St Philip's Catholic Primary School

St Philip's Catholic Primary School
High Street, New Town
Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5DJ

Tel: 01825 762032  /  Fax: 01825 748706

Phonics and Reading at St Philips 

At St Philip's Catholic Primary School we believe that reading is a skill which is taught through planned, systematic phonics lessons which lead to the enjoyment of all kinds of books, the appreciation of different genres and the ability to access information independently. Through their own reading, we hope that children will develop their individual tastes in literature and be able to understand and justify their own choice of books.

At St Philip's Catholic Primary School we teach phonics as the first approach to reading. We follow the phases of the DfE's Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practices of High Quality Phonics from Foundation Stage and through Key Stage 1. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension. We also use the Jolly Phonics multi-sensory approach to supplement the learning. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible. The alphabetic code is taught first with children learning new sounds and practising pronouncing and blending these sounds on a daily basis. Children are also introduced to tricky words which cannot be sounded out and need to be read by sight.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

In the Summer term every Year 1 child will take a Phonics Screening Check. This is a phonics based check where children will be expected to read 40 de-codable words, including pseudo (nonsense) words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at the expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents at the end of the Summer term. Any children who do not reach the expected level in Year 1 will be re-checked in Year 2.


In Years R-2 children read books that are coloured banded. These books are from a range of reading schemes for example Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star and Pearson Bug Club. For information about book band levels please go to

As they move away from Year 2 pupils will start to read their own books and books from individual class reading corners.