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St James' Catholic Primary School'Where we belong, believe and achieve'.

Phonics & Early Reading - Miss Lee

Phonics and Early Reading Subject Lead - Miss Lee

Why I am passionate about Phonics and Reading...


Hi, I am Miss Lee and I am the lead of Phonics and Early Reading at St James' Catholic Primary School. Phonics has always been a passion of mine, from learning what it was at University, to then delivering it in school and seeing how much the children make progress in their reading. I believe it is important that children enjoy reading, this comes from embedding a love of books and reading from an early age. Reading stories to children is one of the most rewarding times of the day for me. Seeing children's faces light up when listening to a story is wonderful.

My favourite genre is Fantasy, I could get lost in a Fantasy book for hours! 

Phonics and Reading - Curriculum Intent

At St James' Catholic Primary School we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. At the heart of our bespoke curriculum is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through using a wide range of literature and having books that are changed termly in the classroom reading areas for the children to access. 

Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.

We have high expectations of all children and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always ‘reaching for the stars’.

Curriculum Implementation

At St James' Catholic Primary School we use a synthetic phonics programme called Time for Phonics. This programme is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. This is supported by a comprehensive scheme of reading books provided by Bug Club and Reading Planet.

Children who have not met the required standard for phonics in Year 1 or 2 have daily phonics sessions working through the phases either individually or in small group sessions. This continues into Key Stage 2 as necessary. Where children do not read at home, staff facilitate extra reading sessions in the school day.


All children in Year 3 progress onto the No Nonsense spelling scheme and, through daily spelling lessons, teachers regularly recap phonic knowledge with children through 'Bounce Back Phonics'.


At St James' all classes follow a structured 5 day approach to reading activities. All sessions are interactive and teachers facilitate speaking and listening opportunities, with children working hard individually. Passive learning is minimised and engagement promoted through regular use of think-pair-share, responses on mini-whiteboards and collaborative tasks.


Further to modelled sessions, children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the wide range of domain questions. More complex questions are evaluated between wider groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard.


At St James' we believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. Levelled titles from the Bug Club and Reading planet schemes are used for home-reading to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genres.


Our reading scheme ensures children are offered high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world.


Children work through the wide variety of books at their own pace, with their reading books being changed twice a week.

Curriculum Impact

As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.


As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.


In addition to this:

  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.

Action Plan for Phonics and Early Reading