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Reading and Phonics

"Language is the door,

reading is the key."

-J Murphy & D Murphy, 2018

Reading, Synthetic Phonics and Reading Schemes

"pupils who are still struggling to decode need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers. If they cannot decode independently and fluently, they will find it increasingly difficult to understand what they read and to write down what they want to say.”

(National Curriculum 2014)


At St Cecilia’s Junior School, we believe that it is essential that any pupils entering the Juniors with poor decoding skills are taught through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of their decoding and spelling. We strive to ensure by the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English.


Our aims for teaching phonics

If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure knowledge and understanding of the letter sounds and systems of the English language.


●To close any gaps in the children’s knowledge and application of phonics.

To ensure that our children develop as competent readers and writers.

●To equip the children with a secure knowledge of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language.

●To develop their phonic skills in a systematic way using Read Write Inc.

●To establish consistent practice, progression and continuity in the teaching and learning of phonics in Key Stage 2.


   Teaching and Learning

  • We make the teaching and learning of phonics a priority within across the Key Stage.
  • We provide training and support for staff.
  • We deliver high quality, systematic Phonics sessions, following Read Write Inc.
  • We deliver story book Phonics lessons 5 days per week for those children who need it in years 3 & 4 and Fresh Start Phonics intervention in years 5 & 6 for those children who need it..
  • We ensure lessons are active, and well paced thus ensuring the engagement of all children.
  • We provide high quality CPD weekly for all staff involved in the delivery of Phonics.
  • All children are assessed at the end of every half term and are grouped as a result.





Reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.’

(National Curriculum 2014)


We want our children to be enthusiastic readers who by the end of their primary education, are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

As a school we plan and teach to meet or exceed the Statutory requirements laid out in the New National Curriculum 2014.

To be ‘secondary ready’ at the end of Key Stage 2, we provide:

What we’re up to!


You can find out what we are up to by visiting out Twitter page @StCeciliascjs


And search for the following hashtag;


Reading and Achieving

Our children are set targets to strive for in Accelerated Reader and Reading Plus.  Below are some of the children who achieved their targets in the first half term along with children in year 6 who achieved Level A so far this year.

Read, Write Inc

Recently, we have begun to teach a new phonics and reading scheme called Read, Write Inc.  The scheme comes heavily recommended and is a complete literacy programme which weaves word reading, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly.  After initial assessment, children from years 3 and 4 were placed into groups based upon their area of development.  They attend bespoke, personalised phonics lessons five days per week which have proven to be both enjoyable and hugely beneficial with a number of children having graduated out of the scheme already, such was the speed of their progress.  A similar practice called Fresh Start is in place in years 5 and 6 with the aim of closing any gaps in learning that children may have in relation to reading and phonics.  Our aim is always to give our children the best possible chance of achieving and we recognise the importance of reading to a child's future.  Should you have any queries about the Read, Write Inc practice in Saint Cecilia's Junior School, feel free to contact our English leader, Mr McCann.

Class Reads

Below is a breakdown of what books each class will read throughout the year.  Teachers will read, discuss and evaluate the texts and provide opportunities for the children to write based on themes brought up by each book.


Pupil Voice


"Books are just so interesting.  I'm reading The Ghost of Bracken Hill at the moment, it's about a dog who turns into a ghost - spooky!  I love when I get to read under the tree in the corridor, it's cosy there.  I'm looking forward to reading in the outdoor area when the weather is warmer.  Miss Hawkins reads to us, she reads us The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.  I love reading to Miss Hawkins in guided reading.  My favourite author is Roald Dahl and my favourite book is The Witches.  I like when we have DEAR time because we can choose to read whatever we want and I sometimes pick a newspaper to read.  Miss Thomas takes me to the book shelves to choose my reading book, I can pick whatever book I want as long as it's in my ZPD.  I get gold stars for reading and I feel proud when that happens."


- Louie (year 3)



"I learn so much from books.  At the minute, I'm reading Queen Nzinga; it's a comic strip book about a girl who becomes the queen of her tribe.  I read in class everyday and I love when my class visits the school library.  Our teacher reads out loud to us all, we are reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis as a class.  David Walliams is my favourite author and I love The Midnight Gang because I like long, thick books.  Accelerated Reader is great because I can choose to read any book I want from my ZPD but in DEAR time, I can read any book I want so I often pick an information book.  Our teacher inspires us to read by putting on funny voices and putting in lots of expression.  He also gives us gold stars for reading."


