Phonics and Reading

St Charles' Phonics and Reading Curriculum

English is taught, throughout the school, with the use of key basic skills being embedded across the curriculum. English lessons take place every day and spelling, grammar and punctuation are integral to our English teaching and learning. Presentation of work is given a high priority and our preferred handwriting style is reinforced.


Reading is taught through a systematic programme of phonics.  Children in Nursery are made aware of sounds around them and the focus is on aural awareness and development.  As children progress into Reception class, this basis is built upon via daily phonics sessions and opportunities to practice what they have learnt outside of these sessions.  Pupils begin with picture-only books and are encouraged to talk about what they can see, before moving on to phonetically decodable books.

Commonly used words (‘High frequency’ words) are taught as part of phonics sessions. The school follows the 'Read Write Inc' phonics programme which begins in Nursery and continues until children are confident and speedy readers, who decode accurately and read for meaning.

Knowledge of high frequency words, development of reading skills and reading for meaning are embedded through guided reading with the teaching staff, and further practised at home with additional reading books.  This practice continues into Key Stage 1 and early Key Stage 2 as appropriate.  KS1 pupils read weekly with their teacher and take a separate reading book home for consolidation.  Teachers share texts with their classes daily to embed reading skills. 

Find out more at Read Write Inc.

In 2019, 87% of Year 1 pupils passed the National Phonics Screen. Additional support is put in place for pupils who may need further consolidation of sounds taught. This occurs throughout KS1, beginning in Autumn term in Year 1 and will continue throughout and into KS2 if necessary.  

At Key Stage 2, children take part in regular specific reading skills lessons which develop their comprehension and inference skills, as well as having daily opportunities to read independently and from a class novel. They are encouraged to read widely for their own pleasure, enjoyment and information.  These reading activities also help to support children as they learn to ‘read as writers’ and ‘write as readers’.



Reading Challenge
We have launched a 'Reading Ninja' challenge for all of our children at St. Charles' to encourage them to read a variety of books for their own pleasure.
So, how can we inspire our children to get into reading for fun?
Encourage your child to read at home ~ find a comfortable spot and curl up with a book. Try and read your child's home/school reading book or their own book for pleasure and write a brief comment in their Reading Record Book and sign the entry. Some children may wish to write their own entry about their thoughts on the book or characters they particularly like.  
In every classroom you will see a 'Reading Ninja' display which shows the different ninja belts. Every child has their own ninja with which they can move up the ninja ranks as they earn the next level ninja belt every time they 'smash through reading' with another book. Children can count up their reading entries, move their ninja and receive a ninja stamp on their Reading Reward Chart.
Encourage your child to bring their reading record book and home/school reading book into class every day, this will allow us to listen to them read and share their book with them as often as possible. Try and aim for a minimum of four entries per week.
Who will take on our 'Reading Ninja Challenge'?
We love reading!

T. 0191 285 2553 E. A.Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3HE