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English is the basic language of communication in this country and its mastery is a prerequisite for educational progress. It is the foundation for almost all the learning which takes place in our school. It is essential for independent learning, the world of work and most other aspects of everyday life.

In keeping with our mission statement at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide a stimulating and challenging language environment for all pupils. Within this environment, we are committed to: 

  • building upon the children’s existing skills.
  • recognising and valuing the culture and language background of each child. 
  • supporting individual needs at different developmental stages.
  • encouraging levels of personal excellence.

English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. The fundamental skills, knowledge and concepts are set out in the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 areas of the National Curriculum where they are categorised into 4 attainment targets: 

  1. Reading 
  2. Writing
  3. Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Vocabulary
  4. Spoken Language


At St Charles Borromeo we follow the DfE letters and sounds phonics handbook from Reception through to Year 2. Reception class also use the "Jolly Phonics" scheme to teach sounds with actions.

Phonics is taught from phase 1 (Nursery) to phase 6 (Year 2).

A Phonics screening check takes place at the end of Year 1 as per DfE requirements and results are given to parents.


We use the colour coded reading scheme in line with Surrey's book banding and we select from a range of books and schemes to give our children a wide range of reading opportunities. 

Reading is a very important part of the curriculum at St Charles Borromeo.  In the Early Years the children begin by looking at picture books as well as books from a range that are colour coded according to Surrey's book banding.

The children are taught to read in Reception and Key Stage 1 using synthetic phonics through Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics. The methods of teaching reading are multi-faceted, using all the strategies that enable children to bring meaning to text.

Year 1 and 2 have a weekly guided reading session where the children read in small groups to develop fluency and reading comprehension.  Children are also encouraged to share their developing reading skills and appreciation of books with their families by means of a ‘Reading Record Book' and by reading regularly in school to adults.