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St Edmund's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

St Edmund's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

Parish, Family, School


English is a vital part of our curriculum; it provides the children with the most valuable skills for life, which enable them to communicate effectively. A variety of teaching approaches are used to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing.

At St. Edmund’s we aim to develop a life-long passion for reading. When our children start in our Nursery they are exposed to listening and speaking opportunities which will form the foundations of learning to read and write. The more you talk with your child and encourage good listening and speaking skills, the more likely they are to flourish when asked to learn the sounds we use to read and write. We expect children to read every night at home.

Having trialled a variety of phonics programmes as a school we have found that a combination of three particular programmes was the most effective way to teach phonics. Therefore, we follow the Letters and Sounds (DCSF 2007) whilst introducing Jolly Phonics and Read, Write, Inc. songs and rhymes to support learning in Nursery and Reception classes.
In each lesson pupils:

  •   Review their previous learning
  •   Are taught a new phonics skill
  •   Practise their new skill
  •   Apply this skill in reading and writing

Tracking and monitoring ensure pupils are taught in appropriate ‘phase’ groups in order to meet their individual needs. At the end of Year 1, pupils take part in a national phonics screening check; the results of which are shared with parents. Any pupils who do not reach the expected level by the end of Year 1 receive targeted support and are reassessed formally at the end of Year 2

In Key Stage 2, those children who require further phonic support take part in small booster groups delivered by our trained teaching assistants using a range of intervention programmes, for example, Read, Write, Inc; Reading Eggs and Toe to Toe.

All of our early reading books use a phonics based approach. Phonic patterns are used for spelling lists and are also used to further develop children's handwriting.

All guided reading and free reading books are aimed at challenging our children to move forward with their reading skills, but also inspire a love of literature and reading. As their reading skills develop, children are exposed to a wide range of quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction, written by a variety of authors. We offer support and guidance to help the children choose books that are most appropriate and provide a suitable level of challenge.

Reading is taught in a variety of ways including:
Shared Reading
An interactive reading experience that occurs when pupils join in with or share in the reading of a book of text whilst guided and supported by a teacher. The teacher models the skills of a proficient reader, including reading with fluency and expression.

Guided Reading
Guided reading is a teacher led session in which a small group of pupils learn and apply reading skills. Each child has their own copy of the text, which is carefully chosen to match the reading ability of the group and challenge individuals appropriately. Within the small group, pupils have the opportunity to question, partake in discussion and develop reading comprehension skills. 
Individual Reading
There is a core scheme for individual reading to support the development of pupils’ reading skills. Pupils start the reading scheme in Reception and continue through the graded scheme until they become competent, independent readers. Pupils then choose from a wide variety of ‘Free Reader’ books from their class-based libraries. 

Parents support their child with learning to read, by listening to their child read the books that are taken home from school each day.  Home and school communicate about children’s reading through the use of a reading record/journal.

Our intent as a school is that all of our children want to read but most of all, enjoy and love reading!

As a school we include books from the CLPE Power of Reading scheme and corresponding writing units which helps to motivate and inspire both reluctant readers but particularly writers through the context of engaging texts and literary techniques such as drama. 

At St. Edmund’s we also aim to develop the children’s motivation for writing by entering local and national writing competitions. The importance we place on writing is reflected in the children’s books and the feedback they receive, in addition to the displays around the school.

Please see parents presentation below explaining reading at St Edmund's in a little more detail - thank you