Phonics at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

We love to read!


At Holy Cross Catholic Primary we are committed to teaching all children to read well by ensuring that every teacher is a reading champion. We believe our key to success can be attributed to the following:

  • clarity and constant purpose
  • teachers have an excellent knowledge and understanding of the processes that help children learn to read
  • as a school we have a rigorous program of systematic phonics work as the prime approach to decoding print
  • consistent teaching of the highest quality, together with effective assessment of children's progress and help for those who encounter difficulty in reading


How phonics works

Phonics focuses on sounds rather than, for example, having children try to recognise whole words.

In analytic phonics, words are broken down into their beginning and end parts, such as 'str-' and 'eet', with an emphasis on 'seeing' the words and analogy with other words.

In synthetic phonics, children start by sequencing the individual sounds in words – for example, 's-t-r-ee-t', with an emphasis on blending them together.

Once they have learned all these, they progress to reading books.

The 'synthetic' part comes from the word 'synthesise', meaning to assemble or blend together.

Children who learn using synthetic phonics are able to have a go at new words working from sound alone, whereas those using analytic phonics are more dependent on having prior knowledge of families of words.

At Holy Cross Catholic Primary our children have daily phonics lessons to teach reading and writing through a systematic approach using the 'Read, Write inc' phonics programme.