St Jude's Church of England Primary School

Optima Reading

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village. "    Roald Dahl - Matilda


In Early Years and KS1 reading at St Jude's is delivered in distributed practice, meaning less and more often is more effective than massed practice. Each day children will have 3 sessions of reading using the Optima approach. Each session is broken down into skills building and applied learning with the children focusing in short bursts on synthesis and segmentation, phonic awareness and high frequency word recognition.  These skills are then instantly applied as the whole class read a text together using their acquired skills to decode and make sense of what they're reading.

We have a 'real book' approach meaning that we use proper story books rather than designated reading scheme books because we want to expose our children to a richer vocabulary and less formulaic writing.  For us we want the children to develop a love of reading rather than just being able to decode, this comes about from active engagement in stimulating stories where children are drawn in to the text and are excited to find out what happens next!

 The more pleasurable the reading experience, the more likely they will quickly develop into independent and inquisitive readers.  In Key Stage 2, the children enjoy whole class reading sessions every day.  We are ambitious with our choice of books to expose the children to as many different authors and genres as possible. This can lead to some very stimulating discussions and acts as a catalyst to help our children become stronger writers.

KS2 - Our aim is to maintain and build on the early love of reading and to offer quality books that expose children to unfamiliar scenarios; to develop inference and prediction skills children need to have environmental and situational  knowledge. 

Each day children enjoy 20 minutes of shared reading with the teacher demonstrating good reading skills of tone, pace, rhythm etc. Through the use of cooperative structures children have the opportunity  to respond to the text through a variety of pre-prepared questions aimed at challenging children’s comprehension. 




Sight Vocabulary

Exciting Vocabulary

Shared Reading