The Seven Areas of Reading at St. Mary's.

The Seven Areas of Reading


Prioritise Reading

Reading is a school priority within our School Development Plan. We recognise the vitality of reading in ensuring that pupils can fully interact with not only the wider curriculum, but wit the world around.   We have provided whole staff training in the systematic teaching of Phonics, as well as the teaching of reading comprehension skills.  Systematic Phonics is taught daily, within KS1 and whole class reading comprehension is studied daily also.

Love of Reading

Staff and children are passionate about reading. Staff share their favourite children’s books with the children. Teachers read to their class each day, using the pupils to choose the text that they engage in ‘for pleasure’. The selection given to the children is based on high-quality ‘classic’ texts as well as contemporary releases.  Children are actively encouraged to read at home every night with an adult, this is celebrated through our ‘Reading Karate Challenge’ where children are rewarded with: wristbands, certificates, and book vouchers. Our daily ‘Guided Reading’ session is where children unpick a text in a deeper fashion, these are closely linked to the topic being studied, and where this isn’t possible, they are a high-quality recommended ‘Classic’. Daily, class teachers share poetry to their class. Once a week, every child reads with their class teacher and some children read to adults in school every day. The school library is regularly restocked through the Cornwall Library Service and our Librarians assist the English Leader with selecting new texts. Our Year 6 children act as ‘Reading Buddies’ with our younger children. All children have access to our library and each classroom has a well-stocked reading corner which matches the ability and interests of the children; as well as affording them opportunities to recommend texts to their classmates. We also have a school ‘Book Swap’ where children can bring in old reading materials from home to swap for something different from school.  Once a month, we host a ‘Reading Café’ where local parents of children aged 0-3 are invited in to share books and advice on how to develop early language and reading skills. In pre-school, children are given story sacks to share with their family at home. Every child in the school has user credentials for ‘Borrowbox’ an APP that allows them to download ebooks and audio books from the Library Service.  Children in KS2 also have access to a reading comprehension website called ‘Readtheory’. The school has strong links with the local library, running a monthly Book Club for pupils. As well as this, there is a weekly ‘Library Club’ that is available to all pupils- here they can find out about different authors, genres etc and recommend texts to each other.  The school also runs an ‘E-Comic Club’ in conjunction with the local library.

Programme and Progress

We have adopted the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme to teach Early Reading. This programme uses a combination of daily systematic phonics lessons and regular group reading sessions to develop pupils’ early reading skills.  All staff are trained in this approach. Progress is regularly monitored through teacher assessments, termly data reviews and through the formal testing (including SATs, The Phonics Screening Test). We use optional NFER reading assessments to also inform our judgements on pupils’ attainment. Those children who are not making expected progress are identified and daily 1:1 intervention/sessions are put in place to ensure they keep up with their peers.

Books match sounds

The Little Wandle SSP uses assessment to closely match books to the sounds that the pupils know.  Each week children still learning to decode take part in three group sessions to develop their reading skills.  In this session children practise reading the book that they will take home to read. In addition to this, children also take a book from the library to share with an adult. Once the children have mastered their phonics, they progressed to levelled reading books which focus on the development of their comprehension skills.



Phonics from the start

Our children learn to acquire early language from the moment that they begin our nursery class.  Here they explore environmental sounds, early rhymes etc.  Once in Reception Class, the children begin the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Programme.

Catch up quickly

Within the National Curriculum, it states ‘If children by the end of Year 1 are still struggling to decode and spell they need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so they catch up rapidly’. Those children who are assessed as being in the lowest 20% of each year group, receive catch up interventions in the afternoons. These interventions are planned following regular assessments that identify the weaknesses of their learning. The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP provides support for staff to deliver high quality small-group or individual catch-up support.

Early reading experts

All teachers and teaching assistant’s have been trained to deliver high-quality phonics. A robust monitoring through coaching system has been implemented by the Early Reading Leader, to ensure that practice is consistent. This approach is collaborative and supportive. EYFS use their knowledge of early language acquisition to provide advice to parents – this can be accessed on our school website. Each year, a phonics meeting is held with parents, to show them how reading is taught at the school. There are many other resources on our website that parents are able to access.