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Holy Family Roman Catholic Primary School

Through Work, Through Worship, Through Witness


Great Gates Road, Kirkholt, Rochdale, OL11 2DN

(01706) 640480


'What is the most important subject you have to learn in life?  To learn how to love.'  Pope Francis



Reading is taught through a series of approaches; guided reading, synthetic phonics, shared reading and individual reading. A child's success in reading is instrumental in their ability to access the wider curriculum and every effort is made to ensure that every child becomes a fluent and confident reader.  

Through daily structured guided reading sessions from Year 2 to Year 6, text led approach to the English and Creative Curriculums and every child receiving an adult led reading session twice a week, children make good progress to become accomplished readers.

Additional support programmes such as Better Reading Partners, Code, Direct Phonics and IDL (Independent Dyslexia Learning) are used to supplement the existing approach to the teaching of reading for children who may, at times, find learning to read a challenge.

Our core reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. Click below to learn more about how you can support your child in their reading at home.


Reading for Pleasure

We are also involved in the Rochdale Teachers as Readers Group as part of the Open University Reading Rich Pedagogies.  We have undertaken a lot of work based on improving opportunities for Reading for Pleasure both at home and school.  Parents, teachers, children and visitors to school have all been involved in creating a buzz about reading and delighting in books that stimulate the imagination and feed the mind.

Take a look at our Example of Practice here

Further information about Reading for Pleasure and Reading Rich Pedagogies can be found here:

Photographs from one of our Teachers as Readers meetings below show examples of our Social Reading Environments.



Synthetic phonics teaches the children about the individual sounds each letter and cluster of letters make and enables them to decode (break up) and encode (put back together) words. Our school uses 'Read Write Inc', a programme delivered through daily systematic sessions for children from Nursery to Year 2. It is also used as a supplementary programme for children in Years 3 & 4.  The sounds that are taught can be practised at home and the speed sounds grids are available here.

Click below to learn more about the programme and how you can help your child at home:


At Holy Family, writing is given a high priority. Children are inspired and encouraged to write for a purpose, a conviction, a passion and for fun. We adopt a text based approach to writing, seeking out picture books and stories that excite the imagination and fuel the thinking mind.

Alongside using texts to motivate and inspire, children are taught about the mechanics of language and grammar through 'The Write Stuff'; an approach that models sentence types and grammatical rules and conventions for use in every genre of writing.  We strive to encourage every learner to know that they can be great writers. Through a range of media, children are given the opportunity to compose pieces for different platforms (e.g. radio, TV) as well as the written word. Through the wider curriculum, writing opportunities are sought out so that the skills for writing are constantly rehearsed, practiced and refined.

For children for whom writing presents more of a challenge, additional support programmes such as 'Write Away Together' are used to help them draft and redraft writing with an audience in mind. Such programmes are used for children in Years 1 - 6.


We teach the children a cursive handwriting style from reception upwards. The presentation of their work is given high importance and we encourage all pupils to take a pride in all they undertake in school. Each fortnight, Handwriting Stars are awarded for their amazing efforts. Take a look at the recent Handwriting Stars under the School Activities drop down menu.

If helping your child at home, don't forget to ask them about pinchy parrots to encourage the correct pencil hold and ask the children about how they use the line guides to help them form and space their letters correctly.  If you have any questions or wish to practice at home, we would be more than happy to provide you with additional practice line guides.  Please ask your child's teacher.


The English Curriculum Lead is Mrs Chamberlain.