The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

Reading & Phonics



Learning to Read

Learning to read is a vital life skill that our children need to acquire at a young age – for this reason it is central to our curriculum and is a skill that children start learning as soon as they join us at school. Children progress through different reading stages and all children will progress through these stages at different rates. Sometimes children progress slowly, sometimes fast and sometimes they plateau for a short time while they consolidate their learning.  It is often helpful for children to overlearn/repeat their learning to ensure their skills are secure before moving onto next stages.  This helps them to build confidence in their abilities.  Alongside learning to read, we aim to work with parents at home to develop a real love of reading.  The children at our school are read to daily and we work with parents to develop their skills in helping their children love reading too.



Reading is not only about segmenting and blending words to actually say a word aloud.  It is also about really understanding what they have been reading about.  Sometimes, we ask children to repeat reading scheme books so that they can work on their comprehension skills rather than simply reading the words and sentences.  We also encourage children to read a wide range of books: sometimes your child will bring home reading books that are for richer reading – these are levelled books that help them broaden their exposure to different texts and genres to help with building their confidence and developing a wider vocabulary.  If your child repeats a book, please focus upon their comprehension skills.  Do this by asking questions that look for simple answers within the text and then more complicated answers which ask their opinion about something that happened in the book, the way a character may be feeling or predict what may happen next.  Without these comprehension skills, foundations to their reading ability will be missing and they will find it very difficult to move through later reading development stages inhibiting them from becoming a fluent reader.


If you have any questions about reading or if you need support in helping your child’s comprehension skills please send us an email and we will ask our Reading Lead, Mr Hollick to contact you.


Encourage our children to read

To encourage our children to read more we have introduced a raffle system where they can win book vouchers. 


How does it work?

  • Each child will receive a reading raffle book mark with the word ‘READ’ on it.
  • Each time your child reads at home they can colour in a star on their ‘READ’ raffle ticket/book mark. Only one star can be coloured in each day.
  • Once all 15 stars have been coloured in, parents initial the ticket to show they agree.
  • The children then hand the completed raffle ticket (with their full name written on the back) to their class teacher.
  • They can then start another raffle ticket. 
  • Towards the end of term we will collect up all the completed READ raffle tickets and pull a ticket from a hat in assembly.
  • The winning child will receive Waterstones Book Vouchers.
  • REMEMBER: The more tickets they have in the hat, the greater their chance of winning. 




What is Phonics?

Starting in Early Years, children are taught phonics; the journey of learning to read, write and spell. These vital skills, are the beginning of a lifelong literacy journey. Phonics, which can also be referred to as ‘Letters and Sounds’ is the process of children learning to read.

The process of learning to read and write begins from an early age, where children can learn and practise many skills. This can be done in a range of ways and settings, including home. Exposing children to conversation and books is essential.


Letters and Sounds

The systematic phonics programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’ is divided into six phases. During the programme new skills are taught, continually building on previous learning.


Useful Information, Resources & Learning at Home