront of pedagogical approaches which benefit our pupils.

If you would like to find out more about what is on offer at Castle Phoenix Trust, then please visit our individual school websites or contact our school reading leads.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

Margaret Fuller

Some useful links and websites for parents.  Please contact your child’s school directly if you would like to talk about their progress in reading or are keen to access guidance about supporting your child’s learning and reading.