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St. Mary's C.E. Primary School

With God’s strength, we reach for the stars

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At St Mary’s, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and so to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading, we implement the following:


  • Children take part in Guided Reading lessons, where children are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
  • We are very lucky to have a wide range of reading books in our school. All children from Nursery to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed regularly.  
  • Each classroom will have a selection of books in their classroom which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum. 
  • Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading age. This is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day. 
  • Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’, in which children mix with other children from different year groups and share a book together. 
  • Children who are not yet ‘free readers’, will work through our school reading
  • scheme – these are levelled books which match the children’s current reading age.
  • We have three dedicated library areas for each key stage. We also have a reading bus which our Key stage 2 children access regularly.  Our Y6 librarians change and recommend books for their peers and friends.
  • We have gained Gold in the Reading Quality Mark status. We are extremely proud of this.
  • Our reading results are in the top 20% of all schools in the country.


We expect family at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.

By the time children leave St Mary’s they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. 



Teachers plan in year group teams to ensure that progression and challenge is foremost. Termly assessment allows teachers and TA’s to plan a sequence of sessions in Guided Reading that stretch, challenge and fill and extend gaps in learning for all children. Assessments are scrutinised and discussed in termly progress meetings with SLT to ensure that progress and attainment is maximised. This alongside, monitoring, drop ins and lesson observations allow a triangulated approach to performance data and analysis.


We enrich our reading curriculum with Author Days, author visits, celebrating World Book Day, strong links with our local library, parent volunteer readers, Reading Buddies, Secret readers and providing a bespoke reading scheme that is made from a range of reading programmes to meet the needs of all of our children.


Our school environment promotes our love of reading and allows all of children to be fully immersed in current and classical books and genres.


At St Mary’s, reading is at the heart of everything we do and we firmly believe that reading and books unlocks the door for a future of success and achievement.



Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.


However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.


We aim for every child to leave St Mary’s as a reader. A reader that has a thirst for knowledge, adventure and experience. We firmly believe that reading at St Mary’s offers these opportunities to all of our children and helps to guide them on the next part of their reading journey.

Support to help your child read at home