Reading & Phonics

Early Reading and Phonics

At St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, phonics is used as the main approach for the teaching of early reading. We use a DfE-approved, synthetic phonics programme, called Monster Phonics and the matching early reading books. Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 all receive daily phonics teaching, in small groups in order to meet their needs. Older children continue to be taught synthetic phonics, where appropriate.

Teachers regularly assess learning in order to group pupils according to their phonic needs and address gaps and misconceptions.  Whilst pupils are taught to use phonics as their first approach to reading, they are also taught high frequency words which don’t follow the phonic rules. Pupils are taught to recognise high frequency words on sight, using a range of strategies, including flashcards, word lotto, and identifying these words in texts they meet. Flashcards and books are sent home for additional practice.

The Early Years Teacher supports parents by sharing information about phonics and early reading, including an online webinar and drop-in sessions.

All of our early reading books are part of the Monster Phonics scheme and only include the sounds and high frequency words that the children have already been taught. In addition, pupils use the school library on a weekly basis and books are sent home for parents to share with their children for pleasure and to model reading.

Please view the following document to see the progression of phonics taught at St. Patrick’s.

The two links below illustrate how the sounds and associated actions are taught, which parents may find useful.

Monster Phonic Sounds

Monster Phonic Actions

You can also download the Monster Phonics App to support your child’s phonic learning at home through a range of engaging games.

Beyond Early Reading

Once pupils are secure in their phonic knowledge, they read books from the Oxford Treetops Reading Scheme, which are matched to their developmental interests and reading abilities. These books cover a range of genres, including classic tales, humorous stories, myths and legends and non-fiction.

Each classroom has a range of books which children are able to choose from throughout the day.

Teachers also regularly read to their classes to give the children an opportunity to hear and enjoy longer and more challenging texts.

We are also very lucky to have a well-stocked school library which pupils access regularly, borrowing books to read at home.

Guided Reading

When ready, pupils take part in guided reading sessions on a regular basis. These sessions use Bug Club materials, supplemented by other materials, as appropriate. During these sessions pupils read more challenging texts and are guided to develop a range of comprehension skills, fluency and expression.

Additional Materials

In order to further support the development of reading across the school, selected pupils also access Lexia in small groups and pupils from Key Stage Two also work in small groups to follow Rapid Reading.