English at Sacred Heart Primary School

Our approach at Sacred Heart is to provide all our pupils with a rich and varied reading journey by linking high quality texts to the wider curriculum topics. We place a strong emphasis on the development of vocabulary and understanding language through daily guided comprehension. Handwriting and spelling are taught separately and through homework.

Key Stage One Reading Schemes

In Key Stage one we use a variety of reading schemes. We learn to read using Oxford Reading Tree, Read Write Inc.


The Teaching of Phonics and Letters and Sounds

At Sacred Heart Primary School we follow the letters and Sounds programme.  Letters and Sounds is the government document produced following the Jim Rose review (2006).  This is teaching synthetic phonics in a systematic way. It involves a specific sequence of teaching, which is taught across 6 distinct phases.   The teaching of phonics happens every day, with opportunities for revision, new learning and application.

Phase 1

With letters and sounds children are introduced to phonics during the Nursery year. They will learn to listen for and discriminate sounds including those in the environment, instrumental sounds & body percussion.  They will also learn about rhythm, rhyme and alliteration.

Phase 2 (up to 6 weeks)

In this phase children will have already learned to distinguish between speech sounds and may be able to segment and blend words orally. In this phase children will move on from blending and segmenting orally to doing so with letters.

Phase 3

In this phase children will be taught another 25 graphemes (letters) which themselves can represent 42 phonemes (sounds). At this point it is important to teach letter names as well as phonemes so that children can learn which graphemes represent which phonemes.  Children will come to understand that different phonemes can be represented by 1, 2, 3 or more letters.

Phase 4

Children entering phase 4 will be able to represent 42 phonemes with graphemes, and be able to segment and blend a range of CVC words.  They will have experience of reading two syllable words and captions.

Phase 5 (throughout Year 1)

During this phase children will continue to develop and extend their knowledge of letters and sounds including some of the more unusual ones such as /ph/ as in photo.

When spelling children will begin to use appropriate letters to represent sounds.

Phase 6 (throughout Year 2)

By the beginning of phase 6 children should be able to read hundreds of words and be able to do so in the following ways:

  • Reading words automatically if they are very familiar.
  • Decode them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established.
  • Decode words aloud.

During this phase children should become fluent readers and accurate spellers.