How we teach your child to read

We believe that learning to read is the key to unlocking knowledge for children, and because of this we have been working hard to ensure children have a range of opportunities for reading.  Learning to read is a journey and many skills need to be developed along the way.  We start this journey as soon as the children start at St Joseph's.



Letters and Sounds is a strategy for teaching and learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, and we use it here at St Joseph's to aid children in their literacy. Our teaching is supported by a range of resources and techniques.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using Letters and Sounds, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

When using Letter and Sounds to read the children will:

  •        learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts;
  •        learn to read word;
  •        read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out;
  •        show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions;
  •        learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds;
  •  learn to write words by saying the sounds;
  •   write simple sentences;

We use a range of reading books in coloured 'book bands', from schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star, to support reading from Reception upwards. Children from the end of Year 2 and throughout Key Stage Two who have reached the end of the book bands, move on to Accelerated Reader.


Reading at Home

One of the greatest gifts that you can give to your child is a love of reading. Research has shown that one of the biggest indicators of success in a child's life is whether or not they have books in the home. As a parent, try to focus on making reading fun and enjoyable rather than getting bogged down in trying to teach nitty gritty skills.


Please make home reading a part of your daily routine. Your child has a Reading Diary and we encourage you to write a comment about the book you shared together.


These resources can be downloaded and used at home to help you support your child with their phonics.
These links will give you advice about how to support your child with phonics and reading.