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Phonics & Reading Schemes


In Reception and Key Stage 1, Our Lady's use the Read, Write Inc reading scheme which is linked to phonic progression. Once children have progressed through the RWI scheme, we also use a selection of other schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree, and longer-form novels which offer a variety of genres. We aim to ensure that our pupils are exposed to lots of different texts which in turn will build their confidence and ability to read independently and effectively. Being able to read for pleasure is the goal!

For more information on reading and writing at Our Lady's please see our English curriculum page.

How we develop children to to be readers and writers

Helping your child read at home


Why phonics? 
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to: 

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; 
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’;  
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. 

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. 

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  

Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. 

At Our Lady’s we teach phonics using the Read, Write, Inc (RWI) programme. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. For those who require further support, we use intervention strategies to ensure all children make progress in phonics. Children read books available from the RWI scheme and take these books home to rehearse their reading with parents.

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