St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School

We act with love, build our faith and grow as people


English schemes of work and Curriculum


Reading holds a high priority at St Margaret Clitherow and it is our aim to instil the love of reading into each and every child. Children are read with regularly and have access to library which children attend every week; allowing each pupil to explore new and exciting books of varying genres and from different authors. A high-quality text is read aloud to pupils daily to expose children to rich and diverse vocabulary.

The teaching of Early Reading (phonics-letters and sounds).

Reading is taught by a combination of sound and word recognition. We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ as our phonics programme, which gives children a sound/s to learn to help acquire both reading and spelling skills.

We explicitly teach the skills of segmenting and blending. The children are taught to decode by understanding clear concepts:

  • Letters are symbols that represent sounds.
  • Sounds can be spelt using 1,2,3 or 4 letters which represent a single sound. E.g f (phoneme), oa (digraph), air (trigraph) and eigh.
  • The same sound can be spelt in different ways- bone, coat, toe, window, shoulder.
  • The same spelling can represent different sounds.
  • Segmenting and blending are reversible processes.

Reading levels

All children follow a reading scheme which provides children with a colour stage. They are able to access books from their reading stage and will progress through the stages through regular reading practise at home and in school. When children have reached the final stage they become a ‘free reader’ which means they are able to read chapter books as well as their library book. Children are encouraged to select both fiction and non-fiction texts and also books from recommended authors.

Whole Class Reading

Reading is taught through the whole class approach. Each class has a text which they read aloud. New vocabulary from the text is selected and taught explicitly before answering comprehension based questions on the text.


Pupils working below age-related expectations are identified quickly and interventions planned and in place. We follow set interventions which include: Reading fluency, arrow and phonics.


Writing is taught predominately with a book as a stimulus. Children engage with the text and are presented with writing opportunities based on the story they are reading. Children are taught the key features of a writing genre and use these to produce their own piece of writing in a similar style.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation

Grammar, punctuation and sentence construction are taught either through the class text in writing lessons or as separate sessions. Spelling is taught in a systematic way; following spelling patterns and spelling tests are carried out weekly. Children are encouraged to spell ‘non-negotiable’ words correctly.


Handwriting skills are practised regularly and correct orientation is taught from Reception onwards. In Reception, children print words and learn the letters in ‘family’ groups of similar formation styles. Children move onto joined handwriting in year 1 with ‘lead in’ and ‘lead out’ lines. Handwriting practise is continued into years 2-6 with children receiving interventions if they are finding it difficult to produce legible work.

Speaking and listening

Children are frequently encouraged to listen, take turns in discussions and are given ample opportunities to develop confidence in expressing themselves clearly through a variety of situations such as: preparing and performing poetry, class assemblies, role play and storytelling. Good speaking and listening skills are modelled from EYFS upwards.