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At St. Giles' Catholic Primary, our aim is to instil a passion for reading and a confidence with words - written and spoken - in all our children.


It is important to us that our curriculum is informed by the best available experts and research. Our English Lead is a Chartered Teacher and we are a member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA).








Our Reading & Writing Journey


Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. 




We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.








'All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.'

National Curriculum 2014


Making a Strong Start using Read Write Inc.





Right from the beginning of Reception, we use Read Write Inc. Phonics which is a highly successful English programme created by Ruth Miskin. All Reading Teachers at St. Giles' have receive training and support from Ruth Miskin Training, rated Outstanding by the Department for Education, to ensure we meet our aim for all children to become confident and enthusiastic readers.


The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme is carefully matched to the curriculum, giving every child at St. Giles' Catholic Primary the best chance of success.



Reception to Year 2 children are taught using Read Write Inc. Phonics as the main EYFS and KS1 early reading programme but it is also taught as an intervention for children in Years 3 and 4.


In addition to this, Read Write Inc. Fresh Start is a phonics programme with more age appropriate resources for older children which we use as and when required in Years 5 and 6.









Read Write Inc. Progression Grid

Please see the table below for expected progress term-by-term for Read Write Inc. Phonics in EYFS and KS1.


Year Group


Expected Progress in RWI. Groups



October: know most Set 1 sounds and blend orally (Set 1 B)

December: know Set 1 sounds and read words by blending (Set 1 C)


February: Ditties

April: Red


May: Green

July: Green/Purple

Year 1


October: Purple

December: Pink (know Set 2 sounds)


February: Orange

April: Yellow


May: Yellow (know Set 3 sounds)

July: Blue

Year 2


Baseline: Blue

October: Blue

December: Grey


February: Grey

April: RWI Spelling and Comprehension


How can you support your child?

During the academic year, we hold regular parent workshops for early reading. We also have more information on the individual class pages.


Follow the link below to read out parent booklets for more information on RWI Phonics and how you can support your child at home.




For further information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read from Ruth Miskin, go to:



The Writing Process

Time is prioritised to focus on developing the writing process with children as they move through the school. The key elements of the writing process are planning, drafting, editing and revising, proofread and then publishing or sharing.

Modelling is a key element in the teaching of the writing process, with teachers using 'think out loud' to guide children through how to craft a piece of writing. By modelling, the expert writer lets less experienced writers in on the big secret … What is going on in the head of a more experienced writer? By modelling, we demonstrate options for planning, strategic problem solving, self-monitoring, reviewing, revising and proofreading. We also show how techniques can be used or applied; we work through challenges and teach good grammar. And we do it all within the context of authentic writing!







At St Giles' Catholic Primary School,  we are committed to reading aloud to our children every day. 


Reading aloud enables all children to access quality texts but it also enables the teacher to model expressive and fluent reading to the children.







Guided Reading


Our guided reading approach is informed by extensive research into comprehension strategy instruction, as recommended by the EEF. 


The aims of the sessions are to engage with texts, respond to them, talk about them and developing deeper understanding (comprehension).


Once children have completed RWI Phonics, they take part in daily guided reading sessions.



During the sessions, we focus on developing the key comprehension strategies through careful modelling and supported practice.






The sessions utilise a wide variety of texts and seek to: 

  • Encourage critical and evaluative thinking through use of open prompts, questions and invitations
  • Encourage reference to the text to support their thinking
  • Build towards group dialogue
  • Encourage personal responses from the children
  • Enable children to support their opinions with evidence from the text and to change and adapt their ideas in response to others


Home Reading


“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

― Emilie Buchwald




Evidence strongly suggests that parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading.


Key findings from the evidence include:

• Parental involvement in a child’s literacy has been reported as a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);


• Children whose home experiences promote the view that reading is a source of entertainment are likely to become intrinsically motivated to read (Baker, Serpell and Sonnenschein, 1995 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);


• Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Baker and Scher, 2002 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).


Reading Books Coming Home

Access to reading materials at the correct level is vital in setting children up to succeed in reading. Carefully matched reading books will be sent home for your children to read independently or read to you. 


They will know all of the sounds used in the text because they match the sounds in the books they are being taught in class. This means they will be able to read the text with fluency and confidence – like a storyteller. They will enjoy reading to someone else or to themselves.


This does not mean the text is too easy for them – it means they are reading at the correct level. We do not send texts home the children cannot read because we always want them to be set up to succeed in their reading.


EYFS and KS1

What will my child bring home to read?



‘Last and past’ Storybooks or Ditty Sheets: contain sounds and words the children know. This is the Storybook they have just read at school and maybe some they have read before, for extra practice. Please don’t worry that books are too easy. Children enjoy re-reading stories they know well. Their speed and understanding improves on every read. Please have this book in school every day.




Book Bag Books: matched to the Storybooks children read in school and used for extra practice. They include many of the same reading activities that we use in class and include parent guidance. Please have this book in school every day.


Speedy Green Word Cards: challenge your child to read the words speedily. Set a timer – can they beat yesterday’s time? Learning to read these words speedily with help your child to make good progress with their reading in school.


