St Margaret Mary's Catholic Infant School

  1. Curriculum
  2. Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading




It is our intention that each child will develop the skills to read fluently and comprehensively. We place a high priority on the teaching of phonics throughout our school. Phonics is integrated into all areas of the curriculum, and children are expected to apply their phonics knowledge across various subjects. Phonics is a key component of our daily teaching schedule.

At St Margaret Mary’s Infant School we aim for all children to leave our school with a rich vocabulary that enables them to engage with language in a versatile manner. We have high expectations for all, including those with SEN and/or disabilities and those who are disadvantaged. We believe that having a strong vocabulary will empower children to understand the meaning of words and to utilise language effectively for various purposes.

We are committed to fostering a love of reading in our children as we recognise the significant role that literacy plays in their development. Through encouraging them to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction genres, we are equipping them with the tools to succeed in their academic journey and beyond. By instilling in them the confidence to communicate proficiently in a diverse range of situations, we are laying the foundation for their future success.

In order for the children to become competent with reading and spelling it is integral that we maintain:

  • consistency in the approach to teaching phonics;
  • motivating lessons that engage all children;
  • assessment and tracking so that all children can reach their full potential;
  • an appreciation and love of reading.

Through the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning experiences, we are dedicated to empowering children to become fluent readers who can read to learn.



At St Margaret Mary’s Infant School, we utilise the Phonics Bug scheme to support the teaching of phonics. This scheme provides a structured and comprehensive approach to phonics ensuring that children have a solid foundation in phonetic skills. As part of our phonics program, children are streamed into groups based on their abilities. These groups are carefully designed to support children in developing the necessary skills to become confident readers at a pace that meets their individual needs. Teachers continuously monitor and assess the progress of our phonics groups to ensure that all children are appropriately challenged and supported in their reading and spelling journey. This approach allows us to provide tailored support to each child, helping them to reach their full potential as readers. Children are provided with decodable books that align with their phonics knowledge to support their reading development. Our phonics teaching is consistent across all year groups, guaranteeing a seamless transition as children progress through the school.


At St Margaret Mary’s we:

  • teach children to recognise the graphemes within words and associate them with the appropriate phoneme when reading;
  • encourage the use of segmenting and blending so that decoding skills provide a sound foundation for reading, writing and spelling;
  • establish consistent practice of the Phonics Bug scheme throughout the school;
  • ensure that children are taught strategies to identify and decode common exception words.

Our dedicated staff members are committed to delivering high-quality phonics instruction through engaging and adaptable lessons that cater to the diverse needs of all learners. We strive to create a supportive learning environment where every child can thrive and develop their reading abilities to their full potential. We believe in constantly refreshing and embedding knowledge and skills to help our students thrive in their reading journey. We identify and support children with SEN, English as an Additional Language (EAL), and those eligible for the pupil premium to break down barriers to learning. Children who require additional help to keep up with their reading are swiftly identified by our team through pupil progress meetings. We schedule these children to have additional reading sessions or intervention to provide them with the necessary support. We believe that with regular practice and support, every child can become a confident and proficient reader.

It is our intent to provide all pupils with daily opportunities to enhance their reading abilities, both in the classroom and at home. We have created a text-rich environment within our school to foster a positive reading culture among all classes. Our comfortable and inviting reading areas encourage reading for pleasure, while the corridors echo with the joys of reading.



Reading and Phonics Progression Map

Policy for Teaching Reading

Phonics Schedule - Whole School

Reading For Pleasure Policy

If you would like to find out more about how the children continue to learn at the junior school,

please follow the link below; 

St Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School: Reading (


Children make rapid progress in their reading and phonics and so a huge proportion pass their phonics screening check in Year 1. An increasing number of children reach the expected level or better by the end of Year 2 and are well prepared for the next stage in their learning.



Reading Booklet (download)

Reading, and a love of books, is a precious gift that you can give to your child. Books are a gateway to a different world every day. Through stories you can take your child to places that are special and unique. This guide will hopefully share some ideas for books that children love, when to share them and what to do after you’ve read them. Whilst children can become fed up of a film, books are something that they will return to again and again. When a child becomes familiar with a story, they will happily sit and ‘read’ it to themselves whether they can read the words or not. Albert Einstein said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Children need positive reading role models. If you read, they are likely to want to do the same. It doesn’t matter if it is a book, magazine or newspaper. Children also enjoy having a bedtime story right through to the Junior School and beyond. As your child gets older, they will learn to cope with stories with chapters. There are a huge range of easier chapter books to buy, with a lot of illustrations to break up the text. Any of the teachers will be happy to share ideas about recommendations for books to have at home. The most important thing is to spend time with your child, have a cuddle and enjoy books.  There are many online sources for well-priced books.



Each child has an individual log in to 'Phonics Bug'. Here you will find additional books to share and read as well as games to play to reinforce the learning taking place in school. These activities have been chosen for your child by their teacher. 

ActiveLearn: Login (