enAs a main curriculum subject, we place a high emphasis on the teaching of English at St Mary’s. This includes the teaching of reading including phonics, writing, spelling, grammar and handwriting. We aim for all our pupils to leave Year 6 with excellent skills in all these areas that will be the basis for future learning.

We teach English daily throughout the school and also have sessions regularly dedicated spelling and handwriting lessons.

We know that for children to become excellent writers they need to read and therefore we aim to engage the children with different genres of books whilst encouraging them to read for pleasure. Every classroom has a book corner with an excellent selection of books for the children to choose from. As well as this, the school has a well-stocked selection of take home books that cover a variety of genres both fiction and non-fiction.

Children also have access to an online reading system called ‘Bug Club’ this programme allows them to log on and read texts; answering comprehension questions as they proceed. High quality texts are also used by our teachers.

Writing is also a priority at St Mary’s and the children are given the opportunity to complete extended pieces of writing in English and across the curriculum. Children are taught the grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills needed to complete a good piece of writing.

Within each writing unit children do a ‘cold’ task and a ‘hot’ task so progress can be measured. We focus on the editing process where children are taught to improve all aspects of their writing.

Phonics is taught from Nursery to year 2 using the Read Write Inc phonics scheme and from Years 3-6 spelling is taught using the same scheme, organised around spelling patterns. Children learn the rules of spelling and are given opportunities to work independently and with partners to practise and apply these rules. Children are given weekly spelling lists around these patterns and are tested each week.

Handwriting is taught to ensure the children know and can use the correct letter formations and joins. Children are expected to use continuous cursive script handwriting at all times and this is modelled by the adults through marking, displays and board work. Children are encouraged to continue to improve their handwriting, working towards being awarded a pen license.

Bug Club

Bug Club is an online reading programme that all children have access to. Teachers allocate books to each child and as they read through them, they answer questions.

Children can work through these books at their own pace and teachers can track their progress, identifying what they may need support with.

The website is www.activelearnprimary.co.uk

We have a school code and your child has log in details. Please ensure you get these from your child’s teacher.


Half Term Class Readers

Each half term, every year group will focus on a class reader that will be read aloud in class.

This half term, each year group will be reading the following books:

  • Year 1- The Witches by Roald Dahl
  • Year 2- The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo
  • Year 3- The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf
  • Year 4- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Year 5- Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Year 6- The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien