Reading & Communication

At St Christopher’s school we believe the skills of communication and reading are critical for all pupils to ensure that they can access the entire curriculum and is necessary to ensure pupils are able to successfully access the community in a safe and functional way.


Every element of a pupil’s day ensures that communication, interaction, and language acquisition is consolidated through effective adult modelling, targeted and incidental learning opportunities. This is from the moment they are greeted at school through lessons, breaks and lunch and their goodbye at the end of the day.


A total communication approach across the school allows all pupils to develop their expression and expressive language through their preferred communication system.


We feel that communication and reading should always be an enjoyable, shared experience where children develop a love of books, stories as well as other reading resources around them such as magazines, age-appropriate papers, maps, and travel leaflets such as bus and train timetables.


Communication and reading are one of the most important skills that a young person can have. It opens a world of possibilities and allows our students to learn new things for both our verbal and non-verbal students. Reading exposes them to new ideas and different ways of thinking. This helps the students to critically evaluate information and make better decisions both inside and outside of the classroom.



Our universal offer for pupils includes:

  • High quality modelling of communication and interaction
  • Pupils at an early stage are taught phonics through the letters and sounds programme. We use Read Write Inc.
  • Curriculum progression with flight paths from EYFS through to post 16
  • Purposeful curriculum pathways that meet the students starting points with a range of different experiences each year to consolidate and develop key skills.
  • Access to appropriate class and whole school resources that develop communication and reading.
  • A well-resourced school library with books that match the students decoding levels as well as picture books and a wide range of books of interest.
  • The love of reading is developed through appropriate access to listening to stories this can include sensory stories, story sacs, story time, audio books, guided reading, listening to individuals read as well as whole class reading of text.
  • Appropriate scaffolding resources that support students practice of key skills e.g., sound/word mats.

We know our parents are always very keen to support their children with home reading. Due to this, this year we will be sending home with each of our students a library book especially chosen by the pupil. Our aim is to install and nurture the love of reading for all of our children. This book is to give our pupils an opportunity to share and communicate through the book with their adults. Whether it is talking about the pictures, having the book read to them by an adult or taking turns in reading, the main aim is enjoyment.


Along side this the students will also take home a school reading book, to read with/to you at home. All our reading books are graded in difficulty by reading levels known as Book Bands. Each Book Band has its own colour. The students will progress up the book band levels the more confident and proficient they become with their reading.


Please see the Communication and Reading Policy here or talk to your child’s class teacher for further information