St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

English at St Mary's

Phonics, Reading and Writing

At Mary's we prioritise reading for every child and passionately believe that reading sits at the centre of their learning. The golden thread that runs through our aims is the value we place on Phonics and Early Reading. Without an ability to confidently read, children are less able to access the wider curriculum and less likely to develop into independent writers. For this reason, promoting a love of books is given the highest priority. Every day in class, time is dedicated in the timetable to 'Read for Pleasure' and every class enjoy story time at the end of each day. Our Phonics and Early Reading delivery is of the highest quality and all staff understand the importance of using a consistent approach.


Please click here to read more about our approach to teaching Phonics and Early Reading at St Mary's. 


We support the teaching and learning of reading and writing through ‘The Literary Curriculum’. This thematic, book based approach encourages children to aspire to be authors where the skill of reading and writing not only enables good communication but is also brings its own pleasures. Through our approach, children read and write for a wide range of purposes and audiences. This includes, but is not exclusive to, narrative texts, poetry, information texts, recipes, maps, adverts, notices and book reviews.


In addition to the Literary Curriculum, once a week our children become independent authors and write for pleasure. Each week in Celebration Worship, we congratulate an 'Author of the week' in each class.


Integral to our teaching approach is the intention that the use of high quality texts can model, share and enable collaboration in reading and writing.


Through doing this children can develop effective reading and writing skills and achieve our aim of:

  • Helping children value and enjoy reading and writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences.
  • Enabling children to read and write with accuracy and meaning in narrative, non-fiction and poetry.
  • Enabling children to be active and independent readers and writers who are prepared to take risks and regard mistakes as a learning opportunity.
  • Increasing children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their own writing.
  • Improving the quality of their writing through immersing children in the ‘reading into writing’ sequence.
  • Providing opportunities for children to initiate their own reading and writing.
  • Enabling children to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.
  • Helping children understand how grammar is an integral part of the reading and writing process.
  • Systematically approaching learning by revisiting key learning and building upon all areas from phonics, through to grammar and spelling.

The following links provide a deeper understanding of school's policy for the teaching of English and also what we want children in different year groups to be able to achieve.



The school's Lead Author, Phonics and Early Reading Lead and English Subject Leader  is Lucy Smith


William James Quote: “So it is with children who learn to read fluently and  well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortles...”