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Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics (reading and spelling)

At St Mary’s, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.


We start teaching phonics in Nursery (the 7 aspects of Phase 1 phonics through a range of activities) and then move onto the Foundations for phonics in Autumn2. The Foundations for phonics provision contributes to the provision for 'Communication and Language' and sits alongside a stimulating language-rich provision.  One of the most important aspects of Foundations for phonics is developing an awareness of sound, through activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending.


In Reception we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised 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 tackle any unfamiliar 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.

If you have any questions about phonics, your child's class teacher would be your first point of contact for advice. However, if you would like to discuss any aspect of phonics in more detail, the subject leader for phonics and early reading is Mrs Davidson and Mrs Sibbald.




Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum, and is given a very high priority in all classes and year groups, right across school.


From our children's very first days in school, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent readers. All class timetables include daily reading sessions for guided and individual reading, as well as opportunities for story time and quiet reading.


Independent reading takes place on a daily basis to encourage a love of books and reading for pleasure. Children are encouraged to talk about their favourite authors and recommend stories to others. Whole class reading sessions cover all the skills of prediction, clarification, questioning and summary as well as overall comprehension of a text.


Across school, children will experience a wide range of authors and text types and will regularly hear books being read to them. Our curriculum is planned with quality texts at its very heart and all our learning springs from this.


If you have any questions about reading, your child's class teacher would be your first point of contact for advice.  Alternatively, if you would like to discuss any aspect of reading in more detail, the subject leader for early reading is Mrs Davidson and Mrs Sibbald and Mrs Davidson  is the subject leader for reading across the rest of the school.