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St John's Catholic

Primary School

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St John's Catholic

Primary School

English, Reading & Phonics


At St John's Catholic Primary School, children are immersed in literacy in all areas of the curriculum and school life. Whilst your child may not be 'heard' to read every day, they read throughout the school day, developing important vocabulary, and speaking, listening and writing skills.


We approach the teaching of reading in a structured way, incorporating synthetic phonics with whole class, guided and independent reading schemes. 


In Key Stage 1, we use the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme, as well as a wide range of other reading books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the Collins Big Cat Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds and Pearson Phonics Bug Club schemes. 


Guided reading provides an opportunity for the teacher to teach reading in relation to the differentiated needs of the pupil groups, linked to individual progress and attainment.


Synthetic phonics is the synthesizing, or blending of phonemes (sounds) to make a word, enabling children to read. It is is all the different ways each phoneme can be represented. Children are taught how to: blend phonemes in a word to read; listen for phonemes in words to spell; read irregular, high frequency words; say the phoneme first and then the letter name.


Books are chosen on ability, ranging from high quality picture books, early first word, and then onto progression through the phonic phases and book bands. Children then choose books to read independently at their own level from the Accelerated Reader range. There is a wide range of genres and authors to choose from, in order to inspire and engage children in reading. 

Whole class books are also read together, to help develop comprehension skills and vocabulary.


Reception, Y1, Y2: Phonically decodable books 

Y2: Children start to choose from their Accelerated Reader range, quizzing to check understanding.

Y3-Y6: Children choose from their Accelerated Reader range, quizzing when each book is read in order to develop their comprehension skills.


We encourage all children to read out loud at home to an adult, in order to continue developing fluency and expression. Parents/carers use the home reading book to record when children have read at home. It is important that all children read out loud at home, and also discuss the book, as this plays an important role in your child further developing comprehension skills.

We have provided some useful documents which explain reading and phonics in greater detail. 

A selection of English displays around school.

We are raising the profile of reading in our school.

We enjoy celebrating events as a school.

Despite Lockdown, we enjoyed celebrating 'World Book Day'. All the teachers got involved and we had a 'guess the teacher' quiz amongst lots of other activities!

Guess the teacher!.mp4

Still image for this video

We celebrated 'International Book Giving Day'.

'International Book Giving Day' was planned to promote a love for reading.


We asked all children to bring in an unwanted, age-appropriate book from home that was in a good condition. The children popped a little note about the book onto a piece of paper and placed it inside the book cover. The book was then placed into a plastic wallet, along with a special bookmark, and was hidden in the school grounds. Each class then had an opportunity to search the school and find themselves a new book.

What our children think about English:

I really like English because it helps you to improve your reading and you grammar.



I really like English because we get to write stories and bring characters of our own to life.



I like writing stories of lots of different types.



I like English because no matter what the theme of the piece of writing you are doing, you can always express yourself with anything you find at the back of your brain. In my opinion, English is a piece of art put into words.



I like English because I like reading stories and using them as an influence to write my own.


What does it all mean?


Parent Information and Help


You can use these free resources to help support the DfES Letters and Sounds phonics programme we use in school.  

Click on the above pdf file to view the words your child needs to learn and spell in each phase.

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