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At St Dominic’s Primary School we aim for all children to develop their ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing whilst they learn to read and listen with understanding. We believe that children should have access to a full, stimulating, well-structured curriculum. The children’s literacy skills are developed within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, and then extended throughout all other curriculum areas.



Without adequate reading skills, a child faces barriers throughout the curriculum. Because of this, we adopt a range of strategies to ensure that our children become confident readers who understand what they read, and most importantly enjoy it! At St Dominic’s Primary School, the foundation for learning to read for pleasure and understanding comes from:

  • The teaching of reading which takes place during shared and guided reading sessions during literacy lessons;
  • Reading practise at the pupil’s own level, which takes place during quiet reading times and as a homework activity;
  • Continuous assessment and monitoring to ensure all children are reading at a level appropriate to their age;
  • Specific catch up and booster schemes for those children who are recognised as not meeting expected standards in reading for their age;
  • Access to a wide range of quality fiction and non-fiction texts which are read and discussed in detail during teacher led group reading sessions.


Phonics is taught in the Early Years and Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, through daily sessions taught by the Class teacher and supported by Teaching Assistants. In Key Stage 2 phonics continues to be taught along with ‘Support for Spelling’ as whole class work or small group work as required by each class group. Phonics is taught using Letters and Sounds, a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills and prepare them for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills for children, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven
It is expected that children will progress through the Letters and Sounds Phases as follows:

Nursery - Phase 1: Children become aware of the sounds around them, tuning in to sounds, remembering sounds and talking about sounds.

Reception Year – Phases 2 and 3: By the end of Reception Year children will be secure to the end of Phase 3. 

Year 1 - Phase 4 and Phase 5: By the end of Year 1 children will be secure at Phase 5.

Year 2 – Start ‘Support for Spelling’ (Children revisit much of Phase 5 and continue Phase 6)