St Mary's Road, East Hendred, Wantage, OX12 8LF

01235 833342

St Amand's Catholic Primary School


Ofsted inspection 2019:

'Reading is made a priority from the moment children join the school.'

'Teaching supports the curriculum well in subjects across the school. It appears to be having the strongest impact in mathematics and English because pupils are clearer here about how their skills and knowledge are being built up over time.'

Whole Class Guided Reading 

This year we have taken on a new approach to guided reading at St. Amand's. Each class uses a selected text throughout the term. Every week, children hear their teacher reading aloud, take part in buddy/paired reading, explore new vocabulary and answer comprehension questions. Children's reading skills, such as those of retrieval, inference and prediction, are developed over time.

The texts which have been used so far are:

Rabbits Class - The Hackney Martian by Paul Brown

Hedgehogs Class - Harriet's Hare by Dick King-Smith 

Squirrels Class - Tom's Sausage Lion by Michael Morpurgo

Red Kites Class - The Explorer by Katherine Rundell 

This school year, we have already had two successful shared reading events across terms 1 and 2 - a reading breakfast for parents and a reading afternoon for grandparents, aunts and uncles. 


In EYFS and KS1 children are taught to read using Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds. They take part in daily phonics sessions to learn new phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (how to write them.) At the end of year 1, children sit a phonics screening to assess their skills in this area. 


See the Jolly Phonics website for more information -

Children at St. Amand's love to write! Each week, in Celebration Assembly, a star writer is awarded from each class and their work is displayed in the hall. Take a look at just some of the recent work...


Throughout the school, teachers use a slow writing approach when teaching children how to write for different genres. This approach allows teachers time to model particular sentence types, for example, a sentence containing a co-ordinating conjunction, before children incorporate these into their own writing. The amount of different sentence types children are expected to use builds up over the years. 

During term 1, Rabbits Class completed lots of work based around the book 'Naughty Bus.' The children were so engaged with all of their English lessons and learnt about many genres, including diary entries, narratives and descriptions. The children were delighted to eventually track down Naughty Bus himself (who had been causing all kinds of chaos around the school!) 

The English curriculum covers much more than reading and writing. In Red Kites Class, the children have been developing their speaking and listening skills. They held a class debate about whether or not pupils should wear school uniform. Children had to give their opinion and build on, or disagree with, points made by their peers.