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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’

Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics / Early Reading



At St Mary’s phonics will be taught in a progressive, sequential manner following a DFE approved scheme.  We want our children to develop the phonics knowledge required to enable them to segment and blend in order to decode and spell accurately.   Strong phonics knowledge and skills will enable children to read fluently.  We want our children to leave key stage one as fluent, confident readers who have developed a love of reading and take every opportunity to read for pleasure. 



We teach phonics using the Time for Phonics scheme. This is a DfE approved systematic synthetic phonics programme which follows a multi-sensory approach. 

We ensure Phonics is taught daily following the Time for Phonics scheme and that children have access to a phonics display to support their reading and writing development.  We teach phonics to whole class groups and ensure progress is monitored regularly and support is put in place for those children who are falling behind.  We teach tricky words as part of each phase of phonics so that children recognise words quickly when reading enabling them to read fluently.


Children are given reading books matched to their phonic knowledge to enable them to practise their skills in segmenting and blending words through consolidation and repetition at home, we expect that children will read these books independently.  Alongside these phonetically decodable books we also give children an additional reading book which is aimed at developing wider reading skills such as prediction, inference, summarising and vocabulary this book should be shared with an adult and promote discussion which helps children develop the idea of reading for a purpose. 


At the end of Year 1 children take the Phonics Screening Check and those children who do not meet the standard will continue to work on acquiring phonics knowledge in Y2 by completing a catch up programme Fast Track Phonics.  Any children who do not achieve the phonics screening check by the end of Year 2 follow a Read, Write, Inc intervention in Y3.


Children will also have a rich and varied experience of reading through regular engagement with high quality texts used to teach a wide range of skills as well as  books read aloud by their teacher during class reading time and books selected from the class library for independent reading for pleasure.



All children will make strong progress from their starting points. Children will meet the standard in the Phonics Screening Check.  They will confidently tackle reading unfamiliar words by segmenting and blending phonemes. Children will also recognise by sight tricky and high frequency words which will enable them to read fluently and to spell accurately.

As a result, children will become confident, fluent readers who will be able to apply their phonics skills to decode unknown words in new texts. They will enjoy reading a range of books independently and listening to adults read to them.  Having learned to read they will, as they progress through school, be able to read to learn and consequently reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum.  In addition to this they will take every opportunity to read for pleasure and continue to experience the joy of reading for the rest of their lives.