Why is reading so important to us at Holy Family?

"The reading and writing of Standard English, alongside proficient language development, is the key to unlocking the rest of the academic curriculum."

Nick Gibb 2021


"Reading is our whole life at Holy Family. It is in every subject we do, even Maths and cooking!"

Nicol in Year 3 at Holy Family 2022

Early Reading

Our systematic and synthetic phonics approach to early reading encourages children to decode, recognise and read words and simple sentences by the end of reception. A sharp focus is placed on young children and early reading - at this stage it is essential that they acquire the phonetical knowledge and language comprehension necessary to read and communicate. This foundation is the platform for all future learning. 

All children are grouped in accordance to their individual needs and are in phase appropriate groups. To monitor provision and impact, learners are assessed regularly by our RWI HLTA, Miss Poulter.   


Staff throughout the school, but particularly in EYFS, develop the children's love for reading by sharing stories and rhymes aloud. These engaging reading sessions address the importance of new vocabulary and language and aim to equip the children with the necessary skills to communicate effectively. 


Please see our separate Phonics page for more details.


Accelerated Reader

What Is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children's independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.)

Accelerated Reader gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set targets and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.

Our Accelerated Reader leader will help your child choose books at an appropriate reading level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success. If your child does not do well on a quiz, they may be helped to choose another book that is more appropriate. In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they are reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace. The aim of Accelerated Reader is for all children to succeed in achieving their targets.


How can I help my child become a better reader?

As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading and discussing books that each of you have read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child's age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning. Make learning a family affair!


What if my child does not like reading?

Using Accelerated Reader, your child will choose the books he/she wants to read. The teacher will make certain the book is at the right level so that after completing the book, your child should do well on the Accelerated Reader Reading Practice Quiz. Success on the quiz will encourage your child to read more. With guidance from the teacher and success, even students who say they do not like reading will develop a love of reading. The aim of Accelerated Reader is for all children to succeed in achieving their targets.


What is a Star Reading test?

Your child’s reading level is determined by a Star Reading test. This is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child's responses. If the child's response to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level of the next question is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes.


My child already does well in school. Why does he/she need this?

Even if a child is gifted at playing a musical instrument, the child has to practice to develop his or her talent. Bright children, like all children, need to be challenged. Teachers using Accelerated Reader software in their classrooms find it easy to guide each student to books that give the child both challenge and success, regardless of the child's level.


My child is not a strong reader. Can he/she still use Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader helps all children become better readers, from students with special needs to those who are gifted and talented. When children read books at an appropriate level, they experience success. Furthermore, teachers work with children to set appropriate targets based on each child’s reading level.



Buster Bug visited us in school today to encourage us all to read more!

Our staff room even promotes how valued reading is at HFđź’ś

The Holy Family Catholic Primary School Wider Opening Risk Assessment
Remember we have sports days next week. Parents welcome to attend from 1.30pm via the church gate entrance