The teachers of St Mary’s are dedicated to teaching a rich English curriculum that provides pupils of all abilities opportunities to develop their reading and writing skills with carefully planned progression from EYFS to Year 6.   

Our aim is to create passionate readers, skilled writers and articulate speakers who are ready for the next steps in education.



Learning to read is taught through careful phonic progression using phonically decodable books leading on to supporting the teaching of comprehension and reading fluency.  Vocabulary is explored and taught meaningfully through text exploration and class discussion.  

Latest Reading Presentation

Text-based approach
We aim to impart a love of reading balancing ‘the will and the skill’ and we provide many opportunities across the school for reading for pleasure and using a text-based approach for the teaching of writing.  We are a community of readers with book clubs for both staff and children and a reading raffle as incentive to read and an opportunity to own a new book!

Key texts

As with all subjects at St Mary’s, we aim to help learners to be resilient and resourceful – learning at their own pace and willing to face challenges.  The text-based focus allows children to develop not just their reading skills but also the craft of writing.   

Talk for Writing (Pie Corbett) and Sentence Stacking (Jane Considine) support pupils in developing a wide range of vocabulary and support them in developing the features of different writing genres and sentences.  A combination of shared and independent writing allows children to learn a range of skills and apply their knowledge with a vast range of writing opportunities across the curriculum.  Children are able to draw on a wealth of vocabulary  

Grammar and spelling
Both grammar and spelling are taught explicitly when necessary and woven into daily learning with the reading and writing focus of lessons.  Children are explicitly taught hand writing which remains an expectation throughout the school.  

You can read our English coverage overview here.

Bringing English Alive
Making our school language rich is a passion of ours – read on to find out more about what we offer.


How we teach Phonics
At St Mary’s Primary school we use the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc. phonics programme (RWI) for children in Reception, Year 1 and 2. Some children in years 3 and 4 who require phonics will also have access to the programme.

Read Write Inc. (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Read Write Inc. was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at

Children that find phonics challenging and struggle to read will receive an additional 1:1 tutoring session during the school day.

During the sessions we use pure sounds, (‘m’ not ‘muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words with ease. This video will show you how to pronounce pure sounds from Set 1 Sounds through to Set 3.

The Year 1 Phonics check
Children in Year 1 take part in the Governments Phonics Screening Check during the month of June. This check is an informal task carried out 1:1 with a teacher to provide information that the children are making progress within phonics to become a fluent reader. It is a list of 40 words presented as real words and pseudo (alien) words (e.g. brip, snorp) to see if children are using their phonics to read the words. It takes no more than 5-10 minutes.

The check will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in Year 2 so that the school can track them as they move through the school.

Useful websites:
Ruth Miskin RWI

Oxford Owl (Your child will receive a login to read RWI ebooks online)

Additional Information:
Parent Booklet 1
Parent Booklet 2
Speed and Sound Chart
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3


St Mary’s has a junior library that allows all pupils to access a wide range of reading material at school and to take home.  The library has a large fiction and non-fiction section.  Our book selection is current and represents all pupils in school, wider Britain and around the world.  Children have opportunities to visit the library as a class during lesson time and during their lunch hour. 

Reading Raffle

Reading is celebrated across the school in many ways.  In juniors a raffle is run rewarding children with books they can take home as their very own. 

Open University Reading for Pleasure (OURFP)

St Mary’s Primary School is home to an Open University Reading for Pleasure research group.  Teachers from our school and from other schools in the area are invited to take part.  The project allows teachers to use pedagogy to support reading for pleasure in the classroom to help create more life long readers! 

Book clubs

St Mary’s currently has four book clubs.  Each book club meets 6-8 times per year.  The club is open to any children in the year group who wish to take part. 

Book week

St Mary’s proudly celebrate reading throughout the year and we enjoy an extra special book week during the week of World Book Day in March.  Children have the opportunity to explore books, do fun activities around books.  

Author visits

St Mary’s have authors and illustrators visit the school annually.  It is always a pleasure and a treat to hear from them and it inspires many of the children with their reading and writing! 

Book testing

St Mary’s Primary School are book testers for The Children’s Book Society.