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St Louis Catholic Primary School

'We work together', 'We pray together', 'We grow together'

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Reading and Phonics

At St Louis School we place a very high importance on learning to read and we are proud of the attainment and progress in reading and phonics throughout the school. We believe that by ensuring children achieve a positive start to their reading journey through the development of their phonics skills, they will have strong foundations upon which to base their reading journey.

Children have access to reading areas in their classrooms and Key Stage shared areas, as well as to a well-stocked library. Teachers read regularly to the children and comprehension skills are taught throughout the school. We have a wide range of books available to the children, including from a diverse range of authors and with main characters from a range of heritages. We are fortunate to have a PTA who regularly donate money to the school so we can refresh and update our titles often. Our aim is to enable our children to develop their reading skills and instil in them a love of books so that they become lifelong readers.

Our Library


Phonics is taught daily across Reception and KS1. It is the first lesson of the day, and children are taught in small, fluid ability groups to allow us to maximise their progress. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to ensure that the phonics we teach is engaging and progressive. Progress in phonics is tracked throughout each term, and groups are adjusted accordingly. Where we feel children would benefit from support in addition to the daily lesson, we provide extra focussed booster sessions to help address any gaps in knowledge.

A Phonics Lesson in Reception

The following link is a useful resource for parents and shows how to pronounce each sound (phoneme) and support your child to blend sound to make words.

Early Reading in Key Stage One

In Reception and Year 1, reading books are linked to the phonics sounds being taught which enables children to apply their skills and develop their fluency. We also provide a book by Oxford Reading Tree which has a focus on building children’s sight vocabulary of key words. These are words that cannot be sounded out using early phonics skills but that children will come across often e.g. said, was, me.


As children progress through the phonics programme and reach a standard as set out in the phonic screening at the end of Year 1, they move from phonic based reading books to those organised by book band colour. These allow children to continue to develop their sight vocabulary, fluency, accuracy and their comprehension skills.

Reading and comprehension skills are taught explicitly in Year 2 through English lessons. Smaller group guided reading sessions take place using books aimed at addressing the needs of the children. Assessment takes place each term against milestones including the framework for the national reading standards at the end of Year 2


Reading in Key Stage Two

We use a whole class approach to the teaching of reading in Key Stage 2. We believe that all pupils should have access to high quality texts which will help them to develop their vocabularies, deepen their comprehension and instil a love of reading.

A selection of the texts read by children in Key Stage 2

Each day begins with a taught reading session in which the teacher will read a section of a text to the class who follow along in their individual copy. Questions are asked and vocabulary discussed as the reading takes place. Each session ends with an activity for the pupils to complete based on what they have heard. This may include completing a quick recall quiz, answering more thought provoking inference questions, vocabulary work, or work linked to the context, author or background of the book.

Pupils also have access to the Key Stage 2 reading area where books are arranged by colour bands. They select an individual reading book from the appropriate book band and can change it as often as necessary.

Take a look at our Reading Area in Key Stage 2

Reading is assessed regularly using our assessment milestones as well as the national reading standards at the end of Year Six.

For children who may need extra support we also provide a range of reading interventions lead by our intervention teachers and teaching assistants.

How can you help?

  • Try to make time to listen to your child read every day. Remember, you don’t have to read the whole book each time
  • Encourage them to use their phonic skills or remember a key word by sight, but tell them what a word says if they are struggling
  • Talk to your child about their book
  • Ask questions so that your child has to think about what they are reading
  • Let your child see how important reading is by reading yourself, whether it is books, magazines or newspapers
  • Read to your child, whether it is a bedtime story or a funny/ interesting article in a magazine or newspaper