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St. Mary's Catholic Primary School

Early Reading

At St Mary's we use the essential letters and sounds phonics program to ensure that children quickly learn to read. Children in reception begin phonics lessons within the first couple of weeks of school so that they rapidly acquire the skills and knowledge to become fluent readers. Phonics teaches children to decode words by identifying sounds in the word and blending them together to read fluently. Children also learn to segment the sounds to spell words accurately. ELS ensures that at St Mary's, our approach to teaching reading is consistent across all year groups. Children take part in daily lessons and this is recapped throughout the day. In reception, children will cover phase 2, 3, 4 and are introduced to some phase 5 sounds. In year 1, children cover phase 5 and explore the phases further.

Home Reading

Learning to read is a journey for children which is enhanced by support at home. Reading to children every day is beneficial to their vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

Your child will bring home a reading book which has been carefully matched to their reading skills by their teacher. Please read this at home with your child many times to practise their skills for reading: blending, fluency and expression. You can write in their yellow reading diary each time you read with your child to communicate their progress with the class teacher. The class teacher will also make comments on your child's reading in this book. It is important that children have their reading book and yellow diary in school each day as teachers will take every opportunity to practice! 

Phonics support videos