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St Patrick's Catholic Primary School

Loving, Learning, Laughing

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At St Patricks we use the English Mastery approach to develop, your child’s learning. Below you will find a selection of resources that you might like to use to support your child on their English journey.



Year 1



Year 1 English key area: reading and phonics


Perhaps the biggest leap in a child’s ability to read happens in year 1.


Phonics (the sounds that make up words, and the alphabetical letters that make them) tend to be taught every day at school at this age, and so it’s a good idea to practise your child's phonics skills at home. Also, whilst you’re reading with them, look out for common sounds and chat about any patterns.


By the end of Year 1 in phonics, most pupils are:

  • Learning alternative letters for reading familiar sounds, for example: ai/ay (train/tray), oi/oy (coin/toy), w/wh(wet/when), f/ph (fish/photo) 
  • Learning alternative pronunciations for familiar letters, for example: i (fin/find), c (cat/circus), ow (cow/blow), ch (chin/chef) 
  • Learning alternative spellings for sounds, for example: r/wr(rat/wrap) n/gn/kn(nut/gnat/knit), air/ere/ear/are(pair/there/pear/ bare)


Story books tend to be the go-to when we're reading at home, but your child may prefer non-fiction, especially if they’re interested in a particular topic, or comics. Go with it and drop any book snobbery! Whatever they want to read, read – that’s where the motivation will come from, so go with that!


Out and about, there’s plenty of scope for reading wherever you are, on signs or in supermarkets – help your child to see the usefulness of learning to read and their interest will sky-rocket.


Year 1 English key area: understanding and interpreting stories


This skill is repeated throughout the primary curriculum in all year groups, so in Year 1 it’s vital to build up the skills required.

The aim here is for you to encourage concentration when your child is listening to a story. Whenever you’re reading to them, invite them to engage in discussion – cover the plot, the characters and where the story is set.

Not for every book you read together – because developing a love of reading for reading’s sake is also key – but occasionally, have them write a book review (or write one together; you can scribe while they dictate to you if needed). Get them to think about:

  • Who would the book be most suited for?
  • Who were the main characters in the book?
  • What happened, in what order?
  • Whether they would recommend the book to someone else.


Year 1 English key area: handwriting


Having legible handwriting is vital for future schooling, and in Year 1 this is something that we try to nail!

Having your child practise some letters at home will build on what they've been learning at school. You can find plenty of handwriting videos produced in partnership with the National Handwriting Association.


Writing is tiring for little hands, so don't overdo it: aim for a maximum of 5-10 minutes a day for handwriting practice activities.

Year 2


Year 2 English key area: words and vocabulary


In Year 2 children are expected to extend their vocabulary, adding to the lists of words they recognise in their reading, and use in their writing.


A great way to do this is through stories. Whilst reading, stop and discuss interesting words and their meaning. Model writing down a word, and writing its definition, and ask your child to do the same with some words they find interesting.


Encourage your child to be passionate about words – have them write a list of their favourite words and discuss what they like about them, and write a list of your own, too. There are loads of vocabulary-building activities to try together, as well as vocabulary apps for primary school children.


Year 2 English key area: writing non-fiction


Throughout primary education, children learn to write for a variety of purposes, and non-fiction writing is a key skill.


A great non-fiction practice activity to do at home is recipe writing. Cook together (it doesn't have to be baking – why not teach them some dinner dishes instead?), then ask your child to write down the recipe and step-by-step instructions. Encourage them to be as accurate as possible, pointing out that in non-fiction writing, it’s all about the facts and the details.


Always encourage them to read back their writing, checking for accuracy and any mistakes.


If you don’t fancy actually cooking (and we really don’t blame you!) have them write up a fake recipe (e.g. for slime, or a witches' brew), or something you’ve cooked together before.


Year 2 English key area: handwriting


Improving year-on-year with handwriting is essential. In Year 2, children are expected to form letters with greater consistency, with both lower-case and capital letters and numbers, too.


As children go into Key Stage 2 they’ll be expected to join their letters together, otherwise known as cursive handwriting (St Patricks teaches this right from Reception), so you can start helping your child practise at home.