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Our Reading Journey 

We love reading at our school. Look at all the fantastic reading activities we do!



Phonics and Reading

At St Mary’s, we use RWI to teach phonics and reading. We have daily phonics sessions where the children learn phonemes and  their corresponding graphemes. They play lots of different phonic games which help them understand how sounds make words and then use words to make sentences. A range of interactive whiteboard programmes are used to consolidate phonics learning.


Once pupils are able to read phonetical words and some red words they learn to read using RWI books. These books are progressive and the children learn to read at their pace during daily sessions. 

If your child is an early reader, they may bring home two reading books. A phonics book that your child should be able to read independently as it is at their level of understanding and  also  a stage book that contains many words that cannot be  phonetically sounded out. With this book, your child might need some support.

Early readers will read a mixture of Dandelion, RWI and  reading scheme books. The children work their way through the reading scheme from stage 1- 12. As they progress through the stages assessments are completed checking fluency of reading and understanding of what they have read.

Once children are fluent in stage 12 they become free readers. If they become free readers in key stage 1, they have a selection of books to read from which will enable them to develop their fluency further while expanding their knowledge of  books, authors and genres. In key stage 2, pupils select their free readers from the school library or their classroom. 

Online Phonics resources

A useful website featuring free resources for KS1 (and the option of subscribing)

Covers everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences. 100% free if accessed on a computer.

The games are free.

Guided Reading

At St Mary’s from Year 2 upwards, we have daily Guided Reading sessions and the teachers record children’s progress as they read. Guided Reading is where children are given opportunities to develop, practice and implement different reading skills. Children also work on an online learning platform called Bedrock that develops their vocabulary in a variety of contexts.At St Mary’s from Year 2 upwards, we have daily Guided Reading sessions and the teachers record children’s progress as they read. Guided Reading is where children are given opportunities to develop, practice and implement different reading skills. Children also work on an online learning platform called Bedrock that develops their vocabulary in a variety of contexts.

Home School Reading Diaries

To develop good home school links, we ensure every child at St Mary’s has a home school reading diary. The reading diary is designed so that books read can be recorded and pupil, teacher or parents can then comment on the reading session. It is expected, that children will have at least three to four home reading entries every week. These entries will be acknowledged when the diaries are checked and children receive Dojos every time they read at home.

St Mary's visits to Kettering library

Usually every child in KS1 and KS2, has the opportunity to visit our local library but due to Covid-19 we cannot currently take whole classes there.

However, Kettering library  is open for individuals and is a free service. It has a lovely  children’s section and  pupil’s can borrow many books once they have joined the library  but there is also an opportunity to  join Borrow Box which  enables users to  borrow online books.

As soon as we are able to,  school visits to the library will recommence

Peered reading

At St Mary’s we have developed a love for peered reading, whereby older children are paired up with younger children to carry out reading sessions. These provide opportunities for children to develop and teach reading skills. This will also provide younger children with role models who promote their love of reading. Due to children working in bubbles we cannot currently carry out this activity. However, it is  a very  important part of reading at St Mary’s and will restart as soon as it is safe to do so.

Reading across the Curriculum

All classrooms provide opportunities for children to develop their reading skills through core fiction and non-fiction texts linked to topics.

The Reading Hub

We now have reading hub that children can access during lunch times. This is a very popular place for your  young readers to meet.

Online reading resources

Please find below a list of online resources that your children can access from tablets and  computers. All of the websites are either totally free or have sections that  are free to use.

A collection of nursery songs from the Early Learning series Listen and Play and Playtime, both of which are currently available on iplayer and as pod

Suggested books for children, advice on how to read with your child, book lists, fun games, competitions to win free books, Children's Book Club etc.

Expert recommendations and opening extracts of books.

Phonics advice and access to free E-Books. Free to register. 

New book releases  books for year groups,  topic books fiction and non-fiction 


We have imaginative and creative writers at St Mary’s.

Early Years

In EYFS, children use the RWI programme to begin writing as they gain knowledge of  the sounds phonemes make and the corresponding graphemes. As they become independent writers an approach called Captive Captions is  used, which focuses on  independent writing of simple phrases and  sentences using  phonetically  decodable words. Children also have opportunities to write through a topic focus, which is supported by an adult.


Children continue to develop their writing skills through the RWI programme and through independent writing tasks. In year 2, children who have completed the  RWI programme move on to English lessons based on quality texts and film clips.


During English sessions, the use of quality texts and film, are used to engage and inspire the children. They also enable pupils to develop their inference skills and knowledge and understanding of a range of genres.  Children are then taught, through the modelling of composition and the use of grammar to produce their own writing.  Children are given, the opportunity to practice these skills and implement them in various tasks across a range of subjects.


Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught weekly across both key stages. Teachers devise sessions, which are interactive and engaging. Some sessions are taught as stand-alone lessons and others are taught as starters to the day’s literacy lesson. Spelling is taught explicitly once a week where children, are taught a spelling rule and provided with spelling strategies. They are also given, spelling homework once a week to reinforce what they have learnt.


At St Mary’s, we use Kinetic Letters and our aim is that all children are supported to develop a handwriting style which is clear, joined and fluid. We believe this raises standards in writing in the early years, which will impact throughout the whole school, developing confidence, accuracy and fluency and improved presentation.Accordion content