Reading at Sacred Heart Primary School


Learning to read is a key priority in our school. We recognise the enjoyment and freedom that comes with being able to read, as well as the obvious academic benefits. We teach children to read using a combination of systematic phonics, 'real books' and regular reading practice.


Our aim is for every child at Sacred Heart Primary to develop a love of reading and be able to read to learn. We adapt our approaches to suit the needs of the children and engage them as life-long readers and learners.



Read Write Inc. Phonics

We use the Read Write Inc. Phonics system to teach children about sounds and the letters associated with those sounds. Read Write Inc. is a complete literacy programme, for 3 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write.

We also use the programme to support older learners who need additional support and to catch up quickly. Although reading is taught using synthetic phonics, the programme is so much more than that. It covers all of the new National Curriculum requirements for language and literacy.



Programme progression:

In Reception all children:

  • Read storybooks and non-fiction books closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge
  • Take home Phonics storybooks to share
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Learn to spell using known sounds
  • Write confidently by practicing what they want to write out loud first
  • Work well with a partner.

By the end of Year 1 the aim is that all children are accurate and speedy readers and ready to move onto our year group topics and literacy skills work.


Closely following the teaching programme, rigorous assessment, tracking and tutoring ensure progress for every child. One-to-one tutoring ensures that no child is left behind. Children have positive early experiences of learning to read – they are successful and progress quickly. Some children will need to continue with this scheme up until until they become fluent readers.


Reading Skills

Young children who have not developed accurate and rapid word reading skills by the end of Key Stage 2 are caught in a pattern of repeated failures. They also exhibit high levels of frustration and, ultimately, may lose their motivation to read.


Given that all school subject areas require reading skills for academic success, the reading failure these students experience undermines their learning capacity and limits their educational growth across their life span.



We aim to counteract this by intervening quickly to support any child who is not reading confidently and provide them with one-to-one instruction and opportunities to practice reading skills.