Reading - Whole School Focus

Why is reading so important to the life chances of our young people?



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.

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. 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 for any child who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children 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.

Lancashire Library - Reading Challenge


This year, Lancashire's Libraries will be inviting children to get silly for their Summer Reading Challenge with the library webpage - join the silly squad.


The website will be free to access and a place for you to rate and review books. It will also feature video content, games, quizzes, and digital and downloadable activities to complete at home. The Library service will also be providing loads of fun free things to do including book quizzes, a reading group, and an online Lego club!

I Opened a Book by Julia Donaldson (with Cued Speech).360p.mp4

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