Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School

Live, Love, Learn. Together we will soar to new heights

Brunswick Street, St. Helens, Merseyside WA9 2JE

01744 678670



"We read to know we are not alone."  C.S.Lewis

Live the Life Like an Open Book. I remember my friend Deepu whenever I… |  by Arjun R Pillai | Medium

 We were delighted to have author Paul Delaney officially open our new school library with a selection of children. 

Paul Delaney opening our school library

At Holy Spirit we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to:

● read easily, fluently and with good understanding
● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
● acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
● appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
● write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
● use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
● are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Rigorous assessment and review will ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in literacy; we believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.


Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to create life-long responsible readers through creating a positive and active reading culture and environment throughout our school. Reading is a channel in which children are given the opportunity to make connections, expand knowledge, collect language (words and phrases) to live within and experience the beauty of the ever changing world around them.

Early reading is supported through the Essential Letters and Sounds programme through the rigorous teaching of phonics sessions and regular reading activities linked with books that are phonically decodable. Regular CPD ensures that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. In KS2, they develop deeper reading skills in line with the Reading Scheme, guided reading sessions, Lexia and Reading Plus. Each class’s timetable is organised to enable weekly access to the school library, with an up to date selection of books to provide quality reading materials for all children to promote reading for enjoyment. In each classroom there is a reading area that is welcoming and encourages the children to access books and develop the love of reading.  We welcome authors into the school and also lots of performances linked to books and stories.  We ensure that we celebrate World Book Day every year and offer lots of opportunities to introduce new books and stories to the children. 

When planning English lessons, teachers follow a set process throughout the school.  This follows the process of a ‘hook’ into the book, ‘gather’, ‘plan’, ‘draft’, ‘edit and revise’ and a final ‘Publish’ which is their polished piece.  Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Lessons sequence themselves to build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. Handwriting is also taught within English lessons, and outcomes are recorded in literacy books to promote a high level of pride and presentation across all written outcomes.

To enrich the English Curriculum, the school enjoys visits and workshops to the local library. We also engage in a number of workshops with other agencies to help develop our writing skills. Children also take part in poetry performances and creative writing competitions, which are celebrated in whole school assemblies.  

Assessment for Learning is embedded in English  lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work.

The organisation of the English curriculum, has realised a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Outcomes of work in both English and topic books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose

Our Reading Subject Leader is Mrs Nichola Lamble. 

What do we love about reading at Holy Spirit?

Watch the clip below to see why we love to read.

Books for Year 1 children aged 5-6 | School Reading List

Recommended reading lists for each year group

We have recently updated our school library with many books from the book lists below. Each week our classes from Year One to Year Six visit the library and listen to a book of their choice be read to them in our beautiful library. Click on each year group to check out the recommended reads!


Nursery            Reception      Year One      Year Two      Year Three      

Year Four       Year Five       Year Six 

Look at the reading that is taking place throughout our school

The 10 day Reading Plus Challenge

Year 2 to Year 6 have really took on the 10 day reading challenge! 

They have been levelling up, achieving combos and trying their very best with their reading!


Nursery have been listening to the story ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? They loved role-playing the story!

Year 2 

Year 2 love sharing books together and have enjoyed looking through the books in the library!

Year 5 

Year 5 have loved reading in the library.  They are also excited about being involved with the BASH awards.


Reception are looking forward to sharing their 'reading for pleasure' books at home!

Year 3 

Year 3 have been loving listening to stories in the library

Year 6 

Year 6 love reading in class and in the school library.

Year 1 

Year 1 enjoying time in the school library

Year 4 

Year 4 love sharing a good book!

Look at the new books that Miss Walsh delivered to each year group to add to our library!