St Mary’s values are of the forefront of our teaching and are embedded in the ethos of our school. With this in mind, we aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing.  Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.


Pupils at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School will leave year 6:


  • Being able to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning including self correcting their own errors.
  • With a love of books and a desire to read for enjoyment
  • Have an interest in words and their meanings while developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
  • Understanding a range of text types, media styles and genres
  • Using their developing creativity, imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness. 
  • have a suitable technical vocabulary to respectfully  articulate their responses both in written form and verbally


For more information including details of our Intent, Implementation and Impact, refer to our English Policy.




At St Mary’s, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Phonics Shed, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Phonics Shed Progression which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.


As a result, all our children are able to decode words as they read. At St Mary’s, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.  We organise workshops in phonics for the parents and carers of our new Reception children intake prior to joining in September.


An introduction to Phonics Shed

Daily phonics lesson in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

In Reception and Year 1, we we teach phonics daily, with additional daily oral blending games. Any child who needs additional practice has daily intervention support, taught by a fully trained adult. Intervention and consolidation lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.


From Year 2, we timetable daily phonics lessons.  Children who did not meet the threshold for the phonics assessment need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Phonics Tracker to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach these using the intervention and consolidation resources – at pace. This is monitored half termly in year 2 and throughout KS2.




English Curriculum Overview Whole School

Overview of English Resources Used

Phonics screening information

St Mary's Reader Leaflets For Children(Progression of Knowledge)

St Mary's Learner Writer Leaflets For Children (Progression of Knowledge)

VIPERS Questioning prompts for reading used throughout the school.