Phonics - Everyone's a reader!

At the heart of our curriculum is a focus on reading.  Reading is the gateway to the curriculum and the single most important life skill we can bestow on our pupils.

We begin in the Pre-School and EYFS where children are taught synthetic phonics using the Read, Write, Inc programme.  The children are taught at the stage of their development rather than age.  We supplement this with small group coaching and interventions to ensure, wherever possible, children keep up with their peers.  Through the Pupil Premium and Recovery Funds we have invested in a highly skilled team of practitioners with the sole aim of making sure all children are confident readers as they go into KS2.

The reading journey continues into KS2 with specific focus on the acquisition and development of reading skills through dedicated reading lessons.  In these lessons children develop their use of; inference, predicting, questioning, summarizing and retelling.  The KS2 reading curriculum  is carefully planned to ensure these skills are built-on and revisited regularly.   Books are specifically chosen to ensure a breadth of reading experiences which in turn allows for the acquisition of knowledge ready for the next stage of their education.

We continue to run interventions for those children in KS2 who are not at age-related expectations.  Across the curriculum scaffolding is provided for these children so they can access the learning with their peers.

At Our Lady's we also want the children to develop a love of reading.  Every child accesses a wide-ranging and culturally rich diet of literature through our school reading spine.  These books are carefully selected to supplement and support the growth of children’s subject knowledge across the curriculum and to spark imagination and wonder in our young people.  Children also read daily and we use the Accelerated reader scheme to promote independence of choice and to celebrate reading progress.


At Our Lady's, we follow the Read Write Inc Phonics programme for early reading and phonics across EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.   

Find out more about this programme here:  Parent video: What is Read Write Inc Phonics - YouTube

Children are assessed half termly and taught in small groups with a reading teacher.  Children work through three sets of sounds:

Set 1 - Main alphabet sounds (a-z and special friends  - th, ch, sh, ng, nk, ss, ff, ll )

Set 2 - Common vowel digraphs (special friends - e.g oa, ay, ee, igh, oo, ur)

Set 3 - Alternative vowel sounds (special friends - e.g ea, ai, ew, ie)

Children bring home the coloured storybook which they have been reading in class to share at home, alongside a matching book bag book.  All books read by the child are phonically decodable and only contain the phonics sounds which the child has been learning in school.  Children will also bring home a reading for pleasure book of their own choice from our school library.  This book can be read by the parent/carer to the child.  

The parents tab on the Oxford Owl website contains all the important information for parents to support your child's reading at home and can be accessed here.

Oxford Owl for School and Home

There are also lots of videos to support your child for parents to watch available on this website.  

The e-book library for children to access their storybooks can be found here. 

Your child's class teacher will have given you a code to access this.  

Read Write Inc. Phonics eBook Library │ Oxford Owl

In Years 2-6, we develop children’s spelling further by using the No Nonsense Spelling materials designed by the Literacy team at Babcock LDP and published by Raintree. The program is easy to use, flexible and comprehensive. It enables us to implement an effective spelling teaching program that prepares the children for their move into Key Stage 3