Explore Our Site


Reading & Phonics

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. Our reading intent document gives further details about how we develop the children as readers. 

We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. We start by teaching phonics in Reception using 'Unlocking Letters and Sounds' phonics programme. We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.

In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check.

In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.

To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact.


Reading Scheme
At St Louis we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books children take home, texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading.
In these crucial early stages of reading we primarily use books from Ransom Reading Stars Phonics to ensure complete fidelity to the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression we follow.

Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.

In Key Stage 2 (years 3, 4, 5 and 6,) the children undertake regular reading sessions with the staff in their class, have a wide selection of reading materials to choose from and projects linked to reading, with rewards systems for encouragement. More details about our reading approach in KS2 can be found within the document below. 

In both KS1 and KS2 the children are regularly read to by the teachers, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. All children across the school have access to class reading areas, library time and  a range of quality texts providing interest and challenge. Experiencing such text improves children’s attitude to reading helping them to develop into creative writers. 

As part of our reading offer we encourage all children to read regularly at home and ask parents to support us in this. Please follow the link to our homework page to find out more about our school/home reading scheme along with helpful links to support reading at home.


Phonics information 

Phonics Progression

Parent Workshop PowerPoint


Our School Reading Spine

Please see the links for our whole school reading spine for all of our year groups. 

Reception Reading Spine

Year 1 Reading Spine

Year 2 Reading Spine

Year 3 Reading Spine

Year 4 Reading Spine

Year 5 Reading Spine

Year 6 Reading Spine



We believe that teaching children to understand the power of writing is an important part of our job as teachers. We believe that if we equip the children with the correct writing tools, they will be able to use them effectively within a literate world.

We provide a stimulating writing environment in which we offer encouragement and good quality modelling of writing. We have clear expectations of writing and communicate these targets to the children. We have high expectations of the finished writing product and encourage the children to maintain the same standards at all times.

In order to for our pupils to become effective and successful writers, we aim to teach them to

  • Understand the power of writing and equip them to use it well.
  • Enjoy writing and to be competent, confident and not to hesitate in putting their ideas on paper.
  • Recognise the need to adapt their writing to suit a range of audiences and purposes.
  • Use the most appropriate form of writing for a given task.
  • Use spelling and grammar accurately and with confidence.
  • A fluent and legible handwriting style in which to write.
  • To support children in planning and drafting their own work.
  • To revise and edit work in progress.
  • To provide resources to support children and to develop their independence in the use of resources.

More details about our writing approach can be found within the document St Louis approach to writing below. 

As part of our homework policy we ask children to practice weekly spellings to develop and consolidate their writing skills. Please follow the link to our homework page for details of termly spellings for each year group along with information about how you can support your child.  

Please also see our 'Homework' page for details on reading at home and spellings. 


More details on our English Curriculum (Please click the links below to access the documents)

St Louis Reading Intent

St Louis approach to reading

St Louis approach to writing