St. Mary's Catholic Primary School

Living and Learning Together - Shining in our Faith


Early Reading

In Early Years the focus is on developing children’s language and communication skills through the Foundation Stage Curriculum. Early matching, categorising and sorting activities are used to develop visual discrimination skills.

An interest in books is developed by sharing stories, songs and rhymes, fostering opportunities to talk and re-enact stories or follow children’s interests through information books. Books are shared with the children daily and children are stimulated to look at and talk about story and information books. Throughout child-initiated learning time, children have the opportunity to explore books of their own interest in quiet and inviting book areas. Print has a high profile in our environment and library books are changed weekly.

As children progress into Reception, reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Children are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading and how to segment the sounds in order to write the words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading. Children’s progress is continually reviewed.

Throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage One discrete phonics sessions are planned for and taught daily following the Essential Letters and Sounds programme. These sessions enable the children to learn specific sounds through structured sessions. Class teachers must ensure that children are using a phonics first approach to their reading. They should sound out known sounds and blend them together to read. Children who need to further develop phonic knowledge, in particular their recognition of the 44 sounds as shown in Essential Letters and Sounds, must have a clear programme for progression. They will be supported and closely monitored by their class teacher.

St. Mary's Phonics Policy