Our aim at Holy Cross is that our pupils will develop the motivation to read for both study and pleasure. We want them to find great joy and satisfaction in reading a good book, including the classics. To enable pupils to access enjoyment through reading, our curriculum will support them to read with fluency, accuracy and confidence.

Our approach to teaching reading and writing is systematic and thorough, beginning with pupils gaining excellent phonic knowledge and skills. Building upon this, we will teach comprehension skills so that pupils can understand a rich and varied range of texts. Through reading widely and through explicit teaching, pupils will build their use and range of expressive language and vocabulary. Above all they will grow up loving to read and write.

At Holy Cross, we follow The Literary Curriculum which is a complete book based approach to teaching Primary English. Children become critical readers and acquire and authorial style as they encounter a wide range of significant authors and a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Our approach to teaching Primary English ensures that every term has a thematic link, an engaging starting point, embedded comprehension, embedded grammar, explicit teaching of spelling and vocabulary, literary language explicitly taught and purposeful and engaging writing opportunities. 

Pupils at Holy Cross take part in whole class reading sessions which take place before play time every day. Over the course of a term, the class share two books chosen by the school’s Literacy Leaders, Miss Charlotte Travers and Mrs Cathy Dart. These books form our Reading Canon of essential titles for primary aged pupils and are linked thematicly to the books in our English lessons.

Click here to view our Reading Canon


In October 2020, Holy Cross was awarded £300 to spend on high-quality reading books. The grant was given to the school after a successful application by our Literacy Lead and Willow classteacher, Miss Travers. The Siobhan Dowd Trust aim to encourage reading for pleasure and the money has to be spent at an independent bookshop with the children selecting their own books.

Our oldest pupils in the school, Willow Class, were chosen to travel to Bags of Books in Lewes to fufil the reading wishlists of their younger peerrs. This trip really did encourage the fine art of the bookshop-browse.

We are so very grateful to Siobhan Down Trust for the money to develop reading for pleasure in our school.



At Holy Cross we share a share a tool with parents and carers to help their child think and talk about the world around them. The TRUST approach can be used when parents and carers are talking about reading with their child.

Take turns to talk about what you are going to read. Say things like: “I feel like reading a book with animals in it today. What do you feel like reading?”

Recap what’s happened in the book as you are reading. Say things like: “Why do you think that happened?”

Use lots of encouragement. Say things like: “You’re doing brilliantly today! What great ideas… Let’s keep reading to see what happens!”

Share what you know to help your child. Say things like: “Have you learnt about…at school?”

Tune-in and be interested. Say things like: “I didn’t know you knew so much about…!”

The TRUST framework was adapted from ‘High Quality Interactions’ in the EEF’s guidance report Preparing for Literacy.

Click here to view the Read with TRUST poster

Click here to view the Read with TRUST comic