RWI eBooks: these eBooks are for children to read at home after the ‘third read’ of the book in class. At the end of each eBook, there is a short quiz to consolidate the sounds and words encountered in the eBook. This is the Storybook they have just read at school and maybe some they have read before, for extra practice.


What else might my child bring home to read?

Speed Sounds Cards: for children to practise reading speedily. If needed, show your child the picture side of the card to help them remember the sound.


‘Share with me’ Banded Books: this is an enrichment text designed to widen their reading experience. It may contain sounds that your child has not come across yet in their phonics sessions which is why it is a ‘share with me’ book.


Library Books: your child may also bring home a library book to share with you. Read these stories to children, with your children or encourage them to retell the story by looking at the pictures. They are not expected to read the story by themselves. Have a look at our Library Page to see which books we have available. 




Once your child has complete the Read Write Inc. Phonics

programme, they will no longer receive a RWI. Story Book and RWI Book Bag Book to take home. Instead, please see the provision below.


Colour Banded Book (Collins Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree…) – This book is designed to build your child's fluency at an age appropriate level and to broaden their reading experience.  This book will be changed by their class teacher. Please have this book in school every day.


Library Book - This book is to encourage your child to develop their own interest in books and is selected by your child. Read these books with your children or to them. At first, they are not expected to read the books by themselves. Have a look at our Library Page to see which books we have available. 




Book Bands Overview

Additional free reading e-books:

Our Approach to Spelling

We use Read Write Inc. Spelling for Years 2-6 to meet the demanding spelling requirements of the National Curriculum and to build on the fantastic start our children make with Read Write Inc. Phonics. Reasons why we use this programme:

  • Puts the complex requirements of the curriculum into snappy 15-minute lessons
  • Makes spelling fun! Aliens from an exciting online spelling planet clearly introduce spelling rules and concepts
  • Read Write Inc. Spelling Online includes an Extra Practice Zone including over 1,000 new activity screens for whole-class practice, focusing on the areas children often find challenging. A class login also enables or children to do the practice activities at home:
  • Provides plenty of  writing practice with a clear record of progress
  • The emphasis is on teaching spelling, not simply testing spelling
  • Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.
  • The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.


How are children assessed?

Half-termly practice tests assess children’s spelling progress using the same format as the statutory assessments in England. Online tracking spreadsheets enable us to record and track individual children’s progress and identify units or concepts pupils might need to be retaught.


During the teaching activities each week, a number of assessment opportunities are also planned into the programme. The emphasis is on the importance of learning to spell, rather than being tested on spelling.


Extra Practice Zone

This booklet shows you how you can help your child practise and consolidate their spelling by using the Extra Practice Zone.



Our Approach to Handwriting

There are regular timetabled slots for handwriting to ensure that children build up their handwriting skills every day. We make the physical process of writing – handwriting – enjoyable from the start, so children see themselves as ‘writers’. We use mnemonics – memory pictures – to help children visualise the letter or join before they write it down. Children need to practise handwriting under the guidance of a teacher so they do not develop habits that will be difficult to undo later so we make sure that handwriting is always a guided activity.


We link handwriting to our Read Write Inc. Phonics in KS1 and there are three handwriting stages.


Stage 1

These lessons are taught while children read the Red, Green, Purple, Pink and Orange Storybooks. 

Stage 1a: Children practise correct letter formation.

Stage 1b: Children learn where to place the letters on the writing line.


Stage 2

These lessons are taught while children read the Yellow, Blue and Grey Storybooks. At this stage, children learn a mature style of writing that will lead to joined-up writing.


Stage 3

These lessons are also taught while children read the Yellow, Blue and Grey Storybooks. At this stage, children learn the two basic joins: the arm join (diagonal) and the washing line join (horizontal) and the two variables for each join.


There are also memorable phrases that support the children to develop correct letter formation:


Celebrating English at St Giles' Catholic Primary School


A selection of some of the English opportunities beyond the classroom.


Year 1 to Year 6 had a special visit from a touring theatre company M and M Productions. The company performed Oliver Twist. Specially written for children’s theatre, their version of Mr Dicken's loved work was visually stunning!

The adaptation of this Victorian classic follows one of literatures best loved heroes through the tempestuous events of his early life.

The Year 5 also participated in a follow up workshop on how stage productions work including characterisation, lighting and sound.





Alex Foulkes, local published author, visited every class and ran writing workshops with upper KS2 class which inspired our young writers to develop their our 'Secret Base' setting.





The Railway Children Production comes to St Giles'





Classic Literature Coming Alive - The Railway Children theatre production came to visit. The whole school watched the production and then KS2 had a special workshop.








World Book Day in Style - Celebrating our love of reading together through book quizzes, competition and sharing our favourite books across the key stages.









Meet the Poet and Author - Alan Durant, who writes stories for children of all ages – from toddlers to teenagers and poetry for children and adults, came for the day to inspire our classes from Reception to Year 6 with performances and workshops. 








The Magic of Live Theatre - KS2 visiting the Regent Theatre to be spellbound by the magical adaptation of the classic novel: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. They have also had the pleasure of watching The Prince and the Pauper come alive before their eyes.

A final thought...


Reading is the one ability that, once set in motion, has the capacity to feed itself, to grow exponentially, providing a base from which the possibilities are infinite.


Michael Morpurgo