Phonics and Early Reading


 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss



At St Bede’s, we know that systematic synthetic phonics, taught in the first years of a child’s education, gives children the key building blocks that they need to succeed.

Our early reading curriculum, aims to give children the best possible start on their reading and writing journey by developing their phonological awareness through high quality teaching. Our chosen phonics scheme allows children to secure each grapheme quickly, as we teach them the key phonological skills and knowledge needed in order to decode and encode words independently. The more graphemes that the children learn to read and write, the greater amount of words they will be able to read and spell, and, as they decode unfamiliar words, they encounter and learn new vocabulary. As a school, we are determined that every pupil will learn to read regardless of background, needs or abilities and we therefore use assessment strategies throughout our phonics teaching in order to identify children that are not progressing as quickly and aim to provide intensive additional support in order to facilitate those children to catch up. Our ultimate goal is for every child to be able to read with accuracy and automaticity, becoming confident and fluent readers. This fluency enables skilled reading and comprehension. We know that this key development of reading coincides with the importance of enjoying quality literature and we aspire to in still in all children a love of reading that we hope will stay with them for life. We develop a breadth of vocabulary, language, comprehension and a love of reading alongside our phonics programme through stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts.



In order to give every child the tools to become independent life-long learners we aim to:

  •          Deliver high-quality phonics teaching which secures the essential phonics skills that once mastered, enables the children to read with fluency and automaticity.
  •          Foster and develop a life-long love of reading in children.
  •          Provide consistent practice, progression and continuity in the pedagogy of phonics throughout the school using our chosen phonics scheme to guide us.
  •          To identify pupils who need additional support quickly and provide targeted interventions, ensuring they are given sufficient support to progress.



Children should:

  •          Receive a daily discrete phonics session starting from the beginning of reception in order to begin to acquire the grapheme/phoneme correspondences needed for reading and writing, until phonics is secure or an alternative intervention is in place.
  •          Use reading as a fundamental part of all curriculum development, applying their learnt phonic knowledge across the curriculum.
  •          Read with increasing fluency and automaticity by the end of year 1.
  •          Develop an enjoyment in books not only at school, but also at home with access to reading materials matched to their phonics level.



Phonics and reading ability are frequently monitored ensuring that children make good progress on their journey from Early Years to Year 6. This ensures that they are confident readers enabling full access to the curriculum. We are proud of our reading results at St Bede’s Catholic Primary.