English at Holy Family Catholic Primary School


At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we attach great importance to the teaching and learning of reading and writing; believing that great readers become great writers.


We provide our children with rich and varied learning opportunities that help them to become confident and enthusiastic learners. Moreover, we want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently express their emotions and their ideas. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.


Our English lessons are inspired by and based upon a quality text - the Holy Family ‘Good Book Journey’. Through exposure to a wide variety of genres, we aim to engender a love of literature and an aspirational approach to reading and writing in general, that will stay with our learners for life.


Grammar and sentence construction are taught explicitly and implicitly throughout our extensive curriculum. The ability to spell correctly is crucial in written communication and we place great emphasis on the teaching and learning of spellings. It is our policy that children across all key stages write using cursive script, with all learners aspiring to be granted their ‘Pen Licence’.


Speaking and listening is interwoven in all our teaching at Holy Family. We teach our pupils to speak clearly and articulately, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions to deepen their understanding.


As a school, we offer a wide range of quality resources, including a well-stocked library and ‘Book Nook’. We use the 'Accelerated Reader' scheme to maximise the attainment of all our learners. For interventions in reading, we use Reading Recovery, BRP, Inference Skills Training and Lexia.



Phonics at Holy Family Catholic Primary School


At Holy Family, we teach phonics using ‘Read, Write Inc.’ in daily 40 minute lessons. These comprise of learning different graphemes, focussing on oral and aural phonological skills and sight vocabulary.


During these systematic, fun and multi-sensory sessions, children are also explicitly shown how to apply their developing skills to their writing. All children are grouped in accordance to their individual needs and are in phase appropriate groups. To monitor provision and impact, learners are assessed regularly by our RWI Leader, Miss Poulter.


For tips and advice on how to best support your child in Phonics, please see the information videos below or contact Miss Poulter or your child’s class teacher.



We teach our pupils

'Accelerated Reader' at Holy Family


What Is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children's independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.)

Accelerated Reader gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set targets and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.

Our Accelerated Reader leader will help your child choose books at an appropriate reading level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.If your child does not do well on a quiz, they may be helped to choose another book that is more appropriate. In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they are reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.The aim of Accelerated Reader is for all children to succeed in achieving their targets.


How can I help my child become a better reader?

As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading and discussing books that each of you have read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child's age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning. Make learning a family affair!


What if my child does not like reading?

Using Accelerated Reader, your child will choose the books he/she wants to read. The teacher will make certain the book is at the right level so that after completing the book, your child should do well on the Accelerated Reader Reading Practice Quiz. Success on the quiz will encourage your child to read more. With guidance from the teacher and success, even students who say they do not like reading will develop a love of reading. The aim of Accelerated Reader is for all children to succeed in achieving their targets.


What is a Star Reading test?

Your child’s reading level is determined by a Star Reading test. This is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child's responses. If the child's response to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level of the next question is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes.


My child already does well in school. Why does he/she need this?

Even if a child is gifted at playing a musical instrument, the child has to practice to develop his or her talent. Bright children, like all children, need to be challenged. Teachers using Accelerated Reader software in their classrooms find it easy to guide each student to books that give the child both challenge and success, regardless of the child's level.


My child is not a strong reader. Can he/she still use Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader helps all children become better readers, from students with special needs to those who are gifted and talented. When children read books at an appropriate level, they experience success. Furthermore, teachers work with children to set appropriate targets based on each child’s reading level.

The Holy Family 'Good Book Journey'

Holy Family Spelling Bee

The Holy Family Catholic Primary School Wider Opening Risk Assessment
Open Events for pupils starting school in September may now be booked via the school office - see latest news for full detail.