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Phonics and Reading

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At St Catherine’s we are passionate about ensuring all children, regardless of background, become confident and enthusiastic readers.  It is our aim to give the children a love of literature and the written word so that when they leave our school, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure.  Reading is at the heart of St Catherine’s curriculum opening the gateway to learning and future success. Our staff are enthusiastic about books and we promote a love of reading, encouraging children to read for pleasure and information every day.  We aim to involve families not only to promote progress but to give them an opportunity to share and enjoy books together.

We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading easier so when teaching reading we focus on the blending skills taught through our systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery with foundations to phonics and Reception where we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Progression. This ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through the school.  As a result, children are able to tackle any unfamiliar word as they read. At St Catherine’s we model the use of the alphabetical code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum.  We focus strongly on the language development of our children to develop speaking and listening skills which are crucial for reading and writing in all subjects.

Key skills of comprehension, vocabulary, picking up on inferences, predicting, explaining, retrieval of information, sequencing and summarising are also taught through exposure to a wide variety of text types. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.




At St Catherine’s, we strive to provide children with opportunities to develop into articulate, creative and imaginative communicators, who are well equipped with the basic skills they need to become life-long learners; English learning is key in this.

We aim to ensure that all of our children develop confidence and a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach. By using high quality texts in writing lessons, with links across the curriculum, we provide relevance and meaning to the children, giving them a purpose to write. The texts chosen are designed to engage, inspire and motivate.

We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important the skills are that they are learning. It is our aim that the children will acquire the ability to organise, plan and produce well-structured writing that they are able to edit and improve.       

Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structure of English:  grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.  The children develop a progressive understanding of grammatical conventions, the way punctuation aids understanding and how to apply spelling rules.

Through our teaching of writing, children will have the knowledge, understanding and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals.

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