English Curriculum Statement

National Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Reading Newsletter


At Holy Family Catholic Primary School we believe it’s never too early to read with a child. Sharing books, stories and rhymes is a daily part of learning to read, this not only promotes a love of reading but also an awareness of how information can be retrieved from text.  Learning how to read is magical, for both children and their parents.  At Holy Family Catholic Primary School and Holy Family Little School we respect and support early reading skills with a fun and interactive approach which kindles a lifelong love of books and the joy that reading can bring.


The teaching of phonics begins in our little school where children take part in small group phonics sessions with activities taken from Phase 1 of "Letters and Sounds". These are fun, interactive sessions where the children develop their listening skills,  play instruments, learn about rhyme and alliteration and  finally begin to orally blend and segment words.

When the children are ready for Phase 2 phonics, usually in their reception year, we begin the Read, Write Inc scheme. Children take part in daily lessons where they are taught about the sounds that letters make and how these sounds make up words. These sessions include a writing section when children are taught a rhyme to support hem in writing letters correctly. So for example "around the apple and down the leaf" to form "a". The children are assessed regularly so that we can support them to start to blend and read words using the sounds that they have learnt.  The reading books that your child brings home will be chosen to give them an opportunity to practise reading the most recent sounds that they are taught.



We believe that literacy is a strand that runs throughout the curriculum.  We endeavour to provide a pupil led, exciting and enriched curriculum, whilst developing the key literacy skills children need to succeed.  This area outlines the various schemes and approaches we use to ensure children make good progress in English.


We use a wide range of reading schemes to ensure breadth and depth in the early stages of reading.  Our schemes include The Oxford Reading Tree, Codebreaker, Project X and Badgers.   We also provide a range of classics such as Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol for the children to enjoy. Children are informally assessed on a regular basis to ensure that they are reading at the right level. 

Children should be able to read the books sent home to an adult with ease and should be able to discuss the content of the book and make predictions.  Books of a higher level are used within the Guided Reading session in school to teach new skills and to make sure that children are making progress.  We believe it is important that children have a rich diet of texts so we ensure our reading schemes are supplemented by a selection of other reading material.

In class children use reference books, dictionaries and thesaurus, both as hard copies and online throughout the curriculum.  In addition to this stories, non-fiction and poetry are read to the children.




To be ready to start reading, children need to have a variety of skills in place.  These early reading skills include matching, rhyming, awareness of phonics and the skills associated with language development such as listening, attention, alliteration and sound discrimination.  Holy Family school and Little School we feel it is just as important that we help to develop these skills in school as it is for you to help develop them at home.  In Little School we have a lending library that not on;y allows children to borrow books but also to borrow resource packs suitable to your child’s needs and stage of development.  Our lending library resource packs aim to support the development of these early skills for our youngest children.  A focus is placed on developing listening and attention skills as well as early speaking skills through a selection of fun and inviting activities.


Children in Reception class will be sent home with books that are suitable for their reading level.  These will be changed as often as the child and parent requests.  We recommend that parents and children read daily in order to continue to practise the relevant reading skills in order for our children to become confident and fluid readers.


In Key Stage One we continue to develop a love of reading and build upon our strong reading foundation developed in EYFS.  Children have access to daily story time and are taught at the instructional level through guided reading at least once a week.  Reading books are changed as and when a child has finished their book, staff regularly check a child’s understanding through questioning as well as listening to them read regularly.  Each class has a stunning reading area with home reading books available at their level.


Children enjoy cuddling up, looking at books and listening to stories.  We ensure that we create an inviting book area that provides children with opportunities to experience different kinds of print.

It is important that children experience an environment that is rich with texts, therefore we have:

  • A range of reading materials throughout our setting, including outside
  • Magazines in our role play area and cookery books in our home corner
  • Home-made construction books in our construction area
  • Meaningful labels with words and pictures displayed throughout the setting
  • Props from familiar stories so that children can act out their favourite stories




Did you know that if children know eight rhymes by the time they are four years old they are usually among the best readers by the time they are eight?  Rhyming helps children to break words down and to hear the sounds that make up words in preparation for reading and writing.  At Holy Family we really do love singing songs and have a rhyme time with children every day in early years.


We also try to make up our own songs and rhymes.  We use rhymes with actions and props to support multi-sensory learning as well as drawing children’s attention to alliteration and rhyming words.











At Holy Family school we teach correct letter formation alongside the sounds.

Before putting pen to paper, look at the letter with your child and encourage them to trace it on the page with their finger.  Have a go at finger writing in the air, on the table, on the page and everywhere!  In the sand on the beach when on holiday is a great time to practise!  Let your child see you modelling the letter formation in this way.  When they feel confident that they know the formation, try using a pencil to get the letter down on the page.


Encourage your child to hold their pencil correctly.


Try to let your child see you writing whenever possible, whether it be a shopping list, birthday card, or even a note on the calendar – they love to copy grown-ups and again you are modelling the skill for them.


Finally, allow your child time to experiment with different pens, pencils, paintbrushes and crayons independently, so that they have time to try ideas and skills out for themselves.  Give them lots of praise when they attempt to write for themselves – they will be encouraged to try it more often if they know their efforts are appreciated!


Note: When your child is writing their name please encourage your child to only use a capital letter for the first letter of their name and use lower case letters for the remaining part of their name.