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English Curriculum

At St. Austin's Catholic Primary School our aim is to instil in our pupils a passion for reading and a confidence with words.


National Curriculum 2014


All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.


Our Reading Journey


Learning to read is most important to all children. Our focus is to ensure that every child learns to read as quickly as possible.


We want your child to love reading and to want to read for themselves throughout their lives.

In order to instil this we put our efforts into making sure all pupils develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


A Strong Start


From the beginning of Reception, we will use Read Write Inc. Phonics which is a highly successful English programme created by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. All Reading Teachers at St. Austin’s' are receiving training and support from Ruth Miskin Training to ensure we meet our aim for all children to become confident and enthusiastic readers.

The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme is carefully matched to the new curriculum, giving every child at St. Austin's Catholic Primary the best chance of success.

Reception to Year 2 children are taught using Read Write Inc. Phonics as the main EYFS and KS1 early reading programme but it is also taught as an intervention for children in Years 3 and 4. In addition to this, Read Write Inc. Fresh Start is a phonics programme with more age appropriate resources for older children which we will use as and when required in Years 5 and 6.

Please see the table below for expected progress term-by-term for Read Write Inc. Phonics in EYFS and KS1.


Read Write Inc. Progression Grid


Year Group


Expected Progress in RWI. Groups



October: know most Set 1 sounds and blend orally (Set 1 B)

December: know Set 1 sounds and read words by blending (Set 1 C)


February: Ditties

April: Red


May: Green

July: Green/Purple

Year 1


October: Purple

December: Pink (know Set 2 sounds)


February: Orange

April: Yellow


May: Yellow (know Set 3 sounds)

July: Blue

Year 2


Baseline: Blue

October: Blue

December: Grey


February: Grey

April: RWI Spelling and Comprehension


During the academic year, we hold aim to hold regular parent workshops for early reading as circumstances permit. To begin with this information sharing will be in the form of video links.


For information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read, go to:



English Lessons using The Power of Reading


At St.Austin's Catholic Primary we have chosen to introduce the Power of Reading from Reception through to Year 6 as part of our commitment to ensure all our children have the opportunity to engage with a rich range of quality texts.  Our aim is that all pupils develop into engaged and informed readers and writers who understand the relationship between reading and writing.


The Power of Reading is about teaching reading and writing through the use of high quality books and creative teaching approaches. Children are immersed into the text through music, art, drama, discussion and role-play. Other approaches include responding to illustrations, ‘Book Talk’, story mapping and book making. Children take ownership of the text and engage with it deeply. It also enables children to deepen their understanding of texts and provides a meaningful context for writing.


Reading aloud is also a key part of the Power of Reading. The strategy enables all children to

access the quality texts. Reading aloud also enables the teacher to model expressive and fluent reading to the children. 


Story Time


Story time is intrinsic to developing children’s love of books. At St Austin’s this is timetabled as a crucial part of the English curriculum. Teachers and Teaching Assistants read to the class from a range of age recommended books. The children beginning in KS1 will then bring home one of these story time /library books to re-read with parents at home. The younger children may ‘pretend’ to read the book because they know it so well.



Home Reading


Evidence suggests that parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading.


Key findings from the evidence include:

• Parental involvement in a child’s literacy has been reported as a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);

• Children whose home experiences promote the view that reading is a source of entertainment are likely to become intrinsically motivated to read (Baker, Serpell and Sonnenschein, 1995 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);

• Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued.


Home Reading Books


EYFS and KS1


  1. Read Write Inc. Book Bag Book – This book will be changed on a Wednesday by their group teacher and is matched to your child’s RWI group. Please have this book in school every day.
  2. Colour Banded Book (Collins Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree…) – This book is to share with your child and is an enrichment text designed to widen their reading experience. This book will be changed by their class teacher. Please have this book in school every day.


NB. In addition, your child in EYFS or KS1 may also have a school library book which they have selected.




Once your child has complete the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, they will no longer receive a RWI. Book Bag Book to take home. Instead, please see the provision below.

Colour Banded Book (Collins Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree…)  

This book is designed to build your child's fluency at an age appropriate level and to broaden their reading experience. This book will be changed by their class teacher. Please have this book in school every day.

School Library Book 

This book is to encourage your child to develop their own interest in books and is selected by your child. 





We use Read Write Inc. Spelling for Years 2-6 to meet the more demanding spelling requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum and to build on the fantastic start our children make with Read Write Inc. Phonics. Reasons why we use this programme:


  • It puts the complex requirements of the curriculum into snappy 15-minute lessons
  • Makes spelling fun! Aliens from an exciting online spelling planet clearly introduce spelling rules and concepts
  • Read Write Inc. Spelling Online includes an Extra Practice Zone including over 1,000 new activity screens for whole-class practice, focusing on the areas children often find challenging. A class login also enables our children to do the practice activities at home:
  • Provides plenty of  writing practice with a clear record of progress
  • The emphasis is on teaching spelling, not simply testing spelling
  • Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.
  • The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.



English Lead :  Michele Hoyle       


Reviewed September 2020