Reading @ St Mary’s

Reading in the classroom.

At St Mary’s we use a balanced approach to the teaching of reading. Teachers skilfully apply different approaches to reading at different stages including shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, 1:1 reading and reading aloud to children. All children receive a daily reading session with either a focus on fluency, where appropriate, a purposeful independent task or a carefully planned taught session focussing on a specific skill. In our reading sessions we use challenging, engaging texts across school. High quality evidence from reading sessions, covering a wide range of skills, can be seen in the children’s reading books.

Reading at home.

Every child in school has access to high quality texts that are available to take home and read as well as a home reading diary. In KS2 children use the library to change their own reading books. All children who are accessing phonics will be sent home an Oxford reading book that closely links to the phonics phase they are currently working on in school as well as an appropriate reading book that will generate a love and enjoyment of reading.



At St Mary’s Primary School we use the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme.

In Phonics we break words down into their sounds or phonemes. Phonemes can consist of more than one letter for example ch, oo, er, igh etc.

Two letters making a single sound e.g., ar, ee, ou, are called digraphs. Three letters making a single sound e.g., igh, are called trigraphs. A phoneme written down is called a grapheme.

Children will learn to blend phonemes to read words, e.g., sh – i – p = ship. They will also learn to segment words into phonemes to spell them, e.g., ship = sh – i – p.

It is really important that children use these blending and segmenting skills in their reading and writing to ensure they are applying these phonics skills. You can support this at home by encouraging children to blend phonemes to read words in their reading books.

Some key words can’t be segmented into separate phonemes and need to be learned by sight. These words are known as tricky words, e.g. said and the.

There are 6 Phases within the letters and sounds programme and most children will complete Phase 6 by the end of Year 2. There are interventions in place for KS2 children who are still working on Phonics skills.

We believe the key to good Phonics is high quality teaching and ensuring that children enjoy their session