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Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Primary School


At Saint Patrick’s Primary School, we believe that reading provides pupils with a powerful skill to understand and change the world. It is a pivotal part of the curriculum. We believe that learning to read and reading for pleasure transforms children’s lives. As a school we have worked with the English Hub to ensure that the children are provided with a high quality Phonics and Early Reading Curriculum. 



The systematic teaching of phonics and early reading is a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge to be able to read a text. We also value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.  We believe in an engaging curriculum in Reading - equipping pupils with the skills they need to understand a text.



  •  We plan an effective English curriculum which will meet the needs of all learners; making adjustmenwhere necessary to ensure that children with Special Educational Needs and those who are categorised as Disadvantaged Learners are able to achieve their full potential. 


Through the teaching with letters and sounds the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage, and KS1. Extra support and appropriated reading books are provided to those in Year 2 and beyond who have not passed the phonics screener and interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels.


Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format with extra support given where appropriate. Teachers regularly assess the pupil’s phonics knowledge using the phonics assessment, reading milestones and Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning. Extra support is regularly planned to support pupils where required.


Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure the pupils are practising and applying their phonics knowledge. The children have reading books matched to their phonetic knowledge and they are encouraged to read regularly at home. From the end of Reception, teacher-led guided reading sessions take place weekly in small groups. Children read and reread a carefully selected engaging text where they focus on

              •      accuracy

              •      automaticity (rapid recall of whole known words)

              •      prosody (reading with expression)

  • understanding
  • vocabulary choices
  •  word meaning
  • retrieving key information


Once children become fluent readers, a range of books are provided to allow children to engage in more lengthy discussions about the content of the book to deepen their understanding and broaden their vocabulary.




 Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move into Key Stage Two. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.