Skip to content ↓

Our Curriculum


We follow the National Curriculum expectations for the teaching of Reading. In KS1 and Reception, the teaching of reading can be broken down into three key areas:

  • Teaching children to decode through systematic phonics teaching, guided reading, regular reading aloud and our decodable phonics books.
  • Enabling children to ‘become readers’ through maximising engagement and enjoyment in reading, story/book sharing, the use of high quality texts across the curriculum and library time.
  • Comprehension and assessment through Guided comprehension, use of written assessments and National benchmarking tools. Our formal assessment of comprehension starts from the Summer term in Year 1. Prior to this, comprehension is assessed through guided reading sessions.

More detailed information about the teaching of Phonics can be found on the Phonics page of this website.

Click below to find out about our Home Reading offer for Early Years and KS1

SMAS Reading Schemes and Home Reading EYFS KS1

Click below to view the progression document for Coloured Book Band Books

Coloured Book Band Progression

In KS2, the teaching of reading can also be broken down into three key areas:

  • An emphasis on pupils’ enjoyment and understanding of language and grammatical structures, which supports fluency, comprehension and develops their facility as writers.
  • Engendering a love of reading in the children in which they value texts as a window to the world beyond their immediate experiences and afford them the understanding that reading is a means of learning.
  • Comprehension and assessment through Guided comprehension, use of written assessments and National benchmarking tools. We use the NTS Assessments and prior SATs papers to assess pupils in KS2

Reading at home is also promoted and valued as a key component of academic, social and emotional development when the children move into KS2.

Click below to find out about our Home Reading offer for KS2

SMAS Home Reading Organisation KS2


Reading in English Lessons

At St Mary’s, we use Talk for Writing as a key teaching strategy. This means that children experience whole texts in every English unit. There is a key focus on the teaching of key reading objectives across very unit, in which children are immersed in the language of a text and are given a range of opportunities to respond and develop their reading skills.


Guided Reading

Children in every year group take part in guided reading sessions.

In EYFS and KS1, the children have the opportunity to share a book in a small group, giving time for the children to read and discuss the book together with their class teacher. The children also have opportunities to read a text that is often a little more challenging than one they would read alone or at home, as the teacher is able to scaffold their learning and help them to develop reading skills of a higher standard.

In KS2, children continue to have weekly guided reading sessions with their teacher. This builds on what they have learnt in KS1 and further develops their skills in responding to reading and approaching comprehension style questions. There is however a more varied approach, depending on the needs of the pupils and their next steps in learning. In Years 3 and 4, Guided Reading is predominantly taught in small groups, as in KS1, however as the children move into Years 5 and 6, a whole class approach is often used to teach key comprehension skills.



The Library is an essential learning resource for research skills and to support and extend classroom topics. Our library provides books on National Curriculum topics as well as catering for a variety of interests. Books are available for all reading abilities, and we have carefully curated our library stock to ensure the children have the opportunity to experience a range of authors, genres and areas of interest. Children visit the library once a week and are encouraged to choose a book to take home.


Reading for Pleasure at SMAS – Reading Spines

It is important to us that children are exposed to a rich and diverse diet of reading. We have created a list of 12 books per year group that we encourage the pupils to read by the end of that academic year, separate to the texts they read and study at school. We hope this will inspire a love of reading, and encourage children to try a range of new authors.

Here is the children’s information PowerPoint about our reading spines.

Reading Spines

Here is the list of books per year group.

Reading Spines Lists

Get In Touch

  • Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks, HP9 1RG

  • 01494 673762