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English & Literacy

St. Michael's English & Literacy Curriculum


Phonics & Early Reading


To support the teaching of phonics and early reading at St. Michael's CofE First School, we use the DfE validated systematic synthetic phonics programme Read Write Inc.


Read Write Inc. Phonics is a whole-school approach to teaching literacy for 4 to 9-year olds that creates fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. It integrates phonics with comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting using engaging partner work and drama. 


The essence of the programme is consistency and simplicity and it aims to get children to read well, quickly.

We use a range of fully decodable reading books from Oxford University Press which are aligned with every stage of the phonics programme. Therefore, children are always reading material which is at their phonetic level.


For more information on Phonics & Early Reading at St. Michael's please follow the link below.

At St Michael’s First School we aim to guide your child to understand themselves and others better. Literature plays a key role in this development as an individual because it enables them to acquire knowledge, build on what they already know and to participating fully as a member of society. It is our duty as a school to work with you and your child to ensure this journey and goal is achievable, exciting and rewarding.


The pupils move through levelled books during their time in reception to year 4.

Although reading is an exciting journey rather than a race, we do celebrate when pupils make progress in their reading and share this news with you. We use Reading Record books to communicate regularly between home and school building on the child’s next steps in their reading.


At St Michael’s First School we teach reading in two parts:


  • word reading

  • comprehension (both listening and reading)


Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both skills because different kinds of teaching are needed for each.


In Year One, children will complete a Phonics Screening Test. This is a statutory test set by the Government and delivered to all children across the United Kingdom in the same week by a qualified teacher. Children are given 20 words and 20 pseudowords (nonsense eg thand, strom) made up of the 44 sounds children learn. The results of these tests are published nationally and highlighted to parents at the end of the academic year. Please look at the Year 1 page


The reading scheme that has been developed at St Michael’s First School, contains a range of books, including phonically decodeable books, Project X, and colour banded books including Oxford Reading Tree. These books are closely matched to ensure that children’s reading improves at an appropriate developmental level. Your child’s teacher will assess your child’s reading and match their reading books in accordance to this.




At St Michael’s Church of England First School we are always looking for ways to encourage our children to read more. The Accelerated Reader programme has certainly succeeded in enthusing the children! Accelerated Reader forms a key part of our reading programme from Year 2 onwards.

Appropriate challenge

Pupils develop reading skills most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books – difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated.

Taking a Quiz

When your child has read a book, he/she can take an Accelerated Reader quiz by logging in at school. Children take quizzes completely independently and with no help. They must read and answer the questions by themselves. They get immediate feedback. Children respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.


Reading volunteers pamphlet.

How can I support my child at home?

Reading Diary Comments


Listed below are some comments which may help you when writing in the Reading Record to describe how your child has read to you at home. The more information that you can provide in your child’s Reading Record, the more we can help your child in class!


Word reading

  • Read familiar words independently.
  • Was able to recall some of the magical (common exception words).They recognised ‘friend’.
  • Worked out new words using phonics / picture cues / the whole sentence / the first sound of a word.
  • They recognised the ‘sh’ or ‘oa’ sound in some words or throughout the book.
  • Read one word at a time.
  • Could decode technical vocabulary in non-fiction texts.
  • Found it tricky to decode technical vocabulary.




  • Showed good understanding.
  • Did not understand the text.
  • Able to predict what might happen next in the text.
  • Discussed the story and characters well.
  • Struggled to retell main events.
  • Could work out the meaning of technical vocabulary in non-fiction.
  • Needed help to work out the meaning of technical vocabulary.




  • Read with fluency and expression.
  • Read one word at a time.
  • Was able to take full stops / exclamation marks / question marks into account when reading.
  • Needed help to take full stops / exclamation marks / question marks into account when reading.
  • Was able to take into account “ ”.
  • Needed help to take into account “ ”.




  • Enjoyed reading this book a lot.
  • Needed help to concentrate.




  • Self-corrected own errors independently.
  • Needed help to self-correct errors.





  • Able to read this book with some help.
  • Able to read this book with lots of help.
  • Able to read this book independently.




  • Able to identify the type of text (fairytale, story, information etc).
  • Needed help to identify the type of text or purpose of the text.
  • Could use the glossary / contents / index pages appropriately.
  • Needed help to use the glossary / contents / index pages.





Children will need to read and spell the following words.  This will help with their fluency in reading.

Year 3 and 4 spelling list