School starts at 8.50am - 5 minutes late each day = 3 learning days lost in a year!


Children are taught listening skills from Nursery and the skill of segmenting and blending orally. In Nursery children are taught how to handle books. They learn that all print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through adults sharing and discussing books. In Reception children are taught reading skills through sharing big books and sound bags. Children are given opportunities for individual reading with an adult, and guided reading sessions. Children are given further opportunities to develop an enjoyment of reading through the use of story sacks, listening to rhymes, jingles and stories using headphones and adult led daily story sessions. Also, the use of a phonics based home reading scheme enables children to consolidate learning and enjoy sharing books.

We use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics. Here the children learn how to read the sounds in letters and words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. Alongside this the children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘common exception words’, such as ‘I,’ ‘the’ and ‘said’. These are words that do not follow the usual phonic sounds and are trickier to learn. The children are exposed to these words regularly until they become instantly recognisable. Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘common exception words’ that they know.
As children progress through key stage 1 we aim for the children to use their phonic knowledge automatically and begin to recognise the combinations of letters that make different sounds. You will see a sound chart in all key stage 1 classrooms which helps the children to identify the different combinations of letters that make different phonemes. Children learn phonics in small differentiated groups which are focused on the aim of speedy response to all 40+ phonemes/graphemes and developing knowledge of alternative sounds. Children are assessed frequently, movement between groups is flexible and children are targeted to ensure each individual’s progression. The phonic knowledge of all children in key stage I is tracked and where necessary support via interventions is implemented. This may also continue into key stage 2.
We recognise that phonic knowledge is only one aspect of becoming a fluent and confident reader. As the children progress through year 1 and 2, the children are supported in the reading of common exception words, suffixes, syllables and contractions. As the children become more confident readers, they are introduced to spelling patterns and are expected to apply them in their writing.
If you require additional information relating to the curriculum please speak to your child's class teacher.
At St Barnabas CE Primary School, the reading schemes we use are Rigby Star, Project X and Bug Club.
At school your child may experience a variety of reading experiences dependent on their age and/or ability:
o Individual reading with an adult
o Guided reading in groups of the same ability
o Independent reading
o Whole class reading
The best way you can support your child with their learning is to listen to them read and to encourage a love of reading.
It is vitally important that your child reads at home to an adult at least three times a week. Please offer this support and ensure you sign your child’s Reading Record Book every time you read. Please ask your child’s class teacher if you need help supporting your child at home with their reading.

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St Barnabas CE Primary School

Collin Street, Warrington,

Cheshire WA5 1TG

01925 633606