- Meadow (year 4)



" I love reading; it's fun!  At the minute, I'm reading The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling.  It's a fantastic book, it's a fairy tale about a monster.  She's my favourite author, I love the Harry Potter books.  There are lots of places to read in our school; my favourites are the library and the reading snug.  Our teacher reads to us everyday.  We are currently reading Oliver Twist as a class read, it's linked to our History topic of Victorian Britain.  We get lots of opportunities to read in school including DEAR time and I love reading to an adult during guided reading.  I love that we use Accelerated Reader in school because I get to choose my own book as long as it's within my ZPD.  Getting gold stars for reading helps encourage me to keep reading.  I also love how my teacher puts in lots of expression when reading to us."


- Caitlin (year 5)



"I love reading because it creates images in my mind and brings the story to life in my head.  I'm currently reading The Story of Tracy Beaker.  It's a fun book; it's a journal of an eleven year old - like me!  I love reading under the tree with my year 3 reading buddy and I love reading magazines in the outdoor reading space when the weather is nice.  In class, we are currently reading Goodnight Mr Tom as a shared read - it's linked to our WW2 History topic and is quite sad in places.  My favourite author is David Walliams, I've read lots of his books including the The World's Worst Teacher and The World's Worst Children.  I love reading with my teacher, this happens during guided reading.  We have lots of opportunities to read in school but my favourite is DEAR time; we 'drop everything and read', the adults do it too - Mr McCann even brings in his Kindle.  We can bring books home and also bring books into school to show - I brought in my mum's WW2 project from when she was at school.  I look forward to doing quizzes when I've finished a book, this is part of Accelerated Reader.  Our teachers get us gripped in stories by using their voices to build up tension and suspense; we can also get rewards and certificates.  I love World Book Day and when guests come in to read to us; we've had Leanne Campbell from Radio City and even Callum Smith, the World Champion boxer!"


- Grace (year 6)

Reading Ambassadors 2021-2022

Our reading ambassadors promote reading within their classrooms and around the school.  We are very proud of them and very grateful for the fabulous job they do.

Reading Buddies

Our Reading Buddies from Year 6 read with some of our Year 3 children every Monday, Tuesday,  Wednesday and Thursday mornings. They collect their buddy and go to one of our many reading stops around the school. They read and discuss the story together. The year 6 children love this responsibility because they enjoy helping the younger children read.

Reading Buddies 2021

Readathon Weeks

During Readathon weeks, we celebrate reading in our school with each class taking part in special activities.  In the past, we had members of our local community, governors, parents and Father Dominic in school reading to children.  Leanne and Dave from Radio City's Breakfast Show also came in a read to the children which was fantastic.  Our reading ambassadors went to Alder Hey to read with some children there in what was a wonderful experience for all involved.  Two lucky children from each class attended a Lewis Carroll celebration afternoon where they discussed some of his books, watched Alice in Wonderland and had a Mad Hatters Tea Party of their own.  Annually, we have the Book Bus on site for children and parents to purchase books for Christmas.   Local World Champion boxer Callum Smith, came to school to take part in 'Desert Island Books'.  As always, we extend our thanks to all who get involved, both adults and children alike, in promoting reading in our school - thank you very much.

Lewis Carroll Afternoon

We recently celebrated Lewis Carroll afternoon.  The children were invited to stay after school in fancy dress to read extracts from his works while also seeing his writing in film form.  The children were treated to cakes and sweets and everyone had a wonderful time.  Thank you to everyone involved.

Library Timetable






Tuesday @ 12:45





Tuesday @ 1:05





Monday @ 12:45





Monday @ 1:05





Wednesday @ 9:00





Wednesday @ 10:30





Tuesday @ 9:15





Thursday @ 10:45


Lunchtime Library Timetable


Years 3 & 4


Tuesday @ 12:00




Years 5 & 6


Thursday @ 12:45


Reading club had a wonderful trip to the Storybarn in Calderstones park this week! The children read books, got dressed up and thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

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