Reading & Phonics

Reading at Cheadle Catholic Infant School:

The early reading experience alongside the effective teaching of phonics are the main elements in learning to read that are essential in supporting children in their journey to becoming competent readers.  At Cheadle Catholic Infant School, we want all our children to read for pleasure and we place just as much emphasis on the joy of reading as the teaching of reading.


Our dynamic approach to teaching phonics begins in Nursery and progresses through Reception and into KS1.  We ensure all teaching is consistent, well-paced and systematic so that all children are given every opportunity to become confident and enthusiastic readers.

At Cheadle Catholic Infant School, we use the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme to ensure our teaching is robust and comprehensive.

Please click below to see our Reading Scheme of Work.



‘The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller.’ - Stan Lee, Marvel Comics

‘The more you read, the more you know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go,’ - Dr Seuss

At Cheadle Catholic Infant School we encourage children to become resilient readers and confident communicators and reading is prioritised to enable all children to access the curriculum.

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.  We want all children to love reading  and to want to read.

Reading For Pleasure:

At Cheadle Catholic Infant School we acknowledge that one of the most crucial ways of getting children to engage in reading and adopt it as a life long habit is for children to know that it is fun. Therefore, we have chosen to promote ‘reading for pleasure’ at every given opportunity. Throughout the year, children will be given regular opportunities to develop a love of reading such as; listen to books all the way through without interruption, discover new authors and illustrators, share their own favourite books, share books with their parents, see adults enjoying reading as a pleasurable experience, visit the school library, develop their own sense of what they enjoy in a book, dress up, ‘Drop Everything And Read’ and make positive associations between reading books and enjoying themselves. In doing so, we are giving the children the clear message that reading is fun, it is for everyone and it is something that they want to do.

As Mem Fox famously said “When I say to parents ‘Read to a child’, I don’t want it to sound like medicine, I want it to sound like chocolate”

In the same way, we want reading to sound like chocolate, not medicine, to all the children in our school.

Mrs Nelson is our School Librarian. She plans regular and exciting reading challenges, promotes new authors and supports teachers in the teaching of reading in our school. She also organises our school library. We subscribe to the Cheshire Library Service which allows us to borrow new, exciting books to keep the books in our classroom fresh and make sure that we can cater to all tastes- fiction, picture books, chapter books, non-fiction, poetry- and engage all children.

We are the Farshore Reading For Pleasure Joint Whole School Award winners for 2022



Reading & Phonics:

Our consistent and rigorous approach to teaching early reading enables children to master the key skills that research suggests is important early on.

To do this, we follow the Read Write Inc. programme; this sets out a sequence of lessons that teach children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They also learn to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas step-by-step.

  • PACE – no time is wasted during teaching sessions. Children are active and involved in a fun and creative way. The aim is for the children to complete the programme as quickly as possible.
  • PRAISE – teachers praise the children constantly throughout the teaching sessions. Children learn more quickly when they are praised for what they do well, rather than nagged for what they do wrong. The children are encouraged to praise each other.
  • PURPOSE – each activity has a very clear purpose. The teacher will set this purpose at the beginning of the lesson so that the children know exactly what they will be learning.
  • PARTICIPATION – all children take part in all parts of the lesson. Full participation is gained through partner work and choral response.
  • PASSION – as a staff we are passionate about our teaching and the benefits of the Read, Write Inc. programme. We love teaching the sessions and this enthusiasm rubs off onto the children.

Your child will:

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds.
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).
  • Learn to write simple, then more complex sentences.
  • Compose stories.

Your child will learn how to:

  • Answer questions
  • Practise every activity orally.
  • Take turns talking and listening to each other.
  • Give positive praise to each other.

The study of English promotes reading as a way of acquiring knowledge and as a way of exploring the world in different ways which enrich children’s understanding.

Children will be immersed in a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry throughout their primary journey. Reading is prioritised to allow access to the full curriculum offer, as it is our belief that reading is a necessity for children as it lays the foundations for many of the skills they will explore on their academic journey.

In order to teach children to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills further, we believe it is vital that children experience high quality modelling from adults in school.

They are given support where appropriate and the opportunity for independent practice of skills. As a class the areas of development are identified and focused intervention takes place during the lesson.

Shared Reading forms part of the daily phonics lessons and is led by class teachers.  All texts are linked to the child's phonic ability. Children enjoy one focus text per week and learning activities support accurate and fluent reading to facilitate comprehension. 

While your child is learning to read, they will be given a Read Write Inc ‘book bag book’. This book will contain all of the graphemes and words that they have been learning in school and therefore it will be an exciting text that they will be able to read themselves. Reading this book every day with your child will build their confidence and fluency. Sending books home that your child finds difficult to read may hinder their learning and stop them from enjoying their reading journey. Of course, parents or carers can offer some help if needed!

Your child will also be given a ‘reading scheme book’. These books are matched to each child's phonics ability and are closely monitored by teachers to ensure that children are reading books of an appropriate level. Your child may find some words in these books more difficult so reading and discussing these books together is very important.

It is really important that parents or carers listen to their child read every night if possible.

Finally, your child will be given a library book; this book is for the parent or carer to read to the child and it is crucial at helping the child expand their vocabulary and develop their love for reading. This book is not necessarily one that they will be able to read themselves, especially if your child is at the beginning of their reading journey, and they will probably need an adult to read it with them. These books are perfect for sharing as a family, using as a bedtime story or showing to a friend or grandparent and help children to create positive associations with books and reading.

As outlined above, all children will be given two reading books per week plus one school library book and no more.  It is important for parents to understand that ‘racing’ through the reading scheme does not help children to read. Children learn to read well when they enjoy what they are reading, can talk about it, infer, predict and want to read more!! If you feel that your child needs to read more please read favourite books from home or choose books from the local library. The more books children read the better readers and writers they become.

Your child will not receive three new books on the same day each week. Please ensure your child’s reading books are in school every day so that books can be changed and recorded when needed.

Our English curriculum provides many opportunities for writing with real purpose, including poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Children are actively encouraged to challenge themselves in writing lessons to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of different text types and genres. Across the study of English, children will be exposed to excellent examples of a wide variety of texts, and will be given many opportunities to explore the role of the author.

Across all writing activities, children will be encouraged to enhance and extend their vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, and will develop their ability to construct and manipulate sentences for effect.

The development of spelling, punctuation and grammar is also a key part of our English curriculum, and is embedded within our writing lessons. From letter formation at the beginning of their academic journey, to writing narratives in Year 2, teachers encourage children to have the highest standards in English.

Useful Links

Read, Write, Inc Guidance for Parents

Parent Workshop - Introduction to RWI

Parent Workshop - Sound Pronunciation Guide

What is Phonics?

Read Write Inc Phonics

How to say the sounds

Sound Blending

Why read to your child?

Handwriting Phrases

Online resources available for  Read, Write Inc links:

Ruth Miskin Parents films on YouTube:

Free e-books for home reading:

There are a number of resources available through the BBC website:

Family Learning:

Oxford Owl - - is a free website built to support you with your child’s learning.  You’ll find age-specific reading and maths tips and activities, eBooks, and lots of fun ideas to really bring your child’s learning to life.  You will also find support and advice on a range of questions you may have - including helping your child with their phonics, motivating boys to read and ensuring your child is doing their best in maths.

Bookstart - - This website provides information about the national Bookstart scheme and the Bookstart packs that your child will receive as a baby, a toddler and at age three to four. It also gives information about sharing books with your child. You can find out about Bookstart events in your area, which you can attend with your child.