Part of the Lancaster Diocese

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Part of the Diocese of Lancaster

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St Cuthbert's Catholic School

St Cuthbert's Catholic School

Phonics & Reading


Our school places a high priority on teaching children to read and developing an enjoyment of reading.


We teach reading using a range of reading schemes, grouped together into book bands. We use Oxford Reading Tree as a scheme across the Key Stage, and Collins Big Cat books for guided reading and interventions. This enables the children to read widely and become secure in not only decoding text but comprehension skills from an early stage.


Reading skills are developed through regular 1:1 reading sessions in all classes and older children 'Challenge Carousel' sessions.  'Challenge Carousel' builds on early reading skills, developing the acquisition of higher level vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as developing reading for enjoyment.



At St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School we use a systematic phonics programme called Song of Sounds, which teaches children all the phonemes they need to know. It is carefully differentiated, with support and challenge to cater for every child. We stream each phase of phonics from Nursery to Year 2 to ensure each child is given the specific help they need. The scheme is divided into two stages.  Each week has four short daily sessions and a longer consolidation session to put phonic skills into practice. Children are also taught to read and spell words with unusual spellings. Children continue to have regular phonic sessions into Key Stage 2 if they are not secure at the end of Key Stage 1.