Reading at Sacred Heart Primary School


Learning to read is a key priority in our school. We recognise the enjoyment and freedom that comes with being able to read, as well as the obvious academic benefits. We teach children to read using a combination of systematic phonics and regular reading practice. Our aim is for every child at Sacred Heart Primary to develop a love of reading and be able to read to learn. We adapt our approaches to suit the needs of the children and engage them as life-long readers and learners.

Read Write Inc. Phonics

We use the Read Write Inc. Phonics system to teach children about sounds and the letters associated with those sounds. Read Write Inc. is a complete literacy programme, for 3 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write. We also use the programme to support older learners who need additional support and to catch up quickly. Although reading is taught using synthetic phonics, the programme is so much more than that. It covers all of the new National Curriculum requirements for language and literacy.

Programme progression:

In Reception all children:

Read storybooks and non-fiction books closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge

Take home Phonics storybooks to share

Read with fluency and expression

Learn to spell using known sounds

Write confidently by practising what they want to write out loud first

Work well with a partner.

By the end of Year 1 the aim is that all children are accurate and speedy readers and ready to move onto our year group topics and literacy skills work.

Closely following the teaching programme, rigorous assessment, tracking and tutoring ensure that schools can guarantee progress for every child. One-to-one tutoring ensures that no children are left behind. Children have positive early experiences of learning to read – they are successful and progress quickly. Some children will need to continue with this scheme up until until they become fluent readers.

Reading Skills

Young children who have not developed accurate and rapid word reading skills by the end of Key Stage 2 are caught in a pattern of repeated failures. They also exhibit high levels of frustration and, ultimately, lose their motivation to read. Given that all school subject areas require reading skills for academic success, the reading failure these students experience undermines their learning capacity and limits their educational growth across their life span. We aim to counteract this by intervening quickly to support any child who is not reading confidently and provide them with one-to-one instruction and opportunities to practise reading skills.

We have recently become a ‘Literature Works’ school and we are working closely with our Local Authority partners to develop the approach at Sacred Heart. Literature Works is an approach to using texts in class to develop children’s reading skills and works as follows:

Each year group focuses upon key literature texts each term. These include a mixture of fiction and non-fiction

Texts will support key reading priorities within the class and support cross curricula learning

Key objectives from the progression papers/ primary framework reading targets and identify key `before`, `during`, `after` strategies

Teachers to link literature to cross-curricular learning

A combination of individual, group and whole class reading takes places on a regular basis, throughout the week.

Reading schemes

We use a range of reading schemes in school. In Reception and Year 1, we primarily use the Read Write Inc. Phonics Readers books, and these are supplemented with books from Oxford Reading Tree, Pearson’s Bug Club and Rigby Star. As children progress with their reading skills, we offer books from a range of schemes and we also have ‘real’ books for independent reading, which are graded according to level of challenge. We regularly review our reading books and have invested significantly over the past two years including restocking our library and becoming a membership school of the Seven Stories ‘Hooks into Books’ scheme.

Reading takes place on an individual, group and whole class level on a regular basis.