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Reading and Writing at Holy Spirit

Phonic Overview

What is Letters and Sounds?

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practioners and Teachers. 



Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One(Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two(Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three(Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segent longer words with adjacet consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five(Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.



 If you want to help your child to recognise letters and sounds click on the websites below:


Reading Overview

This is another systematic approach that we use to support our pupils to get them reading quickly. Click on the link below to access some free parent resources to help you to help your child. 

We currently use Oxford  Reading Tree, Treetops and Project X to promote home reading.  Throughout guided reading, we use a number of different resources that will engage and challenge the children.

Make sure you have your volume on as this link helps you to listen to each sound the letters make and how they blend together.

The links below show an overview for reading with regards to the End of Year Expectations.

Reading Year 1

Reading Year 2

Reading Year 3

Reading Year 4

Reading Year 5

Reading Year 6




We have some amazing reading areas in our classrooms! We are really trying hard to promote reading in our school and we are reading lots and lots! Have a look at our reading areas below.



Reading for pleasure... Reading for pleasure...

Our library has had a big revamp and now has an amazing circus theme.  Step into the big top and get your nose stuck into a book!



Home Reading

 It is  really important that we read every night!  We have just purchased some additional home reading books so that we can boost reading in our school and engage our amazing reading talents!

Make sure you are trying to complete that reading rainbow too for your special certificates and you never know what may be in store if you complete the rainbow!




World Book Day

Take a look at all the fun we had on World Book Day!  We were treated to a visit from the author Rachel Lyon who shared some of her fantastic stories with us.  We had great fun with lots of great activities that we all enjoyed!


Progression in writing

We are very proud of our writing at Holy Spirit. We use an author's approach to writing in our school from Early Years through to Year 6. 

Gather It!

Firstly, we gather lots of information and details about our writing focus. We aim to immerse the children in the writing topic to fuel their enthusiasm and really inspire them into creative thinking!

Plan It!

Next, we are teaching our children to plan their writing in a methodical way, ensuring they know what is expected of them at all times. This planning helps them to think carefully about what they want to write and how they want to write it!

Write It!

Now is the time to write our first draft. We are teaching our children the importance of drafting their writing just like real authors do. This first draft shows what the children have gathered and planned. We encourage our children that its acceptable to make mistakes and use these to make their writing even better.

Edit It!

This is the part of our writing process where we are teaching the children to read through their writing, find any mistakes, edit and change their writing and make improvements to their first drafts.

Perfect Piece! 

Our children are now ready to write their perfect piece. We are very proud of the writing that our children can produce.



Every class in the school has got a very special display that showcases 'The writer of the week'.  Each class has got a frame and a spotlight so that we can see and celebrate the amazing writing that is going on in each class.  Look at our different displays throughout the school.

How we assess our children in Writing

From Early Years to Year 6 we assess our children's writing using the frameworks set out by the Department For Education.

 Year 2 Interim Framework

Year 3 Interim Framework

Year 4 Interim Framework

Year 5 Interim Framework

Year 6 Interim Framework


Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 receive daily phonics sessions that are delivered to small groups.  These groups are supported by teachers and teaching assistants.  The children's progress is regularly reviewed and the groups are adjusted accordingly.  The following document is an overview of the Phonics being taught in the Foundation Stage.  This will be rolled out to Y1 and Y2 over the following year.  Year 1 and Year 2 are currently following the Read, Write Inc phonics programme.

~ Letters and Sounds Overview ~


The documents below show the overview plans for English for the different Year groups.

Year 1 English Overview

Year 2 English Overview

Year 3 and 4 English Overview.

Year 5 and 6 English Overview

English Glossary of Terms


Key Stage 1 Grammar Glossary

KS1 Glossary Of Grammatical Terms.pdfDownload
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Key Stage 2 Grammar Glossary

KS 2 Grammar Glossary.pdfDownload
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Here at Holy Spirit we encourage creative writing through our stimulating curriculum. Events to fuel the imagination are used as a 'hook' to engage our children's creative minds. Here are some examples of writing stimuli. We look forward to creating some more fabulous writing experiences over the coming year.

Crime Scene - Holy Spirit Garden Ransacked

We have written about a crime scene, where the children were faced with a scene of devastation in our school garden. They became investigators for the day and pieced together the evidence to write about the crime. All classes took part in the writing event and produced some excellent writing.

The Pied Piper - Manchester Actors

We were treated to an excellent performance of the Pied Piper by the Manchester Actors. The children then used this as a writing stimulus and produced some excellent writing. Our reception children loved it too!

Grammar and Spelling

Spelling and Grammar skills are a huge focus for our children's writing. We have introduced a progressive system of spellings which are to be practices at home for a weekly spelling test. These spelling focuses will be teaching spelling rules. Grammar is also a huge focus for our children's writing skills and as such we have introduced grammar homework and weekly sessions to help our children with their understanding of grammar and how to use it effectively in their writing. 



"PUGALUGS" Reading Award

Holy Spirit are extremely proud to have received a very special reward.

On World Book Day we found out that we had received the ‘Pugalugs Reading Awareness Prize'.  As you all know we had invited Jessica and Mark into our school to share the wonderful books that Jessica writes. Y1-4 took part in workshops that Jessica and Mark delivered. 

They were very impressed by their enthusiasm and engagement during the sessions and at how well behaved all the children were. 

Jessica and Mark presented our school with a special trophy, certificate and a number of free copies of Jessica’s books, the ‘Pugalugs’ series, for our school library.

We contacted the local newspaper and it was published in the St. Helens Star. If you wish to view the article, you can view it here:

We also made the Skelmersdale local paper!

As well as the council website!

Well done to all the children of Holy Spirit! Keep up the hard work! We are so proud of you!


ALSO CHECK OUT THE PUGALUGS WEBSITE AND "LIKE" OR "COMMENT" ABOUT OUR AWARD!  You will find it on the news and events page!






Visiting authors

In the autumn term we had the pleasure of having two local authors visiting our school and speaking to the children about their amazing books that they write. 

We had the pleasure of Kathy Kilgannon who came and spoke to the younger children about her book.

We also had Jessica Parish and Mark Parish who shared their journey to writing the series of Pugalugs. 

The children also had the opportunity to meet the stars of the books too!


Romeo and Juliet Friday 3rd October